30 Best College Towns in America

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30. Madison, Wisconsin
> Pop. enrolled in college: 20.0% (49,718)
> No. of colleges and universities in the area: 15
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 57.1%
> Median age: 31.0
> 2018 unemployment: 2.2%
> Bars and restaurants: 319 per 100,000 people

Wisconsin’s capital city is also home to the University of Wisconsin, the largest postsecondary institution in the state. All told, there are nearly 50,000 college and graduate students living in Madison.

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29. Bellingham, Washington
> Pop. enrolled in college: 20.6% (17,551)
> No. of colleges and universities in the area: 4
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 43.0%
> Median age: 31.1
> 2018 unemployment: 4.5%
> Bars and restaurants: 378 per 100,000 people

The vast majority of the 17,551 college and graduate students living in Bellingham, Washington, are enrolled at Western Washington University, a public university with over 15,000 undergraduates.

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28. Fort Collins, Colorado
> Pop. enrolled in college: 20.6% (32,849)
> No. of colleges and universities in the area: 5
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 53.6%
> Median age: 29.2
> 2018 unemployment: 2.7%
> Bars and restaurants: 261 per 100,000 people

Fort Collins, Colorado, is home to several postsecondary institutions, including Front Range Community College and Colorado State University. As is often the case in college towns, Fort Collins is a young city. The typical resident is just 29 years old, nine years younger than the median age of nearly 38 nationwide.

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27. Chico, California
> Pop. enrolled in college: 20.8% (18,855)
> No. of colleges and universities in the area: 2
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 36.9%
> Median age: 29.9
> 2018 unemployment: 3.8%
> Bars and restaurants: 274 per 100,000 people

More than one in every five residents of Chico, California, are enrolled in college or graduate school. The city is home to California State University, Chico, and its more than 16,000 undergraduate students.

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26. Tuscaloosa, Alabama
> Pop. enrolled in college: 21.4% (20,849)
> No. of colleges and universities in the area: 4
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 36.4%
> Median age: 28.6
> 2018 unemployment: 4.3%
> Bars and restaurants: 263 per 100,000 people

Tuscaloosa is home to the University of Alabama, one of the largest schools in the United States. As is often the case in college towns, Tuscaloosa is a young city. The typical resident is just 28.6 years old, nine years younger than the median age of 37.8 nationwide.