The 10 Best College Towns In Texas For 2019


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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 Texas 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 Texas 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 Texas for 2019:

  1. College Station, TX (Photos | Homes)
  2. Canyon, TX (Photos | Homes)
  3. Stephenville, TX (Photos | Homes)
  4. San Marcos, TX (Photos | Homes)
  5. Wichita Falls, TX (Photos | Homes)
  6. Arlington, TX (Photos | Homes)
  7. Austin, TX (Photos | Homes)
  8. Lubbock, TX (Photos | Homes)
  9. Midland, TX (Photos | Homes)
  10. McAllen, TX (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 College Station, Canyon and Stephenville - we tip our hats to you and we'll schedule a tour for next week. You can see where College Station ranks in terms of the best college town in America.

Finally, if you live in Terrell, TX - it's officially the worst college town in Texas. Sorry, Terrell!

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

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

To crunch our data on Texas'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 45 places in Texas 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 Texas For 2019".

And it looks like College Station placed Summa Cum Laude.

College Station, TX
Overall SnackAbility
8
/10

Population: 107,445
% Undergrad Pop.: 33.7% (4th best)
Median Rent: $940 (34th best)
Unemployment Rate: 460.0% (9th best)
Crime Rank: 7th best
More on College Station: Real Estate | Data | Photos

College Station is a city in Brazos County, Texas, situated in East-Central Texas in the heart of the Brazos Valley, in the center of the region known as Texas Triangle. It is 90 miles northwest of Houston and 87 miles northeast of Austin. As of the 2010 census, College Station had a population of 93,857, which had increased to an estimated population of 117,191 as of September 2017. College Station and Bryan together make up the Bryan-College Station metropolitan area, the 14th-largest metropolitan area in Texas with 255,589 people as of 2015.

Colleges: Texas A & M University-College Station, Vista College - College Station

Canyon, TX
Overall SnackAbility
8
/10

Population: 14,809
% Undergrad Pop.: 38.0% (3rd best)
Median Rent: $782 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 360.0% (2nd best)
Crime Rank: 2nd best
More on Canyon: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Canyon is a city in, and the county seat of, Randall County, Texas, United States. The population was 13,303 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Amarillo, Texas Metropolitan Statistical Area. Canyon is the home of West Texas A&M University and Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, and the world-famous outdoor musical drama Texas.

Colleges: West Texas A & M University

Stephenville, TX
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 19,929
% Undergrad Pop.: 31.2% (6th best)
Median Rent: $785 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 530.0% (23rd best)
Crime Rank: 5th best
More on Stephenville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Stephenville is a city in and the county seat of Erath County, Texas, United States. The population was 17,123 at the 2010 census. Founded in 1856, it is home to Tarleton State University. Stephenville is among several communities that call themselves the "Cowboy Capital of the World".

Colleges: Tarleton State University

San Marcos, TX
Overall SnackAbility
7
/10

Population: 59,935
% Undergrad Pop.: 32.4% (5th best)
Median Rent: $966 (37th best)
Unemployment Rate: 780.0% (49th best)
Crime Rank: 20th best
More on San Marcos: Real Estate | Data | Photos

San Marcos is a city in the U.S. state of Texas, within the Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos metropolitan area. It is on the Interstate 35 corridor between Austin and San Antonio and is the seat of Hays County. Its limits extend into Caldwell and Guadalupe Counties, as well. Its population was 44,894 in 2010. In 2015 the U.S. Census Bureau estimated the population at 60,684

Colleges: Texas State University, Total Transformation Institute of Cosmetology

Wichita Falls, TX
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
5
/10

Population: 104,621
% Undergrad Pop.: 4.9% (25th best)
Median Rent: $763 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 500.0% (17th best)
Crime Rank: 35th best
More on Wichita Falls: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Wichita Falls is a city in and the county seat of Wichita County, Texas, United States. It is the principal city of the Wichita Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Archer, Clay, and Wichita Counties. According to the 2010 census, it had a population of 104,553, making it the 35th-most populous city in Texas. In addition, its central business district is five miles from Sheppard Air Force Base which is home to the Air Force's largest technical training wing and the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training program, the world's only multi-nationally manned and managed flying training program chartered to produce combat pilots for both USAF and NATO.

Colleges: Midwestern State University

Arlington, TX
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 388,225
% Undergrad Pop.: 4.1% (28th best)
Median Rent: $939 (33rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 550.0% (26th best)
Crime Rank: 39th best
More on Arlington: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Arlington is a principal city in the U.S. state of Texas, located in TarrantCounty. It is part of the Mid-Cities region of the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan area, approximately 12 miles east of downtown Fort Worth and 20 miles west of downtown Dallas.

Colleges: The University of Texas at Arlington, ITT Technical Institute-Arlington, Arlington Baptist College

Austin, TX
Overall SnackAbility
8
/10

Population: 916,906
% Undergrad Pop.: 4.7% (26th best)
Median Rent: $1,165 (52nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 440.0% (7th best)
Crime Rank: 38th best
More on Austin: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Austin, AWST-tin) is the capital of the U.S. state of Texas and the seat of Travis County, with portions extending into Hays and Williamson counties. It is the 11th-most populous city in the United States and the 4th-most populous city in Texas. It is the fastest growing large city in the United States, the second most populous state capital after Phoenix, Arizona, and the southern-most state capital in the contiguous 48 states. As of the Census Bureau's July 1, 2016 estimate, Austin has a population of 947,890. Located in Central Texas in the foothills of Texas Hill Country, the city is home to numerous lakes, rivers, and waterways including Lady Bird Lake, Barton Springs, McKinney Falls, the Colorado River, Lake Travis, and Lake Walter E. Long. It is the cultural and economic center of the Austin-Round Rock metropolitan statistical area, which had an estimated population of 2,056,405 as of July 1, 2016.

Colleges: The University of Texas at Austin, Austin Community College District, Saint Edward's University

Lubbock, TX
Overall SnackAbility
5
/10

Population: 247,323
% Undergrad Pop.: 9.1% (14th best)
Median Rent: $896 (29th best)
Unemployment Rate: 480.0% (13th best)
Crime Rank: 23rd best
More on Lubbock: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Lubbock is a city in and the county seat of Lubbock County, Texas, United States. The city is located in the northwestern part of the state, a region known historically and geographically as the Llano Estacado and ecologically is part of the southern end of the High Plains. According to a 2015 Census estimate, Lubbock had a population of 252,506. making it the 83rd-most populous city in the United States of America and the 11th-most populous city in the state of Texas. The city is the economic center of the Lubbock metropolitan area, which has a projected 2020 population of 327,424.

Colleges: Texas Tech University, Lubbock Christian University, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

Midland, TX
Overall SnackAbility
8
/10

Population: 131,286
% Undergrad Pop.: 3.7% (29th best)
Median Rent: $1,179 (53rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 380.0% (3rd best)
Crime Rank: 9th best
More on Midland: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Midland is a city in and the county seat of Midland County, Texas, United States, on the Southern Plains of the state's western area. A small portion of the city extends into Martin County.

Colleges: Midland College

Mcallen, TX
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
5
/10

Population: 139,838
% Undergrad Pop.: 8.1% (18th best)
Median Rent: $758 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 760.0% (47th best)
Crime Rank: 27th best
More on Mcallen: Real Estate | Data | Photos

McAllen is the twenty-first most populous city in Texas and the largest city in Hidalgo County, Texas, United States. It is located at the southern tip of Texas in the Rio Grande Valley and is part of the Southern United States. It is on the Rio Grande, across from the Mexican city of Reynosa, and is approximately 70 miles west of South Padre Island and the Gulf of Mexico. The 2010 United States census put the city's population at 129,877 and the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission metropolitan area at 774,773. It is ranked the fifth most populated metropolitan area in the state of Texas. The Reynosa-McAllen Metropolitan Area counts a population of nearly 1.5 million.

Colleges: South Texas College, South Texas Vocational Technical Institute-McAllen, Brightwood College-McAllen

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

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

  1. Terrell
  2. Prairie View
  3. Belton
  4. Seguin
  5. Marshall
  6. Waxahachie
  7. Fort Worth
  8. Longview
  9. Garland
  10. San Antonio

For more reading, check out:

45 Best College Towns In Texas

Rank City Population
1 College Station, TX 107445
2 Canyon, TX 14809
3 Stephenville, TX 19929
4 San Marcos, TX 59935
5 Wichita Falls, TX 104621
6 Arlington, TX 388225
7 Austin, TX 916906
8 Lubbock, TX 247323
9 Midland, TX 131286
10 Mcallen, TX 139838
11 Nacogdoches, TX 33589
12 Richardson, TX 111055
13 Denton, TX 131097
14 Lake Jackson, TX 27317
15 Commerce, TX 8847
16 Plainview, TX 21030
17 Edinburg, TX 86123
18 Beaumont, TX 118424
19 Odessa, TX 115930
20 El Paso, TX 678266
21 Abilene, TX 122762
22 Kerrville, TX 22931
23 San Angelo, TX 99135
24 Brownwood, TX 18841
25 Euless, TX 54135
26 Waco, TX 131996
27 Houston, TX 2267336
28 Southlake, TX 30090
29 Laredo, TX 255305
30 Tyler, TX 102561
31 Kingsville, TX 25875
32 Dallas, TX 1300122
33 Georgetown, TX 63062
34 Irving, TX 235648
35 Corpus Christi, TX 322726
36 San Antonio, TX 1461623
37 Garland, TX 235965
38 Longview, TX 82219
39 Fort Worth, TX 835129
40 Waxahachie, TX 33240
41 Marshall, TX 23449
42 Seguin, TX 27762
43 Belton, TX 20635
44 Prairie View, TX 6286
45 Terrell, TX 16997

Best College Towns By State

Enjoy The Snack?