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Cheapest College Towns to Live In

18 April 2013 7 Comments

canstockphoto7411291College towns can be the greatest places to live in since the rents can be inexpensive. To describe them in a few words would be lifestyle and value.

College Towns Lifestyle & Value
For years it’s been well known that the majority of college students are poor with the exception of the ones who have affluent parents supplying them a steady stream of cash whenever they need it. As the result of the general student population being poor college towns have many restaurants, bars and local entertainment that is inexpensive or better yet cheap. Another great advantage to living in college towns is the sports. College teams are some of the best next to professional sports.

When it comes to transportation. Most college towns have walkways, trails and a dependable bus system that makes it easy to get around town with having a vehicle.

Stable Employment & Real Estate Opportunities
Yet another advantage to living in a college town is the steady employment. Wherever a college or university is located chances are you can always get a job. Colleges and universities never have layoffs or cut backs. Matter of fact if anything they raise tuition to keep the staff they have. This also makes the real estate market stable as well.

Also all businesses in the surrounding areas are stable again because of the college or university. These towns are also great for business start ups since many college students are always looking for opportunities to exercise the knowledge they have acquired in business. If the college or university is primarily focused on research most of the time they fund start up businesses in the local area. If their primary focus is in medical research chances are there is a medical research facility, hospital or medical center in the local area. Whatever the focus is of the college or university if there is a business in the local or surrounding area that shares the same focus there is guaranteed to be steady employment and numerous employment opportunities.

All of the options lead to stable employment and stable real estate in and around the local area.

If you are interested in owning real estate living in a college town is the perfect opportunity to own rental property since most college students always want to rent an apartment for the semester.

Which College Town is the Cheapest to live in?
The two deciding factors are the cost of living and housing. Below are the 10 cheapest college towns to live in.

The 10 cheap college towns live in are:

  1. University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee
  2. Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana
  3. Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan
  4. University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio
  5. Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan
  6. University of Buffalo, Buffalo, New York.
  7. University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada
  8. Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas
  9. Kent State University, Kent, Ohio
  10. Purdue University, Lafayette, Indiana

The list is in order from the most expensive to the least expensive. The two main deciding factor was the housing and employment markets in each of the areas.


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  • Mike@WeOnlyDoThisOnc said:

    Friends at TCU often complain about the lack of nightlife in town itself, but this is an interesting analysis of economic benefit. Great post!

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  • Mirko Kruse said:

    Great post. Families think so much about the cost of tuition but not enough about the cost-of-living in the town they send their children to. I’m a student at Boston College and am staying in Boston over the summer to work at a consultancy and I may have to return home before the summer is over just because it is too expensive here.

  • Scott H. said:

    I'm originally from the Toledo area and to a degree, you really don't want to live there. Crime of all sorts is really getting out of hand, except in the suburbs. It's an old rust belt not much different from Detroit or Pittsburgh, except smaller. The suburbs though are awesome. Try looking into Bowling Green, a city 45 minutes south, with its own university. It's a party school but, the community is affordable, has quaint shopping, big box stores and plenty of involvement in activities. There's farm land and history housing. It has a lot to offer.