Best College Towns in the South

college towns in the south

The south is a perfect mix of inexpensive living and countless beautiful college towns.  Regardless of what corner of the south you find yourself in, there are plenty of options for where to go to school or where to live: so how do you pick?  

These are the top college towns in the south, and why they may be the perfect choice for you.

Why A College Town?

College towns have a complicated relationship with public opinion.  Some think these are just party towns, while others assume that it’s just somewhere you live until you graduate, but that’s not true!  The average college town will have a younger population, of course, but that’s what keeps the area feeling fresh and exciting.

These can be awesome places for families to move if they want their kids to go to school close to them and can be great for young couples who want to live in an area that never seems to age.


Population: 96,000.

Local school: University of Texas.

As the capital of Texas, Austin has a lot going for it!  This beautiful city has everything from delicious food and parks to Formula One’s Circuit of the Americas raceway that has hosted the United States Grand Prix.

This city is fantastic for the views, the weather, and the low price of houses for rent in Austin, TX make it financially attractive.   Although it’s a college town, it’s well-balanced and doesn’t feel like that is its only identity.  This is an awesome place to move for people of any age.  


Population: 47,000.

Local school: University of Virginia.

Virginia is a perfect state when it comes to weather and location.  Charlottesville is just miles away from the mountains and gets mild summer and winter weather, allowing people who live here to take in the best parts of every season. 

Although it’s an expensive area to live in, there’s so much history surrounding every inch of this city.  Thomas Jefferson designed the core of its campus, and nearby you can also find James Monroe’s home and endless gorgeous wildlife.


Population: 94,000.

Local school: University of Arkansas.

This city in northwest Arkansas is famous for the Clinton House and the multiple military buildings nearby.  A perfect mixture of city and nature, you can enjoy the scenery of Mount Sequoyah Woods and take in the gorgeous trails and walking paths that are available here.

Housing can be more expensive the closer you get to the city center, but unemployment here is incredibly low, sitting at just 3.7% as of July 2021.  Fayetteville is a great city to start fresh in.


Population: 84,000.

Local school: University of North Carolina.

This gorgeous city in the heart of North Carolina is one of the quickest growing metropolitan areas in the country. So although the summers are hot, you also get great winters and beautiful views from every angle.

Three hours from the beach and less than an hour away from the mountains, you can take in gorgeous views year-round, and save money on housing compared to the rest of the country.