10 Ultra Affordable College Towns

Most affordable college towns

Whether you’re a career professor, a student looking to invest in a property  or a young professional who enjoys the energy of a bustling college town, it pays to know where the most affordable real estate markets in academia are. Here are the top ten most affordable college markets in 2009, according to new data from Coldwell Banker’s College Home Price Comparison Index (HPCI). Photo Credit: Getty Images


#10: Kent, Ohio

How does $165,700 sound for a four-bedroom home near Kent State University turf? Bet you didn’t know this: “Kent became known as the ‘Tree City’ when, in the late 1800s, John Davey, an expert horticulturalist, planted hundreds of trees throughout the city,” according to the town’s official Web site. Sounds like both a pretty spot and an outrageous bargain to us, especially if you are a tenured professor or grad student with some money socked away for the right investment… If you believe we are headed for an inflationary period (as many do), bargain-priced real estate could provide some protection. Photo Credit: breakfastclubber


#9: Bloomington, Ind.

Indiana University’s hometown is another great value, with four-bedroom homes costing an average of $164,433 in 2009. And here’s another bonus: Bloomington has been named one of National Geographic Adventure Magazine’s “50 Top Adventure Towns in the nation.” Photo Credit: Amy Guth


#8: Houston, Texas

$159,847 for the average four-bedroom home. Houston is home to Rice University and the University of Houston. With a wide range of large corporations based there, including big energy companies, it is also a tempting job market for recent grads—one economist predicts job growth in Houston by the end of 2010. Photo Credit: billjacobus1


#7: Denton, Texas

$154,900 for a four-bedroom home. University of North Texas is located in Denton, and offers an impressive “97 bachelor's, 101 master's and 49 doctoral degree programs” across the university’s dozen schools and colleges. It has more than 36,000 students. Photo Credit: stevesheriw


#6: Tulsa, Okla.

$154,800 for a four-bedroom home. University of Tulsa professors and grad students are sure to enjoy the affordable real estate prices in this Oklahoma town. The university’s “200-acre campus is located two miles east of downtown Tulsa, a metropolitan city with a population exceeding a half a million people.” Photo Credit: austrini


#5: Fort Worth, Texas

$153,450 for a four-bedroom home. Texas Christian University is a fairly small school with an enrollment of 8,696, with approximately 1,752 employees. Photo Credit: kmuncie


#4: Ypsilanti, Mich.

$151,500 for a four-bedroom home. Eastern Michigan University has been around since 1849, boasts a student body of 22,000 and more than 70,000 alumni live in the Southeast Michigan region. Photo Credit: toptechwriter


#3: Ann Arbor, Mich.

$148,000 for a four-bedroom home. University of Michigan has a total enrollment of more than 56,000 students and has an instructional staff of 9,013. It is surprising that, for such a vibrant college town, it is no longer serviced by even a single local daily newspaper: “Ann Arbor News announced it would be closing in July 2009. The News is still published online” at AnnArbor.com, however. Photo Credit: Andrew Ciscel


#2: Muncie, Ind.

Ball State University is home to about 20,000 students. $144,996 for the average four-bedroom home in this unassuming Indiana college town. There’s even a “Dave Letterman Alley” named after the CBS late-night talk show host and Ball State alum. Photo Credit: Paul J Everett


#1: Akron, Ohio

$121,885 for a four-bedroom dwelling. University of Akron students, congrats: you live in the most affordable college town in the US of A! The college has “about 26,000 students representing 44 U.S. states and 79 foreign countries.” Interesting bit of trivia: Akron is the “birthplace” of Alcoholics Anonymous. Now that you've seen the 10 most affordable college towns across America, click to check out our list of 2009's most outrageously expensive college towns. A few will shock you! Photo Credit: Beth Rankin


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