Niche Resources
Niche Resources
Niche Resources

The 2019 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 2019 Best Places to Live in America.

See where your favorite college town ranks!

Rank City State Town Population Town's Overall Niche Grade Affordability Grade Associated College
Rank 1
City Ann Arbor
State Michigan
Town Population 119,303
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Affordability Grade C+
Rank 2
City Berkeley
State California
Town Population 120,179
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Affordability Grade D+
Rank 3
City Evanston
State Illinois
Town Population 75,557
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Affordability Grade C
Associated College Northwestern University
Rank 4
City Cambridge
State Massachusetts
Town Population 110,893
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Affordability Grade C-
Rank 5
City Newton
State Massachusetts
Town Population 88,479
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Affordability Grade C-
Associated College Boston College
Rank 6
City Princeton
State New Jersey
Town Population 30,722
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Affordability Grade C-
Associated College Princeton University
Rank 7
City Hanover
State New Hampshire
Town Population 11,428
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Affordability Grade C-
Associated College Dartmouth College
Rank 8
City Granville
State Ohio
Town Population 5,721
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Affordability Grade B
Associated College Denison University
Rank 9
City Davidson
State North Carolina
Town Population 12,325
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Affordability Grade B-
Associated College Davidson College
Rank 10
City Irvine
State California
Town Population 256,877
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Affordability Grade D
Rank 11
State North Carolina
Town Population 59,234
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Affordability Grade C
Rank 12
City Richardson
State Texas
Town Population 111,055
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Affordability Grade B
Associated College University of Texas - Dallas
Rank 13
City Lawrence
State Kansas
Town Population 93,954
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Affordability Grade B
Associated College University of Kansas
Rank 14
State Georgia
Town Population 13,895
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Affordability Grade C
Associated College Emory University
Rank 15
City Blacksburg
State Virginia
Town Population 44,079
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Affordability Grade C
Associated College Virginia Tech
Rank 16
City Ames
State Iowa
Town Population 65,005
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Affordability Grade B
Associated College Iowa State University
Rank 17
State Massachusetts
Town Population 7,623
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Affordability Grade C+
Associated College Williams College
Rank 18
City Manhattan
State Kansas
Town Population 55,427
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Affordability Grade B
Associated College Kansas State University
Rank 19
City Iowa City
State Iowa
Town Population 73,415
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Affordability Grade B-
Associated College University of Iowa
Rank 20
City Gambier
State Ohio
Town Population 2,493
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Affordability Grade A-
Associated College Kenyon College
Rank 21
State Pennsylvania
Town Population 42,224
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Affordability Grade C-
Associated College Penn State
Rank 22
City Wellesley
State Massachusetts
Town Population 29,004
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Affordability Grade C-
Associated College Wellesley College
Rank 23
City Madison
State Wisconsin
Town Population 248,856
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Affordability Grade B-
Associated College University of Wisconsin
Rank 24
City Boulder
State Colorado
Town Population 106,271
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Affordability Grade D+
Rank 25
City Hamilton
State New York
Town Population 4,015
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Affordability Grade C+
Associated College Colgate University
Rank 26
State Florida
Town Population 50,909
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Affordability Grade C-
Associated College University of Miami
Rank 27
City Auburn
State Alabama
Town Population 61,462
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Affordability Grade C+
Associated College Auburn University
Rank 28
State Ohio
Town Population 13,201
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Affordability Grade B
Associated College John Carroll University
Rank 29
State Arkansas
Town Population 81,889
Town's Overall Niche Grade A
Affordability Grade B
Associated College University of Arkansas
Rank 30
City Oberlin
State Ohio
Town Population 8,317
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Affordability Grade A-
Associated College Oberlin College
Rank 31
City Columbia
State Missouri
Town Population 118,620
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Affordability Grade B
Associated College University of Missouri
Rank 32
State Michigan
Town Population 48,281
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Affordability Grade C+
Associated College Michigan State University
Rank 33
City Claremont
State California
Town Population 35,949
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Affordability Grade D+
Associated College Pomona College
Rank 34
State Texas
Town Population 107,445
Town's Overall Niche Grade A
Affordability Grade C+
Associated College Texas A&M University
Rank 35
City Northfield
State Minnesota
Town Population 20,297
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Affordability Grade B+
Associated College Carleton College
Rank 36
State Colorado
Town Population 159,150
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Affordability Grade C-
Associated College Colorado State University
Rank 37
City Decorah
State Iowa
Town Population 7,850
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Affordability Grade A-
Associated College Luther College
Rank 38
State Virginia
Town Population 46,487
Town's Overall Niche Grade A
Affordability Grade C+
Associated College University of Virginia
Rank 39
City Norman
State Oklahoma
Town Population 119,820
Town's Overall Niche Grade A
Affordability Grade B+
Associated College Moore Norman Technology Center
Rank 40
City Pullman
State Washington
Town Population 32,382
Town's Overall Niche Grade A
Affordability Grade C-
Associated College Washington State University
Rank 41
City Corvallis
State Oregon
Town Population 56,224
Town's Overall Niche Grade A
Affordability Grade C-
Associated College Oregon State University
Rank 42
City Tempe
State Arizona
Town Population 178,339
Town's Overall Niche Grade A
Affordability Grade C
Associated College Arizona State University
Rank 43
State Florida
Town Population 129,394
Town's Overall Niche Grade A
Affordability Grade B-
Associated College University of Florida
Rank 44
City Champaign
State Illinois
Town Population 85,710
Town's Overall Niche Grade A
Affordability Grade B
Rank 45
City Houghton
State Michigan
Town Population 7,882
Town's Overall Niche Grade A
Affordability Grade B-
Rank 46
State Indiana
Town Population 83,636
Town's Overall Niche Grade A
Affordability Grade B-
Rank 47
City Ithaca
State New York
Town Population 30,720
Town's Overall Niche Grade A
Affordability Grade C-
Associated College Cornell University
Rank 48
State Virginia
Town Population 14,817
Town's Overall Niche Grade A+
Affordability Grade C
Associated College College of William & Mary
Rank 49
State California
Town Population 46,997
Town's Overall Niche Grade A
Affordability Grade D+
Associated College Laurus College
Rank 50
State New York
Town Population 5,181
Town's Overall Niche Grade A
Affordability Grade D+
Why College Town Living Is the Best

Author: Ali Trachta

Ali is the Content Writer/Editor at Niche. She's a content strategist and award-winning writer, as well as a former editor at LA Weekly and NEXTpittsburgh. As a mom of one who's lived and worked all across the country, she's glad to have once again found her niche in her hometown of Pittsburgh.