15 College Towns To Live in After Studying

If you think of it, all college towns fall into two camps – those that are only good to live in during the college years and those that are just as good for a long-term commitment after graduation. What makes the two types of cities much different? The answer is threefold: job market, cultural and entertainment facilities, and the cost of living.

With this in mind, we’ve made a thorough research of all US cities that are commonly referred to as educational hubs and found out which of them are good for things other than studying. Turned out, there are 15 cities that seem to uniquely deliver on all fronts. Read on to find out if your (your kid’s) college town is there on the list.

Williamsburg, VA

Total population: 14,068
Median rental price: $1,125/mo
Top employers: Williams & Mary, NASA Langley Research Center, Mid-Atlantic Coca-Cola

Only 150 miles away from Washington, DC, there lies Williamsburg. Once the capital of Virginia, today this city is mostly famous for its unique collegiate atmosphere. Thanks to William & Mary University – the second oldest educational institution in the US – Williamsburg has gained its reputation of academic hub. But it turns out, Williamsburg is much more than that. The city offers ample opportunities for culture, shopping, dining, entertainment, and career. According to College Ranker, Williamsburg is the best town for pursuing a degree in history. A wonderful place to reside for those who value slow living more than the hustle and bustle of a big city.

Charlottesville, VA

Total population: 43,475
Median rental price: $1,165/mo
Top employers: University of Virginia, Pharmaceutical Research Association, Martha Jefferson Hospital

Whatever way you slice it, Charlottesville, VA, is a wonderful place to live. The town boasts a strong academic community, ample career opportunities, and the unique close-knit vibes you can hardly find in other towns of this size. Charlottesville is surrounded by picturesque hills and vineyards, which makes it exceptionally welcoming during summer and spring months. The town boasts a number of art galleries and annual cultural events, must-visit historical landmarks (read: Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello), as well as the welcoming atmosphere. Apartments in Charlottesville, Virginia, are relatively affordable even in the city center. However, thanks to the town’s attractive setting, Charlottesville is a comfortable place to live regardless of neighborhood you choose.

Long Beach, CA

Total population: 462,257
Median rental price: $2,123/mo
Top employers: Boeing, The US Postal Service, California State University

Exceptionally long beach (the one from which the city’s name is derived) is surely the biggest landmark of this city. Long Beach is deservedly considered one of the most gorgeous spots in California. Long Beach is as beautiful as it is diverse. Home to large Asian and Hispanic communities, it feels like a balanced interplay of cultures and traditions. California State University is the local’s top educational facility. It is mostly famous for programs in engineering and business. Pretty much like any other city in California, Long Beach is not among the cheapest places to reside in. Rental apartments in Long Beach, CA, area start at around $2,000 per month. However, you clearly see what you pay for – the area is just amazing.

Durham, NC

Total population: 228,330
Median rental price: $1,210/mo
Top employers: IBM, Duke University & Health System, GlaxoSmithKline

Home to top-rated Duke University, Durham is a relatively small town with a big city vibe. Once an important historical spot, today’s Durham is more about thriving economy and dynamic culture. Thanks to a definitive support for the arts, residents of Durham enjoy plenty of music, art, film, and dance festivals all year round. But what truly defines this place is its broad options in career and professional development. Living in Durham means being just a short drive away from the nation’s top professors and researchers. It also means living in proximity to Research Triangle Park – the leading research facility housing a great number of Fortune 500 companies. This all make Durham one of the top spots for young professionals.

Savannah, GA

Total population: 136,286
Median rental price: $1,048/mo
Top employers: Gulfstream Aerospace Corp., Kroger, St. Joseph/Candler

First and foremost, mind the important fact about Savannah. Believe it or not, but it’s the very first planned city in America. That’s why nothing is easier than navigating your way through the streets of this town. Savannah has got all the charm of the South and managed to preserve that historic atmosphere you won’t find elsewhere in the country. The spirit of history infuses the entire city, and it might be hard to tell in which century you’re in. Students are flocking to Savannah to pursue a degree in Savannah College of Art & Design or Savannah State University, and choose to strike roots for the sake of a laid-back lifestyle and affordable cost of living. Rental apartments near Savannah, Georgia, would cost you around $1,000/mo.

Fayetteville, AR

Total population: 73,580
Median rental price: $795/mo
Top employers: Walmart Optical Lab, University of Arkansas, J.B. Hunt

The place known for the University of Arkansas, Walmart headquarters, and exceptionally low unemployment rates, Fayetteville is the third largest city in the state of Arkansas. It boasts a moderate pace of life, remarkably light traffic, and affordable cost of living. Rental apartments in Fayetteville, AR, area start at only $800/month, which is massively cheaper compared to the national average. If you happened to study at the University of Arkansas, it’s your chance to drop anchor in the city of Fayetteville. Don’t miss it.

Morgantown, WV

Total population: 29,660
Median rental price: $793/mo
Top employers: West Virginia University, WVU Medicine, US Centers for Disease Control

Back in 2013, Morgantown was named one of the greatest places to live in by Kiplinger. A couple of new ratings have happened since then, but Morgantown is still considered the most underrated gem of West Virginia. High standards of healthcare, ample career opportunities, and a variety of outdoor activities make Morgantown a good place to live. If you’re one of those who prefers to swim against the burnout tide and have no plans to regularly overwork yourself, Morgantown might be your best bet. Apartments near Morgantown, WV, are mostly below $1,000 per month. And this means that you won’t have to limit your choice to affordable neighborhoods even at the first stage of your career.

Ann Arbor, MI

Total population: 113,934
Median rental price: $1,562/mo
Top employers: University of Michigan, Trinity Health, General Motors

Located in the northern part of Michigan, Ann Arbor is essentially a small college town that is rich in traditions and culture. While most of the people come to Ann Arbor because of the University of Michigan, the town is attractive in its own right. Thanks to its charming vibes, Ann Arbor deserves to be visited, discovered, and chosen for a lifetime. Local educational traditions run high, but Ann Arbor offers a lot of activities to keep its resident busy during after-classes hours. Several galleries, multiple bookstores, upscale restaurants and cozy cafes make it a comfortable place to live and appreciate the moment of living. The town might not top the list of most affordable spots in the country, but working for one of the area’s major employers will help you make more than enough for a comfortable living in Ann Arbor.

Syracuse, NY

Total population: 145,170
Median rental price: $797/mo
Top employers: Syracuse University, Verizon, Wegmans

The city of large performing arts community, multiple theaters, and opera house, Syracuse is also known for its two research universities – Upstate Medical University and Syracuse University. The city is made up of family-friendly neighborhoods lined with flowers and trees. Affordable rental prices make the city a good choice for young families and recent grads. Apartments in Syracuse, NY, can be rented at as little as $800 per month.

Malibu, CA

Total population: 12,645
Median rental price: $4,168/mo
Top employers: Petsmart, AppleOne, Pepperdine University

Commonly referred to as ‘27 miles of scenic beauty’, Malibu is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque spots on the entire West Coast. Home to a number of arts alliances and state parks, Malibu is mostly populated by Hollywood celebrities and students of Pepperdine University. As tourism and luxury property are the backbone of Malibu’s business, most of the local college grads choose to build their careers in these fields. There are countless of reasons forcing people to choose Malibu as their lifelong destination and one particular reason making them change their mind. Guess what? Cosmic rental prices are the answer. At the moment, apartments near Malibu, CA, are rented out at approximately $4,000 per month.

Tempe, AZ

Total population: 161,710
Median rental price: $1,119/mo
Top employers: Chase Manhattan Bank, Arizona State University, US Airways

The city of only 161,710 residents, Tempe is the right choice for those who choose the adequate pace of life over a never-ending hassle of the megapolis. The young blood is coming here because of the University of Phoenix and Arizona State University, but stay for the sake of up-and-coming economy, and diverse recreational facilities. Tempe was made for biking and hiking, and it’s got a number of water parks to keep you cool on hot summer days. A number of Fortune 500 companies, including First Solar, LifeLock, and Insight Enterprises, are based in Tempe, which makes it a good place for recent grads and young professionals.

Bloomington, IN

Total population: 80,405
Median rental price: $1,085/mo
Top employers: Indiana University Bloomington, Cook Group Inc., Baxter Healthcare Pharmaceuticals

Those who spent their college years at the University of Indiana Bloomington would confirm that the atmosphere of this college town is truly one-of-a-kind. This town feels like home even if you’ve been born and raised miles away. Living in Bloomington means living in walking distance to virtually everything. Go little ways and you’ll find whatever you’re looking for. Local students confirm that Bloomington has everything-and-more to offer, and that’s exactly what makes the young flock here in pursuit of a degree, new friends, and adult life. Median rental prices for apartments in Bloomington, IN, area start at around $1,000 per month.

St. Augustine, FL

Total population: 12,975
Median rental price: $1,121/mo
Top employers: Mayo Clinic, Dollar General, Aramark

To begin with, St. Augustine is the oldest town in sunny Florida. This mere fact should be enough to make you interested in visiting this place. What’s more, it is home to Flagler College with its famous campus located in Ponce de Leon Hotel. This fact should make you even more interested in this town. The city might be too small for the ambitious and restless, but it’s surely a perfect fit for those who’ve mastered the art of happy living. Apartments in St. Augustine, Florida, area for rent would cost you around $1,1100 per month. And let’s face the truth: it is a reasonable price to pay for living in such a sunny town of Florida.

Jacksonville, NC

Total population: 70,145
Median rental price: $1,197/mo
Top employers: Department of Defense, Wal-Mart Associates, Onslow County Board Of Education

While most of the people know Jacksonville as a military town, it’s also one of the best college towns to reside in after graduation. Coastal Carolina Community College, Webster University, and Mt Olive College are the most popular academic institutions in the area. The cost of living in Jacksonville, NC, is significantly beyond the national average, with apartments for rent starting at approximately $1,100-$1,200 per month.

College Station, TX

Total population: 93,857
Median rental price: $848/mo
Texas A&M University, Bryan I.S.D., Sanderson Farms Inc.

Living in Texas is good in its own right, but it’s getting even better if your precise location is College Station. The distinct spirit of South infuses the entire city, and you can’t help but adjust to the local vibes. A couple of years ago, College Station was ranked as the first most educated city in Taxes and 11th most educated one nationwide. Thanks to Texas A&M University, the local economy is thriving. The city hosts a number of research projects performed by the National Science Foundation, NASA, the National Institute of Health, and other big names. Apartments near College Station, TX cost less than $900 per month, which is yet another reason to take a closer look at this city.

Burnouts, late hours at work, and living in a permanent state of stress is no longer trendy. What’s trendy instead is striking roots in someplace that feels cozy and happy and home-like. Living in smaller cities is massively cheaper compared to living in major ones, but you still have plenty of opportunities in career, entertainment, and culture. If you happened to study in some of the towns listed above, think twice before leaving your college town after graduation. Chances are that staying for good will be your best bet.

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