The 10 Best College Towns In Georgia For 2020


Editor's Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our time ranking the best college towns in Georgia.
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Believe it or not, America has the best colleges in the world. It's been proven by data (and surveys) that the U.S. educational system is of the highest quality

It's actually not even close and Georgia is home to a handful of them.

While we could debate which colleges within the are the 'best,' that's not the goal of this post.

Instead, ride along with us as we determine which college towns in Georgia are the best.

You know, the type of places where there's energy and stimulation, but the type of place you can walk around at night. The happiest, chillest, most downright fun places where you can send your kids off to college where you won't break the bank, or worry about their well being.

Without further ado, here are the best college towns in Georgia for 2020.

The 10 Best College Towns In Georgia For 2020

  1. Decatur, GA (Photos | Homes)
  2. Carrollton, GA (Photos | Homes)
  3. Marietta, GA (Photos | Homes)
  4. Kennesaw, GA (Photos | Homes)
  5. Statesboro, GA (Photos | Homes)
  6. Lawrenceville, GA (Photos | Homes)
  7. Dalton, GA (Photos | Homes)
  8. Douglas, GA (Photos | Homes)
  9. Tifton, GA (Photos | Homes)
  10. Sandy Springs, GA (Photos | Homes)

While some of these may not seem like a 'real' college town per se, when you look at the numbers, it's hard to argue against.

And for those who live in Decatur, Carrollton and Marietta - we tip our hats to you and we'll schedule a tour for next week. You can see where Decatur ranks in terms of the best college town in America.

Finally, if you live in Brunswick, GA - it's officially the worst college town in Georgia. Sorry, Brunswick!

Read on to find out more or for more on Georgia check out:

The 10 Best College Towns In Georgia For 2020

Decatur, GA
Overall SnackAbility
7
/10

Population: 23,054
% Undergrad Pop.: 3.9% (16th best)
Median Rent: $927 (17th best)
Unemployment Rate: 465.0% (4th best)
Crime Rank: 4th best
More on Decatur: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Decatur is a city in, and the county seat of, DeKalb County, Georgia, United States and is part of the Atlanta metropolitan area. With a population of 20,148 in the 2013 census, the municipality is sometimes assumed to be larger since multiple zip codes in unincorporated DeKalb County bear the Decatur name. The city is served by three MARTA rail stations. The city is located approximately 5 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta and shares its western border with Atlanta.

Colleges: Agnes Scott College, Gupton Jones College of Funeral Service, Columbia Theological Seminary

Carrollton, GA
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 26,397
% Undergrad Pop.: 26.9% (4th best)
Median Rent: $825 (14th best)
Unemployment Rate: 1029.5% (17th best)
Crime Rank: 16th best
More on Carrollton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Carrollton, Georgia is a town located in the north west region of Georgia, United States. It is located within the Atlanta Metropolitan Area, and it is about ten miles from the Alabama state line. As of the 2015 United States Census, the city had a population of 25,515. The city is rapidly growing as the University of West Georgia continues to expand. The city is the county seat of Carroll County.

Colleges: University of West Georgia

Marietta, GA
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 60,410
% Undergrad Pop.: 0.5% (19th best)
Median Rent: $1,048 (21st best)
Unemployment Rate: 524.3% (7th best)
Crime Rank: 8th best
More on Marietta: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Marietta is located in central Cobb County, Georgia, United States, and is the county's seat and largest city.

Colleges: Chattahoochee Technical College, Life University, Toni & Guy Hairdressing Academy-Atlanta

Kennesaw, GA
Overall SnackAbility
8.5
/10

Population: 33,700
% Undergrad Pop.: 0.0% (22nd best)
Median Rent: $1,233 (24th best)
Unemployment Rate: 505.5% (6th best)
Crime Rank: 1st best
More on Kennesaw: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Kennesaw is a city in Cobb County, Georgia, United States, located in the greater Atlanta metropolitan area. It had a population of 29,783 according to the 2010 census. Founded in 1887, Kennesaw has a past surrounded with railroad history. During the Civil War, Kennesaw was the staging ground for the Great Locomotive Chase on April 12, 1862. The city is perhaps best known nationally for its mandatory gun-possession ordinance.

Colleges: Cobb Beauty College Inc, Empire Beauty School-Kennesaw, ITT Technical Institute-Kennesaw

Statesboro, GA
Overall SnackAbility
3
/10

Population: 31,001
% Undergrad Pop.: 40.8% (3rd best)
Median Rent: $764 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 1225.8% (20th best)
Crime Rank: 7th best
More on Statesboro: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Statesboro is the largest city and county seat of Bulloch County, Georgia, United States, located in the southeastern part of the state.

Colleges: Georgia Southern University, Ogeechee Technical College, East Georgia State College - Statesboro

Lawrenceville, GA
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 29,401
% Undergrad Pop.: 0.0% (22nd best)
Median Rent: $982 (20th best)
Unemployment Rate: 677.7% (8th best)
Crime Rank: 6th best
More on Lawrenceville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Lawrenceville is a city in and the county seat of Gwinnett County, Georgia, United States. It is a suburb of Atlanta, located approximately 30 miles northeast of downtown. As of the 2010 census, the population of Lawrenceville was 28,546. In 2015, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated the city population to be 30,493. Lawrenceville has six ZIP codes, and it is part of the 678404 telephone area code, which is used throughout metropolitan Atlanta.

Colleges: Gwinnett Technical College, Empire Beauty School-Gwinnett, Georgia Gwinnett College

Dalton, GA
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
4
/10

Population: 33,458
% Undergrad Pop.: 9.4% (13th best)
Median Rent: $699 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 701.3% (9th best)
Crime Rank: 5th best
More on Dalton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Dalton is a city in Whitfield County, Georgia, United States. It is the county seat of Whitfield County and the principal city of the Dalton, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Murray and Whitfield counties.

Colleges: Dalton State College, Georgia Beauty Academy

Douglas, GA
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 11,556
% Undergrad Pop.: 0.0% (22nd best)
Median Rent: $638 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 365.6% (3rd best)
Crime Rank: 11th best
More on Douglas: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Douglas is a city in Coffee County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 11,589. Douglas is the county seat of Coffee County and the core city of the Douglas, Georgia Micropolitan Statistical Area, which had a population of 50,731 as of the 2010 census.

Colleges: South Georgia State College

Tifton, GA
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 16,603
% Undergrad Pop.: 15.8% (8th best)
Median Rent: $651 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 225.0% (1st best)
Crime Rank: 24th best
More on Tifton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Tifton is a city in Tift County, Georgia, United States. The population was 16,869 at the 2010 census. The city is the county seat of Tift County.

Colleges: Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College

Sandy Springs, GA
Overall SnackAbility
8.5
/10

Population: 105,411
% Undergrad Pop.: 0.0% (22nd best)
Median Rent: $1,230 (23rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 356.1% (2nd best)
Crime Rank: 3rd best
More on Sandy Springs: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Sandy Springs is a city in northern Fulton County, Georgia, United States, and part of the Atlanta metropolitan area. As of the 2010 census, Sandy Springs had a population of 93,853, and as of 2014 the estimated population was 101,908.

Colleges: Gwinnett College-Sandy Springs, Elaine Sterling Institute, University of Phoenix-Georgia

How'd we figure out the best college towns in Georgia?

To crunch our data on Georgia's best college towns, we had to first decide which qualities (or rankings) make sense to use in the data, and then crunch the numbers for our rankings.

First off, we firmly decided that only cities with a 4 year college should make the cut -- so there has to be at least one college granting bachelors degrees in town.

You might be surprised to hear that there are only 24 places in Georgia with an institution of higher learning with that criteria.

Source of data include OpenStreetMaps, the College Scorecard, the U.S. Census, and FBI reporting data to include the following factors:

  • Students Make Up Large % of the Population
  • College-specific Factors
    • Graduation rate
    • Tuition Cost
    • Student Body Diversity
  • Town Characteristics
    • Safety
    • Affordability
    • Income and Employment Opportunities
  • Things to Do
    • Bars
    • Museums & Libraries
    • Population Density

We ranked each city across each of the criteria, with one being the best.

We rolled up the individual scores into the category and ranked them again based on the category.

Finally, we took the average rank across each category, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title "Best College Town In Georgia For 2020".

And it looks like Decatur placed Summa Cum Laude.

There You Have It -- The Best College Towns In The

If you're looking for the best college towns in Georgia, you came to the right place.

These places all have great college sports programs, tons of stuff to do, and are great places to raise a family.

If you're curious, these are the worst college towns in Georgia, starting with the absolute worst, Brunswick:

  1. Brunswick
  2. Albany
  3. Fort Valley
  4. Savannah
  5. Dahlonega
  6. Swainsboro
  7. Thomasville
  8. Columbus
  9. Barnesville
  10. Morrow

For more reading, check out:

24 Best College Towns In Georgia

Rank City Population
1 Decatur, GA 23054
2 Carrollton, GA 26397
3 Marietta, GA 60410
4 Kennesaw, GA 33700
5 Statesboro, GA 31001
6 Lawrenceville, GA 29401
7 Dalton, GA 33458
8 Douglas, GA 11556
9 Tifton, GA 16603
10 Sandy Springs, GA 105411
11 Americus, GA 15659
12 Valdosta, GA 56074
13 Milledgeville, GA 18813
14 Atlanta, GA 479655
15 Morrow, GA 7238
16 Barnesville, GA 6608
17 Columbus, GA 196670
18 Thomasville, GA 18546
19 Swainsboro, GA 7347
20 Dahlonega, GA 6556
21 Savannah, GA 145342
22 Fort Valley, GA 8740
23 Albany, GA 74631
24 Brunswick, GA 16034

Best College Towns By State

Enjoy The Snack?