Best Places to Live

2019 10 Best College Towns

From academics to job opportunities to fun things to do, these college towns come out on top.

2019 10 Best College Towns

The Top 10 College Towns 2019 list came to life through a collaboration between Livability.com and ABODO Apartments, the leading off-campus and young professional apartment search engine in the U.S. ABODO produces rent reports for cities of all sizes across the country — from expensive Chicago to small college towns, you'll find all the rental data you need at ABODO.

Think college towns are just for rowdy undergrads? Think again.

These energetic cities across the country are home to innovative small businesses, tons of fun activities, family-friendly annual events and thriving downtown scenes complete with arts, culture and delicious local cuisine. Plus, you’ll benefit from living and working near a college or university, where dedicated students and ingenious faculty members are conducting cutting-edge research and working to solve some of the world’s biggest problems — and their creativity and enthusiasm is contagious.

To determine the Best College Towns in America for 2019, Livability and ABODO ranked all U.S. cities with at least one college campus and a population between 20,000 and 350,000 based on the following factors:

  • 30% – The ratio of the city’s median salary (from the Bureau of Labor Statistics) to its September 2019 median one-bedroom rent

  • 30% – The percentage of the population that is aged 20 to 29

  • 20% – The number of jobs in the education sector per 1,000 jobs in the city

  • 20% – The ratio of the median salary in the city to the nation for education jobs 

Curious to see if the town where you went to college made the list? Read on to learn more about what makes these college towns unique, local campus traditions and must-visit spots around town.

Start the List