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America's Coolest College Towns

Updated 8 Mar 2020 24.0k votes 3.6k voters 68.7k views84 items

List RulesFavorite US cities in which a significant portion of the population is made up of college students.

List of the best college towns and cities. These locations provide not just a great university giving students a world-class education, but also a fun and diverse environment that'd conducive to learning, building a community and personal network and, more generally, gaining life experience. (There's also some fun places to party in most of them. You know, if any college students you know are into that sort of thing.)

A college town can refer to any area where the population is considerably impacted, or even dominated, by a local college or university. Typically, this indicates an area that has a relatively low population compared to the number of students at a university. Large cities with a lot of university students - such as Boston or Philadelphia - do not typically count as "college towns" because of the overall number of cities counter-acting the influence of college students.

Towns that do have an overwhelmingly large number of college students tend to be impacted in familiar ways. Often, there will be additional bookstores, coffee shops, independent movie theaters, record stores and other businesses that appeal largely to a younger, academic demographic. Additionally, there will also be a surplus of bars and inexpensive restaurants. Rent prices also tend to be affected by the demand for housing in the area near to the university, or to public transportation leading to the university.

This list collects Ranker Community picks for the coolest, most fun college towns in the US. Vote up your favorites, and if the place where your favorite townies live isn't listed, make your own version of the list and add it on there!
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