As more companies offer full-time remote work, individuals can now evaluate and select communities without having to consider their commute or local job market. If you are a remote worker looking for an ideal place to live, college towns offer many amenities that might make them a great choice for your next move.
MakeMyMove has collected input from thousands of workers considering relocation to find out what they want in a new community and discovered that these attributes mattered most: affordability, a sense of belonging, support for entrepreneurs, family considerations, outdoor activities, and property type.
College towns offer many of these attributes, and these cities have the infrastructure to support remote workers’ needs. College towns are also known as hubs for innovation, centers for art and culture, and places where people can access libraries, bright academic minds, and research facilities.
Interested in finding the right community for you? Browse through our list of some of the best college towns for remote workers.
California University Pennsylvania campus
One of the most affordable college towns is California, Pennsylvania, located just 35 miles outside of Pittsburgh. California is home to California University of Pennsylvania, and was chosen as the most affordable due to its median home price of $73,500 (CBS).
Kansas State University campus
Manhattan, Kansas is home to Kansas State University. This city is nicknamed the “little apple” for it’s “urban feel with small town charm” (College Value Online). This town has an affordable cost of living and low crime rates.
Forbes ranked Manhattan #1 for “Best Small Communities for a Business and Career.” (College Value Online).
Harvard University campus
Boston, Massachusetts has roughly 346,157 total college students (Bloomberg). This city is not only home to prestigious universities such as Harvard, MIT, Tufts, Boston University, and Boston College, but it has been ranked as the 8th most desirable place to live in the United States (CBS).
Discovery Park at Purdue University
West Lafayette, Indiana is home to Purdue University. In a study done by TollFreeForwarding, Lafayette came in first as the top college town to start a business (The Business Report).
Lafayette was ranked ”first in office rental space ($16 per square foot per year), second in the cost of living, and seventh for the business tax rate” (The Business Report).
Keep scrolling to read a special spotlight on this college town!
Downtown Madison Wisconsin
Madison, WI is a great town for millennials because of its excellent educational and job opportunities, low cost of living, outdoor recreation, and quality of life.
Many millennials have caught on to these perks; “according to a study from the Brookings Institution, millennials constitute 26.8 percent of the population of Madison” (Livability.com). While this can be attributed to many of Madison’s benefits, we believe it is also influenced by the University of Wisconsin rank of 10th best public college by U.S. News & World Report and a low unemployment rate of 2.8%.
Grand Canyon National Park near Flagstaff, AZ
Are you looking to spend more time in nature? Flagstaff, AZ is the place for you! Flagstaff was named Best College Town in Arizona by Reviews.org and has several options for those looking to enjoy nature. The Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and Nordic Village are just a few nearby sites you can explore while living in Flagstaff.
Virginia Beach, VA
Virginia Beach is home to colleges such as Norfolk State University, Regent University, and Virginia Wesleyan. It is a larger college town with a low violent crime rate of 1.29 per thousand residents. (Safety.com). The city has implemented crime prevention programs that promote “safety for all, and ensures a clear conscience when you’re walking down the beach’s expansive boardwalk.” (Safety.com).
University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor is home to the University of Michigan. It ranked #1 on Moving.com’s list of 12 Best Places to Raise a Family in the U.S. and #5 on Niche.com’s list of 2021 Best Cities to Raise a Family.
Ann Arbor has excellent school options for children and plenty of family-friendly activities, like their Hands-On Children’s Museum.
Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana
West Lafayette is home to Purdue University, a world-renowned public research university. The U.S. News and World Report ranked the university as a whole the #5 Most Innovative University in America. (Purdue.edu)
West Lafayette is “home to historic neighborhoods and iconic restaurants and has also been voted among the safest and healthiest cities in the nation” (WestLafayette.in.gov).
West Lafayette also provides great incentives to remote workers.
Purdue University is building a first of-its-kind community of (and for) remote workers. Come live on campus, access university resources and network with builders, business folks and boilermakers of all stripes. Select candidates will receive a $5,000 relocation stipend that can be applied to moving costs, housing, co-working space, childcare and more.
College towns have great perks — a variety of research facilities, culture, arts, restaurants, job opportunities, and more. They can also be wonderful places to start a business or raise a family.
If you think living in a college town may be the right fit for you, look through our featured cities to see if there’s an incentive for remote workers in a place near you.
Remote work has freed millions of Americans to live where they want, and many are making the move to places that better match their lifestyle. In turn, cities and towns across the country are offering incentives like cash, perks and programming to remote workers who move and work from their communities. At MakeMyMove, you can explore all the places, get personalized help to find the one that’s right for you, connect with locals, and access support to make your move a piece of cake.