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Small Towns and Big Universities

In the book The American College Town, Blake Gumprecht writes that a college town is a place where the number of four-year college students equals at least 20 percent of a town’s population. Muncie, Indiana, is one of nine college towns in Indiana. Across the country, these college towns exist the way they are economically and culturally because of the universities that exist there.

This week, Ball Bearings takes an in-depth look at the impact these universities have on their communities.

The Impact of a University,” letter by editor-in-chief Miranda Carney
College towns across the nation wouldn’t exist without the universities that define them.

College Town without the College,” video by Jessika Zachary and Dan Jacobsen
Residents of Muncie, Indiana discuss what the town would be like without Ball State University.

Breaking the Town and Gown Divide,” by Miller Kern
University students feel a disconnect with the town they call home for four years.

The Economy of a College Town,” by Keagan Beresford
College towns like Muncie, Indiana face challenges to thrive economically.

Location Matters,” column by Colton LeTourneau
Despite the opportunities available in bigger cities, many students continue to choose attending college in smaller towns

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  • Over It says: February 29, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    Outside of ball state Muncie is not nice, this college is not supportive or the small city it resides in. ball state pays no taxes to the city and still has the ability to take land to build on and pays the owners at the lowest possible cost to the citizens for the property. The citizens help pay for buildings parking garages and to pave the roads in ball state out of the citizens pockets. If you go to any other city or “college town” the school takes pride in where they reside the towns look so nice and the city embraces the college. This is not any ball state students fault it is a political issue. The citizens of Muncie I believe are fed up with giving all they can to a college who gives back so little. And just because they might take a small class of students to “give back to the community is not what I’m talking about”.

    • Miranda Carney says: March 1, 2016 at 6:18 pm

      Thank you for your response. Part of our goal with these stories is to generate a conversation about the relationship between Ball State and Muncie. We recognize there are many layers to this issue and appreciate you adding your voice to the conversation.

      Miranda Carney

    • Kelli Huth says: March 2, 2016 at 2:17 pm

      I’m sorry you think that Muncie isn’t nice. I hope you’ve really given it a chance and have taken the time to explore different areas. There are certainly citizens who don’t know what BSU students, faculty and staff give back to Muncie, but there are many who do and who appreciate the relationship between campus and the community. We don’t just take one small class of students out each semester – there are dozens of projects every single semester! There are many more student who volunteer for organizations across the County and many more who even serve on nonprofit boards. We need to students to be active in the community to help shape and build it for residents in the future….and to learn from the valuable mentors who live here. If you’re interested in learning more about great things in Muncie, watch these BSU student-produced videos:


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