The global COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating impacts to local economies — and could especially be so to Texas college towns, a new report finds.
A study published by Business Insider suggests that three Lone Star State college towns could face “economic ruin” if the coronavirus pandemic forces the schools to once again halt on-campus activity.
The most vulnerable Texas towns that emerged in the report included Huntsville, College Station and San Marcos.
To estimate which college towns are the most economically vulnerable, the organization based the ranking on undergraduate enrollment as a share of the town or city's population. For the study they used the 200 colleges and universities with the largest number of degree- or certificate-seeking undergraduates gathered from fall 2018 college data according to the National Center for Education Statistics' Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.
Sam Houston State ranks No. 17 on the report and has 16,588 degree or certificate seeking undergraduates who comprise 39.3 percent of the population of Huntsville. Texas State was slotted at No. 10, making up 52.6 percent of the population of San Marcus, while Texas A&M shows up at No. 12 with undergraduates making up 45.8 percent of the population.
College towns across the Lone Star State are seeing an escalation in COVID-19 cases with students returning to campus. As of Tuesday, the university has reported 259 positive cases — over half of which have been received in the past two weeks.
Below is the list of the 30 college towns that would be most negatively impacted if students of the largest college campus don't return or have to leave campus again:
1. University of Maryland--College Park
2. Kennesaw State University
3. Michigan State University
4. Washington State University
5. Purdue University
6. Georgia Southern University
7. Rutgers University-New Brunswick
8. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
9. University of Delaware
10. Texas State University
11. Cornell University
12. Texas A&M University-College Station
13. California Polytechnic State University
14. University of California-Davis
15. Iowa State University
16. Bowling Green State University
17. Sam Houston University
18. Oklahoma State University (Main campus)
19. Indiana University-Bloomington
20. University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign
21. Utah State University
22. Auburn University
23. James Madison University
24. University of Virginia (Main Campus)
25. Oregon State University
26. Illinois State University
27. Kansas State University
28. Northern Arizona University
29. The University of Alabama
30. Montana State University