The Best College Towns in America

Who says you have to be a student to live in (and love!) a college town?

We ranked the Top 50 Best College Towns in the U.S. based on public schools, cost of living, job opportunities, crime, and local amenities as part of our 2018 Best Places to Live in America.

See where your favorite college town ranks!

Rank Town Name State Town's Overall Niche Grade Town Population Town Affordability Grade Associated College
Rank 1
Town Name Ann Arbor
State MI
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Town Population 118,087
Town Affordability Grade C+
Rank 2
Town Name Berkeley
State CA
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Town Population 118,585
Town Affordability Grade D+
Rank 3
Town Name Evanston
State IL
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Town Population 75,472
Town Affordability Grade C
Associated College Northwestern University
Rank 4
Town Name Princeton
State NJ
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Town Population 30,168
Town Affordability Grade C-
Associated College Princeton University
Rank 5
Town Name Newton
State MA
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Town Population 88,317
Town Affordability Grade C-
Associated College Boston College
Rank 6
Town Name Cambridge
State MA
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Town Population 108,757
Town Affordability Grade C-
Rank 7
Town Name Granville
State OH
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Town Population 5,725
Town Affordability Grade B
Associated College Denison University
Rank 8
Town Name Richardson
State TX
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Town Population 108,350
Town Affordability Grade B
Associated College University of Texas - Dallas
Rank 9
Town Name Irvine
State CA
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Town Population 246,992
Town Affordability Grade D
Rank 10
Town Name Davidson
State NC
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Town Population 12,076
Town Affordability Grade B-
Associated College Davidson College
Rank 11
Town Name Chapel Hill
State NC
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Town Population 59,005
Town Affordability Grade C
Rank 12
Town Name Wellesley
State MA
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Town Population 28,909
Town Affordability Grade C-
Associated College Wellesley College
Rank 13
Town Name Davis
State CA
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Town Population 66,886
Town Affordability Grade D+
Rank 14
Town Name Hanover
State NH
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Town Population 11,371
Town Affordability Grade C-
Associated College Dartmouth College
Rank 15
Town Name Lawrence
State KS
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Town Population 92,611
Town Affordability Grade B
Associated College University of Kansas
Rank 16
Town Name Ames
State IA
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Town Population 64,073
Town Affordability Grade B
Associated College Iowa State University
Rank 17
Town Name Boulder
State CO
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Town Population 105,420
Town Affordability Grade D+
Rank 18
Town Name State College
State PA
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Town Population 42,074
Town Affordability Grade C-
Associated College Penn State
Rank 19
Town Name Blacksburg
State VA
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Town Population 43,973
Town Affordability Grade C
Associated College Virginia Tech
Rank 20
Town Name Iowa City
State IA
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Town Population 72,385
Town Affordability Grade B-
Associated College University of Iowa
Rank 21
Town Name Madison
State WI
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Town Population 246,034
Town Affordability Grade B-
Associated College University of Wisconsin
Rank 22
Town Name Fairfax
State VA
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Town Population 23,620
Town Affordability Grade C
Associated College George Mason University
Rank 23
Town Name West Lafayette
State IN
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Town Population 44,543
Town Affordability Grade C+
Associated College Purdue University
Rank 24
Town Name Gambier
State OH
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Town Population 2,469
Town Affordability Grade A-
Associated College Kenyon College
Rank 25
Town Name Druid Hills
State GA
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Town Population 13,444
Town Affordability Grade C
Associated College Emory University
Rank 26
Town Name Hamilton
State NY
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Town Population 4,020
Town Affordability Grade C+
Associated College Colgate University
Rank 27
Town Name Manhattan
State KS
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Town Population 55,909
Town Affordability Grade B
Associated College Kansas State University
Rank 28
Town Name Auburn
State AL
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Town Population 60,318
Town Affordability Grade C+
Associated College Auburn University
Rank 29
Town Name Williamstown
State MA
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Town Population 7,592
Town Affordability Grade C+
Associated College Williams College
Rank 30
Town Name East Lansing
State MI
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Town Population 48,395
Town Affordability Grade C+
Associated College Michigan State University
Rank 31
Town Name University Heights
State OH
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Town Population 13,273
Town Affordability Grade B
Associated College John Carroll University
Rank 32
Town Name Clemson
State SC
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Town Population 15,008
Town Affordability Grade B-
Associated College Clemson University
Rank 33
Town Name Coral Gables
State FL
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Town Population 50,533
Town Affordability Grade C-
Associated College University of Miami
Rank 34
Town Name Columbia
State MO
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Town Population 117,165
Town Affordability Grade B
Associated College University of Missouri
Rank 35
Town Name Northfield
State MN
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Town Population 20,405
Town Affordability Grade B+
Associated College Carleton College
Rank 36
Town Name Claremont
State CA
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Town Population 35,827
Town Affordability Grade D+
Associated College Pomona College
Rank 37
Town Name Amherst
State MA
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Town Population 39,724
Town Affordability Grade C-
Associated College Amherst College
Rank 38
Town Name Fort Collins
State CO
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Town Population 157,251
Town Affordability Grade C-
Associated College Colorado State University
Rank 39
Town Name Williamsburg
State VA
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Town Population 14,988
Town Affordability Grade C
Associated College College of William & Mary
Rank 40
Town Name Oberlin
State OH
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Town Population 8,353
Town Affordability Grade A-
Associated College Oberlin College
Rank 41
Town Name Pullman
State WA
Town's Overall Niche Grade A
Town Population 32,176
Town Affordability Grade C-
Associated College Washington State University
Rank 42
Town Name Fayetteville
State AR
Town's Overall Niche Grade A
Town Population 80,552
Town Affordability Grade B
Associated College University of Arkansas
Rank 43
Town Name College Station
State TX
Town's Overall Niche Grade A
Town Population 104,684
Town Affordability Grade C+
Associated College Texas A&M University
Rank 44
Town Name Decorah
State IA
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Town Population 7,985
Town Affordability Grade A-
Associated College Luther College
Rank 45
Town Name Houghton
State MI
Town's Overall Niche Grade A
Town Population 7,924
Town Affordability Grade B-
Rank 46
Town Name Corvallis
State OR
Town's Overall Niche Grade A
Town Population 55,766
Town Affordability Grade C-
Associated College Oregon State University
Rank 47
Town Name Charlottesville
State VA
Town's Overall Niche Grade A
Town Population 45,538
Town Affordability Grade C+
Associated College University of Virginia
Rank 48
Town Name Champaign
State IL
Town's Overall Niche Grade A
Town Population 84,672
Town Affordability Grade B
Rank 49
Town Name Tempe
State AZ
Town's Overall Niche Grade A
Town Population 174,708
Town Affordability Grade C
Associated College Arizona State University
Rank 50
Town Name Kings Point
State NY
Town's Overall Niche Grade A
Town Population 5,140
Town Affordability Grade D+
Why College Town Living Is the Best

Author: Ali Trachta

Ali is the Content Writer/Editor at Niche.

The Best College Towns in America