Harvard University's iconic campus across the Charles River from Boston

Large cities with multiple colleges or large campuses tend to attract great nightlife and cheap eats on or near campus. They also offer tons of cultural events in the metro area.

This combination is great for empty nesters, renters on budgets or anyone who appreciates multi-cultural learning opportunities and entertainment. College towns rock! They offer a vibrant lifestyle and it’s inspiring to be around students. City neighborhoods near universities offer all this in spades.

Citylab.com has charted enrollment data for some 750 metro and micropolitan locations across the U.S. Here are some fun facts from the study:

  • More than half (55.9%) of America’s 9.5 million college students attend college in only 52 metros, each with populations over 1 million people.
  • More than a quarter (27.6%) of all college students (4.7 million students) go to school in the nation’s 10 largest metros.

Living near a college campus is a great way to stay young at heart, have access to all sorts of fun events, and stay more in tune with pop culture. City life assures access to great healthcare, public transportation, at least one major airport and other city “perks.”

Neighborhood businesses are inspiring when filled with college students
It’s inspiring to see your own neighborhood’s businesses filled with college students passionate about the future.

If you’re looking for an apartment in a city where universities are prevalent, check out the list below. Click on the college or university you’re interested in living near, and you’ll see the closest apartments to that campus.

America’s Cities with Most Colleges or College Students

  1. New York City

1,057,288 college students

Top Colleges: NYU, Columbia, CUNY, Fordham

  1. Los Angeles

974,013 collage students

Top Colleges: UCLA, USC, Occidental, Loyola-Marymount

Los Angeles apartments give empty nesters a city the grandkids will love to visit.
Los Angeles apartments give empty nesters access to college perks AND a city the grandkids will love to visit.
  1. Chicago

502,189 college students

Top Colleges: University of Chicago, Northwestern University, University of Illinois at Chicago

  1. Boston

346,157 college students

Top Colleges: Harvard, MIT, Boston University, Boston College

Harvard Yard near Boston
Most campuses give neighbors a beautiful place to walk, rght in the city, along with educational opportunities.
  1. Philadelphia

342,994 total students

Top Colleges: University of Pennsylvania, Drexel, Temple, Villanova

  1. Miami

308,348 college students

Top Colleges: University of Miami, Florida International University, Florida Atlantic

Miami, with all its universities and colleges, also delivers on sunshine.
Miami, with all its universities and colleges, also delivers on sunshine.
  1. Dallas

302,572 college students

Top Colleges: Southern Methodist University, University of Texas at Dallas, University of Texas at Arlington

  1. Washington, D.C.

293,391 college students

Top Colleges: Georgetown University, George Washington, American

  1. San Francisco

279,887 college students

Top Colleges: University of California at Berkeley, University of California, San Francisco

Grant Avenue - Chinatown - San Francisco - California
Many college cities – like San Francisco, shown here – offer a multi-cultural lifestyle with relocation.
  1. Houston

270,350 college students

Top Colleges: Rice University, University of Houston

What are your favorite college towns? What do you like most about the idea of living in a city with lots of college campuses? Get social with us and let us know below!

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About The Author

Kari Lloyd has been a freelance writer for over 15 years. A Chicago native and recent Atlanta transplant, Kari spent 10 years living in London, UK where she worked as a music journalist and restaurant reviewer.

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