10 Most Affordable US College Towns for New Grads

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Now that you’ve got that college degree that gives you a key into “the company of educated men and women”–that’s what we were told at least–where are you planning to use that key? More and more, new college grads are staying put in the town they’ve come to know over the preceding four (or more) years.

College towns have a lot to offer. Good food, lively nightlife, and in many cases affordable housing. Another relatively recent development is that good, high-paying jobs are migrating to some of these towns as major U.S. companies discover that there’s a lot of talent between the coasts. Who knew?

Researchers at Realtor.com looked at the 700 largest real-estate markets in the county and made a first cut based on the town having at least one four-year university with at least 10,000 students. The towns were then ranked on a variety of factors including percentage of college students, unemployment rates, home appreciation, and median income.

Large cities did not make the list because even though, say Boston, has a lot of colleges and a lot of college students, as a percentage of the total population the number of students just isn’t big enough as a proportion of the total population. In the following list the top 10 college towns are ranked on the number of students, the median listing price of a home, and the median household income. For more discussion and details, see the Realtor.com website. https://www.realtor.com/news/trends/college-towns-recent-grads-stick-around/

  1. Ames, Iowa
    Number of college students: 34,935
    Median home list price: $265,200
    Median household income: $56,800
  2. State College, Pennsylvania
    Number of college students: 487,480
    Median home list price: $257,600
    Median household income: $61,100
  3. Lawrence, Kansas
    Number of college students: 28,883
    Median home list price: $289,000
    Median household income: $58,600
  4. Blacksburg, Virginia
    Number of college students: 46,722
    Median home list price: $231,400
    Median household income: $52,900
  5. Ithaca, New York
    Number of college students: 31,547
    Median home list price: $250,700
    Median household income: $61,700
  6. Ann Arbor, Michigan
    Number of college students: 75,929
    Median home list price: $334,100
    Median household income: $69,200
  7. Champaign, Illinois
    Number of college students: 51,442
    Median home list price: $158,100
    Median household income: $55,500
  8. Lafayette, Indiana
    Number of college students: 39,768
    Median home list price: $191,600
    Median household income: $54,000
  9. Columbia, Missouri
    Number of college students: 39,099
    Median home list price: $240,400
    Median household income: $53,500
  10. Iowa City, Iowa
    Number of college students: 29,192
    Median home list price: $290,000
    Median household income: $61,400