Best Places to Live

Springfield, IL

Population: 115,520
Photo: University of Illinois Springfield

University of Illinois in Springfield, IL, packs a lot of action into a small town, and the state's capital even made one of our Most Affordable Cities in Illinois. Eighty-five student organizations and various student-led initiatives like Late Night Stars, an event that occurs three times a semester and revolves around a particular theme, help students make the most of the small-town atmosphere. When students wander into the surrounding Springfield, they'll likely be found milling through White Oaks Mall, the largest enclosed shopping area in central Illinois, or taking part in Springfield's surprisingly lively music scene. Local bands often rock the 30-story Hilton Springfield and popular nightclubs such as Buster's, Norb Andy's, Marly's Pub and Trading Post.