Best College Towns in America

We ranked the Top 50 Best College Towns in American based on crime, public schools, cost of living, job opportunities, and local amenities, as part of our 2017 Best Places to Live in America.

See where your favorite college town ranks!

 

Rank Town Name State Niche Overall Grade Town Population Affordability Grade Associated College
Rank 1
Town Name Ann Arbor
State MI
Niche Overall Grade A+
Town Population 116,194
Affordability Grade B-
Rank 2
Town Name Princeton
State NJ
Niche Overall Grade A+
Town Population 28,936
Affordability Grade C-
Associated College Princeton University
Rank 3
Town Name Chapel Hill
State NC
Niche Overall Grade A+
Town Population 58,766
Affordability Grade C
Rank 4
Town Name Berkeley
State CA
Niche Overall Grade A+
Town Population 117,384
Affordability Grade D+
Rank 5
Town Name Newton
State MA
Niche Overall Grade A+
Town Population 87,675
Affordability Grade C-
Associated College Boston College
Rank 6
Town Name Davis
State CA
Niche Overall Grade A+
Town Population 66,510
Affordability Grade D+
Rank 7
Town Name Evanston
State IL
Niche Overall Grade A+
Town Population 75,603
Affordability Grade C
Associated College Northwestern University
Rank 8
Town Name Boulder
State CO
Niche Overall Grade A+
Town Population 103,919
Affordability Grade C-
Rank 9
Town Name Wellesley
State MA
Niche Overall Grade A+
Town Population 28,832
Affordability Grade C-
Associated College Wellesley College
Rank 10
Town Name Irvine
State CA
Niche Overall Grade A+
Town Population 238,474
Affordability Grade D
Rank 11
Town Name Cambridge
State MA
Niche Overall Grade A+
Town Population 107,916
Affordability Grade C-
Rank 12
Town Name Ames
State IA
Niche Overall Grade A+
Town Population 62,815
Affordability Grade B
Associated College Iowa State University
Rank 13
Town Name Richardson
State TX
Niche Overall Grade A+
Town Population 106,123
Affordability Grade B
Associated College University of Texas - Dallas
Rank 14
Town Name Davidson
State NC
Niche Overall Grade A+
Town Population 11,765
Affordability Grade B-
Associated College Davidson College
Rank 15
Town Name State College
State PA
Niche Overall Grade A+
Town Population 42,129
Affordability Grade C-
Associated College Penn State
Rank 16
Town Name Blacksburg
State VA
Niche Overall Grade A+
Town Population 43,530
Affordability Grade C
Associated College Virginia Tech
Rank 17
Town Name Granville
State OH
Niche Overall Grade A+
Town Population 5,706
Affordability Grade B-
Associated College Denison University
Rank 18
Town Name Hanover
State NH
Niche Overall Grade A+
Town Population 11,348
Affordability Grade C-
Associated College Dartmouth College
Rank 19
Town Name Hamilton
State NY
Niche Overall Grade A+
Town Population 4,064
Affordability Grade C+
Associated College Colgate University
Rank 20
Town Name West Lafayette
State IN
Niche Overall Grade A+
Town Population 43,999
Affordability Grade C+
Associated College Purdue University
Rank 21
Town Name Madison
State WI
Niche Overall Grade A+
Town Population 243,122
Affordability Grade B-
Associated College University of Wisconsin
Rank 22
Town Name Lawrence
State KS
Niche Overall Grade A+
Town Population 91,305
Affordability Grade B
Associated College University of Kansas
Rank 23
Town Name Amherst
State MA
Niche Overall Grade A+
Town Population 39,482
Affordability Grade C-
Associated College Amherst College
Rank 24
Town Name Auburn
State AL
Niche Overall Grade A+
Town Population 58,693
Affordability Grade B-
Associated College Auburn University
Rank 25
Town Name Northfield
State MN
Niche Overall Grade A+
Town Population 20,309
Affordability Grade B+
Associated College Carleton College
Rank 26
Town Name Iowa City
State IA
Niche Overall Grade A+
Town Population 71,832
Affordability Grade B-
Associated College University of Iowa
Rank 27
Town Name Manhattan
State KS
Niche Overall Grade A+
Town Population 55,769
Affordability Grade B
Associated College Kansas State University
Rank 28
Town Name East Lansing
State MI
Niche Overall Grade A+
Town Population 48,669
Affordability Grade C+
Associated College Michigan State University
Rank 29
Town Name Fort Collins
State CO
Niche Overall Grade A+
Town Population 153,292
Affordability Grade C
Associated College Colorado State University
Rank 30
Town Name Columbia
State MO
Niche Overall Grade A+
Town Population 115,391
Affordability Grade B
Associated College University of Missouri
Rank 31
Town Name University Heights
State OH
Niche Overall Grade A+
Town Population 13,331
Affordability Grade B
Associated College John Carroll University
Rank 32
Town Name Pullman
State WA
Niche Overall Grade A+
Town Population 31,502
Affordability Grade C-
Associated College Washington State University
Rank 33
Town Name Claremont
State CA
Niche Overall Grade A+
Town Population 35,762
Affordability Grade D+
Associated College Pomona College
Rank 34
Town Name Williamstown
State MA
Niche Overall Grade A+
Town Population 7,605
Affordability Grade C+
Associated College Williams College
Rank 35
Town Name Clemson
State SC
Niche Overall Grade A+
Town Population 14,664
Affordability Grade B-
Associated College Clemson University
Rank 36
Town Name Fayetteville
State AR
Niche Overall Grade A+
Town Population 79,037
Affordability Grade B
Associated College University of Arkansas
Rank 37
Town Name Golden
State CO
Niche Overall Grade A+
Town Population 19,780
Affordability Grade C-
Associated College Colorado School of Mines
Rank 38
Town Name Oberlin
State OH
Niche Overall Grade A+
Town Population 8,356
Affordability Grade A-
Associated College Oberlin College
Rank 39
Town Name Ithaca
State NY
Niche Overall Grade A+
Town Population 30,565
Affordability Grade C-
Associated College Cornell University
Rank 40
Town Name College Station
State TX
Niche Overall Grade A+
Town Population 101,141
Affordability Grade C+
Associated College Texas A&M University
Rank 41
Town Name Gambier
State OH
Niche Overall Grade A+
Town Population 2,482
Affordability Grade A-
Associated College Kenyon College
Rank 42
Town Name Coral Gables
State FL
Niche Overall Grade A
Town Population 50,059
Affordability Grade C
Associated College University of Miami
Rank 43
Town Name Charlottesville
State VA
Niche Overall Grade A
Town Population 45,084
Affordability Grade C+
Associated College University of Virginia
Rank 44
Town Name Bloomington
State IN
Niche Overall Grade A
Town Population 82,813
Affordability Grade B-
Rank 45
Town Name Tempe
State AZ
Niche Overall Grade A
Town Population 169,816
Affordability Grade C+
Associated College Arizona State University
Rank 46
Town Name Houghton
State MI
Niche Overall Grade A
Town Population 7,942
Affordability Grade B
Rank 47
Town Name San Luis Obispo
State CA
Niche Overall Grade A
Town Population 46,337
Affordability Grade D+
Rank 48
Town Name Decorah
State IA
Niche Overall Grade A
Town Population 8,009
Affordability Grade A-
Associated College Luther College
Rank 49
Town Name Morgantown
State WV
Niche Overall Grade A
Town Population 30,164
Affordability Grade B
Associated College West Virginia University
Rank 50
Town Name Champaign
State IL
Niche Overall Grade A
Town Population 84,008
Affordability Grade B

Author: Alex Caffee

Marketing and Business Analyst at Niche. Dessert aficionado. Found my Niche in Pittsburgh, PA!

Best College Towns in America