Azusa, California, is the worst college town on our list, but it is definitely still one of the worst, as it ranked 386 overall out of 415 college towns in America. It also ranked horribly in the individual categories of wallet friendliness ranking 345, social environment ranking 257, and academic and economic opportunities ranking 265. Azusa is home to Azusa Pacific University and the Haggard Graduate School of Theology, both private Christian schools. Apparently, these schools cost a pretty penny and aren’t even worth it for the education.
Burbank, California, is home to Woodbury University, and although it is close to all things LA, it is still a horrible college town. It has the expensive LA pricing ranking 379 out of 415 in the wallet friendliness category, doesn’t have the same social benefits of LA ranking 239 for social environment, and isn’t even that great of an educational opportunity, ranking 201 for academic and economic opportunities. A very less than average college town.
The University of Toledo, Mercy College of Ohio, and Davis College all call Toledo, Ohio, “home,” but the students that attend there are getting one of the worst deals in the nation. While Toledo ranked well for the wallet friendliness score, coming in at number 75 out of 415, it was less than average for social environment scoring 268 and very very poor in academic and economic opportunities scoring 401 in that category. We guess the saying “you get what you pay for” applies here.
West Covina, California
Being close to LA does not seem to be a perk for West Covina, California. West Covina is home to the East San Gabriel Valley Regional Occupational Program. This college town is not only expensive to live and study in because it scored a 368 out of 415, but it also has a very less than average social life ranking 279 in social environment and isn’t even worth it for the academic or employment opportunities ranking 155 in that category.
Inglewood, California, is home to the Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology, and it ranks very poorly in the worst college towns in America. It is expensive, as it ranks 330 out of 415 in wallet friendliness, and it has a not-so-good social environment ranking - number 345. Average academic and economic opportunities score in at number 180.
Jackson, Mississippi, is definitely a wallet-friendly option ranking at number 82 out of 415 college towns studied in the wallet-friendliness category, but it is definitely not worth it. Jackson has the options of Jackson State University, Belhaven University, Millsaps College, and Tougaloo College, but apparently, they are not good academic options since Jackson is ranked 404 in academic and economic opportunities. The social environment is also less than average, ranking 297 overall.
This college town right outside of San Francisco isn’t immune to the San Francisco prices. It is rated 403 in the wallet friendliness category, but it doesn’t make up for that price in the quality of social or academic benefits. It is home to Mills College, Lincoln University, Holy Names University, Samuel Merritt University among others, but it still ranks 109 for social environment and 239 for academic and economic opportunities.
San Bernardino, California
San Bernardino, California, is just an overall very less than average school. It has more of an intermediate score in the areas of wallet friendliness, ranking 157, and academic and economic opportunities, ranking 349, but it’s social environment really brings it down low ranking 399 out of 415 for social environment. In San Bernardino you can find California State University San Bernardino and San Bernardino Valley College.
Germantown, Maryland, hosts Montgomery College and is close to the Purdue University Global - Hagerstown and John Hopkins University, which are well-rated universities and probably why it earns an academic and economic score of 75 out of 415, but the price tag and social benefits just don’t make it worth it. The wallet friendliness score is 374, while the social environment score is 357.
You definitely don’t want to spend all of your college savings on this place. In Alhambra, California, you will find Platt College and Alliant International University, but not only is it one of the more expensive college towns in the U.S. ranking at number 349 out of 415 for wallet friendliness, it also does not make up for the price in the social environment, scoring in at number 269, and the academic and economic opportunities, scoring a 231.
While Carson, California, might be a better choice in terms of academics with the CSUDH College of Extended and International Education, it definitely is not a good choice when it comes to the wallet or social scores. Academically, it ranked at number 139, but for wallet friendliness it ranked at 364, and socially 328. That’s what brought it down to be one of the worst in the nation.
Contra Costa College calls Richmond, California, home. It’s situated just across the bay from San Francisco, but it does not escape the San Francisco prices. This college town is ranked 377 out of 415 for wallet friendliness. So while it ranks rather well at 143 for academics, its social score of 293 and its expensive cost make this one of the worst college towns in the U.S.
Springfield, Massachusetts, is easier on your wallet, but it does not deliver on the academic or social fronts. It is home to Western New England University, Springfield Technical Community College, and Springfield College, but they might be a waste of your time. Overall, this college town scores a 206 for wallet friendliness, 307 for social environment, and 380 for academic and economic opportunities - an overall less-than-average college town.
Rockford, Illinois, is another wallet-friendly option ranking at number 115, but at what cost? The social score of this town is one of the worst ranking 412 out of 415. Yikes. In Rockford, you can find Rockford University, Rock Valley College, Rasmussen College, Saint Anthony College of Nursing, and Rockford Career College, but the academic score still gets a 348. Another you-get-what-you-pay-for option.
El Monte, California
El Monte, California, is just a very less than average college town. It doesn’t have the worst scores, but overall it is just very less than average. It scored 314 for wallet friendliness, 277 for social environment, and 305 for academic and economic opportunities. In El Monte, you can find Rio Hondo College, Premier Career College, NCV Vocational College, and the University of the West. This shouldn’t be your first choice for your college career.
Flint, Michigan, is another college town that is easier on your wallet coming in at number 114 out of 415 in that category, but it fails miserably in the other categories. The social environment and academic opportunities rank very low at numbers 364 and 393 respectively. Kettering University, Mott Community College, United Bible Institute, Davenport University, and other colleges can be found in Flint.
Glendale, California, might be ranking average in academics at 185 out of 415 with its schools Glendale Community College, Glendale Career College, and Occidental College, but its wallet and social scores are so bad that it makes it one of the worst college towns in the country. Glendale comes in at 378 for wallet-friendliness, and 364 for social environment. Ouch.
If you’re looking for a great place to go to school, Miramar, Florida, is not it. You can find Chamberlain University College of Nursing and Broward College in Miramar, but you will definitely want to think twice before you apply. First of all, it is not wallet friendly at all, ranking 316 in that category, and it also has poor social and academic environments, ranking 383 and 230 respectively.
What Augusta, Georgia, has in terms of affordability, it completely destroys in terms of social and academic environment. Troy University-Fort Gordon, Augusta Technical College, Augusta University, and Georgia Military College all call Augusta home. However, its score of 129 for wallet friendliness does not make up for its horrible score of 411 out of 415 for social environment and 386 for academic and economic opportunities.
New Rochelle, New York
New Rochelle, New York, is another college town with decent academic opportunities, ranking at 189 in that category, but it has horrible wallet and social scores. It scored 392 for wallet friendliness and 332 for social environment. Looks like it has the expensive New York budget, but not the thriving New York social scene with Monroe College.
Stony Brook, New York
Stony Brook, New York, on the other hand, has a great social environment, ranking 81 overall for that category. However, what makes it one of the worst college towns in the United States are the wallet and academic scores. It ranks 384 in wallet friendliness and 354 in academic and economic opportunities. Definitely not the best.
Kansas City, Kansas
This one might be shocking, but Kansas City, Kansas, scored 414 out of 415 for a social environment. That’s bad. This might be because of the disproportionate ratio of students to townspeople since only Kansas City Kansas Community College and Donnelly College can be found there, or because of the high Covid-19 cases or crime rate. Either way, with a wallet score of 189 and an academic score of 316, it doesn’t really redeem itself in the other categories.
Compton, California, is not exactly the first place you think of when you think of college towns, and according to this study, you shouldn’t think about it either. Compton scored a 315 for wallet-friendliness, 373 for social environment, and 297 for academic and economic opportunities. It’s not only expensive but is also not a good social environment and doesn’t have the best education.
Shreveport may be in the top 100 for wallet-friendliness coming in at number 95 in that category, but it is one of the absolute worst college towns in terms of the social environment and the academic and economic opportunities. Shreveport has Northwest Louisiana Technical College, American College, Northwestern State University College of Nursing, Remington College, and others. However, they must not be good schools, or the local economy must not be great to score a 398 in academic and economic opportunities. High crime rates or high Covid-19 case numbers would also contribute to a terrible 407 rank in social environment.
Paterson, New Jersey
Paterson, New Jersey, is not a good place to go to school. If you are considering Passaic County Community College or Broadway Academic College, we hope you are not considering them for the social environment or the academic and economic opportunities. Paterson’s wallet-friendliness is average, ranking 193, but its social environment scored a horrible 405, and its academic and economic opportunities - a 384.
Coming in at the fifth worst college town in the United States is Kendall, Florida. However, it is the absolute worst in terms of social environment, ranking number 415 out of 415. This does not sound like a fun party town. It must also be expensive to be able to score a 343 in wallet friendliness, and its schools and economy are not the best since they scored an average ranking of 101 in academics. In Kendall you will find FCC Florida Career College, Miami Dade College Kendall Campus, and City College Miami.
Next up in the top, or bottom, five is Montgomery, Alabama, taking the fourth spot in the worst college towns. This might be a shock with Auburn University just up the road, but Auburn must be taking all of the good social and academic life with it. Montgomery scored a 162 for wallet-friendliness, 375 for social environment, and 410 for academic and economic opportunities. In Montgomery, you will find South University Montgomery, Montgomery Bible Institute, Fortis College, and others, but you should look instead at attending school in Auburn, Alabama, which did not score in the bottom five of worst college towns.
The bronze medal for the worst college town of 2021 goes to Hialeah, Florida. Hialeah is one of three college towns in the Miami area in the bottom five. Basically, just don’t go to college near Miami. Hialeah hosts CBT College-Hialeah Campus and Florida Career College-Hialeah, but they are obviously not the best choices. Overall, Hialeah ranked 214 for wallet friendliness, 398 for social environment, and 387 for academic and economic opportunities.
Bridgeport, Connecticut, wins...or loses, the silver medal for the worst college town in the United States in 2021. Bridgeport is home to Housatonic Community College, University of Bridgeport, and Sacred Heart University-West Campus. They scored 278 for wallet un-friendliness, 336 for social environment, and a scary 398 for (lack of) academic and economic opportunities.
Miami Gardens, Florida
And finally, the 'gold medal' for the worst college town in America for 2021 is: Miami Gardens, Florida. According to this list, Miami is not where you should go to college in 2021. Due to the high number of Covid-19 cases and the higher crime rate, Miami, in general, scored low socially, and Miami Gardens scored a 413 out of 415 in social environment. Wallet-friendliness is not there since it scored a 293, and the academic and economic opportunities don’t make it worth it either - ranking 368. If you are considering Biscayne College, Southeastern College, or Advanced Science College, we hope you are considering all of the factors.