The 10 Most Affordable College Towns in America

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Logan, Utah
Dan Tiego / Shutterstock.com

From young folks just starting out to retirees looking to relocate, finding an affordable town to live in can be challenging.

College towns offer some of the best places to find reasonably priced digs and a vibrant culture. Recently, WalletHub looked at 415 college towns and cities to find the best overall as well as the best for wallet-friendliness specifically.

The factors WalletHub examined to determine wallet-friendliness were:

  • Cost of living for young people
  • Housing costs
  • Cost of higher education
  • Per-capita student loan debt
  • Share of rental units
  • Average monthly fitness-club fee
  • Average cost of pizza and burgers
  • Movie and bowling cost

Following are the college towns that WalletHub says are most affordable.

Statesboro, Georgia

The Averitt Center for the Arts, Statesboro, Georgia
Joe Lafoon / Shutterstock.com

Rank for wallet-friendliness: No. 10 out of 415

Overall rank: No. 277 out of 415

Local higher-education institutions include: Georgia Southern University, East Georgia State College

In 1803, cotton farmers founded Statesboro, which retains a small-town feel. Locals enjoy 30 acres of indoor and outdoor fun — from bowling to golf and a go-cart raceway — at an area known as The Clubhouse.

Killeen, Texas

Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

Rank for wallet-friendliness: No. 9 out of 415

Overall rank: No. 139 out of 415

Local higher-education institutions include: Central Texas College, Texas A&M University-Central Texas

The king of rock and roll — Elvis Presley — lived in Killeen when he was in the Army at nearby Fort Hood. Now renamed Fort Cavazos, the military post has a large impact on Killeen’s economy.

Rexburg, Idaho

Rexburg, Idaho
Don Fletcher / Shutterstock.com

Rank for wallet-friendliness: No. 8 out of 415

Overall rank: No. 6 out of 415

Local higher-education institutions include: Brigham Young University-Idaho

Rexburg is part of the fourth-fastest-growing micropolitan area — meaning an area of at least 10,000 people but less than 50,000 — in the United States. The city has a reputation for being safe.

Oxford, Ohio

Oxford, Ohio
Daleina Cowman / Shutterstock.com

Rank for wallet-friendliness: No. 7 out of 415

Overall rank: No. 30 out of 415

Local higher-education institutions include: Miami University

Nearly 19,000 students venture into Oxford to attend Miami University each year. The town is surrounded by farms that have been in the same families for generations.

Nacogdoches, Texas

Sculpture and plaque marking the Fredonia Rebellion in Texas
Roberto Galan / Shutterstock.com

Rank for wallet-friendliness: No. 6 out of 415

Overall rank: No. 327 out of 415

Local higher-education institutions include: Stephen F. Austin State University, Angelina College

Nacogdoches was founded in 1779 and is the oldest town in Texas. It has earned a reputation for its gardens, including Gayla and Ruby Mize Azalea Gardens, the largest of its kind in the state.

McAllen, Texas

Rio Grande river, McAllen, Texas
MechanicSloth / Shutterstock.com

Rank for wallet-friendliness: No. 5 out of 415

Overall rank: No. 80 out of 415

Local higher-education institutions include: South Texas College

McAllen is one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S. It has a reputation as a shopping destination and features nearly 700 restaurants. But the city on the Rio Grande might be most renowned as one of the best spots for birding in the U.S.

Logan, Utah

Utah State University in Logan
EQRoy / Shutterstock.com

Rank for wallet-friendliness: No. 4 out of 415

Overall rank: No. 59 out of 415

Local higher-education institutions include: Utah State University, Bridgerland Technical College

Logan is a nature lover’s paradise. It is located at the foot of the Bear River Range, and biking, hiking, fishing, golf and skiing all reign supreme.

Brownsville, Texas

Brownsville, Texas
Danita Delimont / Shutterstock.com

Rank for wallet-friendliness: No. 3 out of 415

Overall rank: No. 124 out of 415

Local higher-education institutions include: University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Texas Southmost College, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Public Health (UTSPH)

Brownsville is the largest city in the Rio Grande Valley. The border city has seen local wealth quadruple in the past 15 years.

Brookings, South Dakota

Brookings, South Dakota
Jacob Boomsma / Shutterstock.com

Rank for wallet-friendliness: No. 2 out of 415

Overall rank: No. 215 out of 415

Local higher-education institutions include: South Dakota State University

Located just a few minutes from the South Dakota-Minnesota border, Brookings is known for its low crime rate and fine health care facilities. Residents do not pay personal property or state income taxes.

Edinburgh, Texas

Grand Canyon University Antelopes vs the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros college basketball game
Keeton Gale / Shutterstock.com

Rank for wallet-friendliness: No. 1 out of 415

Overall rank: No. 211 out of 415

Local higher-education institutions include: University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Rio Grande Bible Seminary (Seminario Biblico Rio Grande)

The county seat of Hidalgo County, Edinburg describes itself as “a pro-business community with an excellent quality of life, educational facilities and strong civic pride.” It has a population of more than 85,000.

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