College is about more than book learning—it’s about experiencing the world as an adult for the first time. The right college town can be the perfect background to countless adventures and nights you’ll remember for the rest of your life. But with so many universities across the US to choose from, it can be hard to nail down the best option. That’s where HighSpeedInternet.com can help.
Our tool The US City You Should be Living In uses data from sites across the web, including Census.gov, Obrella.com, Safewise.com, C2ER, City-Data.com, Kelly Norton, and Walk Score to find cities that match your wants and needs. By taking into account factors like low cost of living, access to high-speed internet, walkability, low crime rate, and a predominantly single and educated population, we adapted this tool to find cities with an ideal environment for college students.
The Top 5 US Cities for College Students
5. Santa Monica, California
Home of Santa Monica College and The Art Institute of California—Los Angeles
If you love the sun and surf, Santa Monica is the place for you. Students here can take advantage of the discounted bike share initiative or the Big Blue Bus to get around town and to the beach. That means it’s easy to head out to the city’s favorite hangout spots: Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica Pier, and Santa Monica Beach. This college town is vibrant and engaging with tons of free things to do, which is perfect for thrill-seeking students. And when you’re ready to take a break from all that fun to study, you’ll be pleased to know local internet speeds reach up to 100 Mbps.
4. College Station, Texas
Home of Texas A&M University
Students who love community, festivals, and football will fit right in to life in College Station. This city sits nearly equidistant from Austin, Dallas, and Houston, though you’d have to drive for over an hour to reach any of them. But there’s a lot to enjoy just sticking around town, including attending concerts arranged by MSC Town Hall, strolling around the lovely Lick Creek Park, and hitting up the student-favorite rooftop bar, 12 Northgate. The drinking scene here has its own classy spin with local brewery New Republic Brewing Co. and many award-winning wineries. Just make sure you save some time for studying! There are plenty of internet providers to choose from in College Station, and Suddenlink offers fast speeds perfect for students who are into streaming and gaming.
3. Provo, Utah
Home of Brigham Young University and Provo College
If you’re single and looking for lots of dates, Provo is the place to be. The dating culture is pervasive throughout the community, so get ready to take your honey to the BYU Creamery for ice cream, Divine Comedy for an improv show, or Provo Canyon for a hike. You can also take part in intramural sports and school sporting events. Just keep in mind that BYU’s honor code forbids drinking and several other behaviors it deems unseemly, so Provo is a relatively tame college town. At least there’s great internet, with available speeds up to 1,000 Mbps with Google Fiber and Utopia.
2. Ann Arbor, Michigan
Home of University of Michigan, Cleary University, Concordia University Ann Arbor, and Washtenaw Community College
Fans of adventure will have a long bucket list in Ann Arbor. There are great places like Blimpy Burger and Iorios Gelato to chow down at and the Argo Cascades for kayaking and rafting. Plus, you’ll have more community events than you can shake a stick at. And if you can’t get enough of all things whimsical, you’ll love Ann Arbor favorites like Graffiti Alley, the Fairy Doors, and the Violin Monster. It will be hard to tear yourself away from everything there is to do in this college town, but when you manage to, you can get online with any of Ann Arbor’s competing internet providers.
1. West Chester, Pennsylvania
Home of West Chester University
West Chester has something for everybody. You can take a walk down West Chester’s historic Main Street, one of three winners of the 2017 Great American Main Street Award, or hike through the peaceful Stroud Preserve. Then grab some grub at Rams Head Bar & Grill or Barnabys Restaurant & Pub. And if you’re a West Chester University student, be sure to put Sykes After Dark on your calendar for each Friday night. This free program offers a wide variety of live interactive events you won’t be able to get enough of. And if you’re looking for a quiet night in, you can look forward to great deals on internet from Verizon Fios and Xfinity.
Did your college town make the cut, or are you calling for a recount? Comment below to tell us the best thing about where you go (or went) to school.