Why College Graduates Will Stay in the City

In a recent survey of local college students, 76% indicated they want to live in a city with an active downtown after graduation.
By Michelle Kershner

Each year, local colleges and universities graduate hundreds of students in Frederick County, and cities all over the country are vying for this talent. According to a fall 2015 survey of local college students, Frederick has what it takes to retain this talented workforce after graduation.

Over half of all students surveyed indicated they want to call Frederick home after graduation. Almost 60% "Agreed" or "Strongly Agreed" that they would choose to live in The City of Frederick. 

According to a Gizmodo article, this new generation is seeking not just large cities, but cities right-sized for them. According to the story, “Thanks to the generation’s size and influence, millennials are moving to new places made just for them, by them—revitalizing smaller cities or opting for hybridized urban-burb enclaves where quality of life is the driving force.” 

Downtown Frederick also has the quality of life amenities these new professionals seek. According to the survey results, the following city attributes ranked high among students: 

  • 76%* want to live in a city with an active downtown after graduation
  • 76%* want to live in a city with many restaurants, bars, and shops
  • 78%* want to live near parks and outdoor activities

"We're pleased that Frederick's amenities align closely with what recent graduates are seeking," said Richard Griffin, Director of Economic Development for The City of Frederick.

Frederick is increasingly recognized as a great place for young professionals. Again in 2016, Frederick was named one of the "10 Best Places Near Washington, D.C. for Young Professionals" by Movoto.com. Frederick ranked at the top on Niche.com's 2016 list of "Best Towns for Millennials in Maryland."  

Sites ranking best cities for millennials or recent graduates use a variety of criteria, including job opportunities, access to bars and restaurants, and affordable housing. According to Niche.com a "high ranking indicates that a town attracts millennials with an affordable, diverse community and lots of things to do." Frederick was recently ranked by wallethub.com as one of the most diverse small cities in America, coming in at #8. 

The local survey also revealed other important information about how graduates choose where to live. Nearby 90% of all respondents want to live near where they work and 60% want to live with other recent graduates. 

"Having recent grads choose to remain in Frederick is great for our community and great for businesses that rely on a talented workforce," said Griffin. "We're proud they want to call Frederick home." 

About the Survey - The survey was developed by Fall 2015 intern Nick Masucci from Hood College. 103 responses were gathered and 97% of respondents were undergraduate college students at the time of taking the survey. 85% of respondents were enrolled at Hood College at the time of taking the survey.

*percentage derived of students that "agreed" or "strongly agreed" they wanted to live in a city with these attributes.

Michelle Kershner is the Business Development Specialist for the City of Frederick Department of Economic Development.