The 10 Best College Towns In Indiana For 2020


Editor's Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our time ranking the best college towns in Indiana.
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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 Indiana 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 Indiana 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 Indiana for 2020.

The 10 Best College Towns In Indiana For 2020

  1. Bloomington, IN (Photos | Homes)
  2. Greencastle, IN (Photos | Homes)
  3. Mishawaka, IN (Photos | Homes)
  4. Vincennes, IN (Photos | Homes)
  5. Westville, IN (Photos | Homes)
  6. Terre Haute, IN (Photos | Homes)
  7. Muncie, IN (Photos | Homes)
  8. Winona Lake, IN (Photos | Homes)
  9. Evansville, IN (Photos | Homes)
  10. South Bend, IN (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 Bloomington, Greencastle and Mishawaka - we tip our hats to you and we'll schedule a tour for next week. You can see where Bloomington ranks in terms of the best college town in America.

Finally, if you live in Anderson, IN - it's officially the worst college town in Indiana. Sorry, Anderson!

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

The 10 Best College Towns In Indiana For 2020

Bloomington, IN
Overall SnackAbility
7
/10

Population: 84,058
% Undergrad Pop.: 35.0% (4th best)
Median Rent: $887 (28th best)
Unemployment Rate: 794.3% (23rd best)
Crime Rank: 17th best
More on Bloomington: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Bloomington is a city in and the county seat of Monroe County in the southern region of the U.S. state of Indiana. It is the seventh-largest city in Indiana and the fourth-largest outside the Indianapolis metropolitan area. According to the Monroe County History Center, Bloomington is known as the "Gateway to Scenic Southern Indiana." The city was established in 1818 by a group of settlers from Kentucky, Tennessee, the Carolinas, and Virginia who were so impressed with "a haven of blooms" that they called it Bloomington.

Colleges: Indiana University-Bloomington, Tricoci University of Beauty Cuture LLC-Bloomington, Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington

Greencastle, IN
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 10,461
% Undergrad Pop.: 21.3% (7th best)
Median Rent: $765 (19th best)
Unemployment Rate: 325.6% (3rd best)
Crime Rank: 7th best
More on Greencastle: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Colleges: DePauw University

Mishawaka, IN
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
5
/10

Population: 48,926
% Undergrad Pop.: 3.1% (26th best)
Median Rent: $750 (13th best)
Unemployment Rate: 546.6% (10th best)
Crime Rank: 7th best
More on Mishawaka: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Mishawaka is a city on the St. Joseph River, in Penn Township, St. Joseph County, in the U.S. state of Indiana. The population was 48,252 as of the 2010 census. Its nickname is "the Princess City."

Colleges: Bethel College-Indiana, Regency Beauty Institute-South Bend

Vincennes, IN
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
5
/10

Population: 17,607
% Undergrad Pop.: 52.1% (3rd best)
Median Rent: $647 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 627.5% (15th best)
Crime Rank: 29th best
More on Vincennes: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Vincennes is a city in and the county seat of Knox County, Indiana, United States. It is located on the lower Wabash River in the southwestern part of the state, nearly halfway between Evansville and Terre Haute. Founded in 1732 by French fur traders, notably, Franois-Marie Bissot, Sieur de Vincennes for whom the Fort was named, Vincennes is the oldest continually inhabited European settlement in Indiana and one of the oldest settlements west of the Appalachians.

Colleges: Vincennes University, Vincennes Beauty College, Purdue University - Purdue Polytechnic Vincennes

Westville, IN
Overall SnackAbility
7
/10

Population: 6,343
% Undergrad Pop.: 53.9% (2nd best)
Median Rent: $550 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 433.5% (5th best)
Crime Rank: 7th best
More on Westville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Westville is a town in New Durham Township, LaPorte County, Indiana, United States. The population was 5,853 at the 2010 census. It is included in the Michigan City, Indiana-La Porte, Indiana Metropolitan Statistical Area. Westville is located in a part of Indiana referred to by locals as The Region.

Colleges: Purdue University-North Central Campus

Terre Haute, IN
Overall SnackAbility
5
/10

Population: 60,691
% Undergrad Pop.: 18.3% (9th best)
Median Rent: $714 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 949.3% (29th best)
Crime Rank: 7th best
More on Terre Haute: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Colleges: Indiana State University, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, J Michael Harrold Beauty Academy

Muncie, IN
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
4
/10

Population: 69,164
% Undergrad Pop.: 23.6% (6th best)
Median Rent: $716 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 816.7% (25th best)
Crime Rank: 21st best
More on Muncie: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Muncie is an incorporated city and the seat of Delaware County, Indiana. It is located in East Central Indiana, about 50 miles northeast of Indianapolis. The United States Census for 2010 reported the city's population was 70,085. It is the principal city of the Muncie metropolitan statistical area, which has a population of 117,671.

Colleges: Ball State University, Ross Medical Education Center-Muncie, Ivy Tech Community College-East Central

Winona Lake, IN
Overall SnackAbility
7
/10

Population: 4,921
% Undergrad Pop.: 23.9% (5th best)
Median Rent: $846 (25th best)
Unemployment Rate: 453.3% (6th best)
Crime Rank: 7th best
More on Winona Lake: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Winona Lake is a town in Wayne Township, Kosciusko County, in the U.S. state of Indiana, and the major suburb of Warsaw. The population was 4,908 at the 2010 census.

Colleges: Grace College and Theological Seminary

Evansville, IN
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
4
/10

Population: 118,952
% Undergrad Pop.: 9.4% (15th best)
Median Rent: $755 (16th best)
Unemployment Rate: 637.9% (16th best)
Crime Rank: 27th best
More on Evansville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Evansville is a city in and the county seat of Vanderburgh County, Indiana, United States. The population was 117,429 at the 2010 census, making it the state's third-most populous city after Indianapolis and Fort Wayne, the largest city in Southern Indiana, and the 232nd-most populous city in the United States. It is the commercial, medical, and cultural hub of Southwestern Indiana and the Illinois-Indiana-Kentucky tri-state area, home to over 911,000 people. The 38th parallel crosses the north side of the city and is marked on Interstate 69.

Colleges: University of Southern Indiana, University of Evansville, Rogers Academy of Hair Design

South Bend, IN
Overall SnackAbility
3
/10

Population: 102,233
% Undergrad Pop.: 5.9% (17th best)
Median Rent: $767 (22nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 743.1% (21st best)
Crime Rank: 30th best
More on South Bend: Real Estate | Data | Photos

South Bend is a city in and the county seat of St. Joseph County, Indiana, United States, on the St. Joseph River near its southernmost bend, from which it derives its name. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total of 101,168 residents; its Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 318,586 and Combined Statistical Area of 721,296. It is the fourth-largest city in Indiana, serving as the economic and cultural hub of Northern Indiana. The highly ranked University of Notre Dame is located just to the north in unincorporated Notre Dame, Indiana and is an integral contributor to the region's economy.

Colleges: Indiana University-South Bend, Brown Mackie College-South Bend, ITT Technical Institute-South Bend

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

To crunch our data on Indiana'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 28 places in Indiana 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 Indiana For 2020".

And it looks like Bloomington placed Summa Cum Laude.

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

If you're looking for the best college towns in Indiana, 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 Indiana, starting with the absolute worst, Anderson:

  1. Anderson
  2. Franklin
  3. Merrillville
  4. Jeffersonville
  5. Indianapolis
  6. Kokomo
  7. North Manchester
  8. Goshen
  9. Angola
  10. Gary

For more reading, check out:

28 Best College Towns In Indiana

Rank City Population
1 Bloomington, IN 84058
2 Greencastle, IN 10461
3 Mishawaka, IN 48926
4 Vincennes, IN 17607
5 Westville, IN 6343
6 Terre Haute, IN 60691
7 Muncie, IN 69164
8 Winona Lake, IN 4921
9 Evansville, IN 118952
10 South Bend, IN 102233
11 Crawfordsville, IN 16053
12 Valparaiso, IN 32916
13 Hammond, IN 77071
14 Marion, IN 28118
15 Fort Wayne, IN 264052
16 Richmond, IN 35653
17 Huntington, IN 17147
18 Rensselaer, IN 5757
19 Gary, IN 76677
20 Angola, IN 8645
21 Goshen, IN 33915
22 North Manchester, IN 5917
23 Kokomo, IN 57947
24 Indianapolis, IN 857637
25 Jeffersonville, IN 47175
26 Merrillville, IN 35032
27 Franklin, IN 24813
28 Anderson, IN 54788

Best College Towns By State

Enjoy The Snack?