Special Report

The 30 Best College Towns in America


To identify the best college towns in America, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed U.S. Census Bureau data about the affordability, economic conditions, health, safety, commutability, and arts, entertainment, and dining options in college towns across the country. We considered cities, towns, and villages with at least 30,000 residents and 25% college enrollment. 

The number of degree-granting colleges and universities (including graduate degrees) in each city or surrounding county in 2020 comes from the National Center for Education Statistics. 

Data on enrollment by college also comes from the NCES and is for 2020. The percentages of adults with at least a bachelor’s degree in each city are five-year estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey. 

The number of restaurants per 100,000 county residents came from the U.S Census Bureau’s County Business Patterns and are for 2019.

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