The 10 Best College Towns In Alabama For 2022


Editor's Note: We updated this article for 2022. This is our fifth time ranking the best college towns in Alabama.
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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 Alabama 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 Alabama 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 Alabama for 2022.

The 10 Best College Towns In Alabama For 2022

  1. Jacksonville, AL
  2. Montevallo, AL
  3. Auburn, AL
  4. Troy, AL
  5. Huntsville, AL
  6. Birmingham, AL
  7. Tuscaloosa, AL
  8. Tuskegee, AL
  9. Talladega, AL
  10. Mobile, AL

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 Jacksonville, Montevallo and Auburn - we tip our hats to you and we'll schedule a tour for next week. You can see where Jacksonville ranks in terms of the best college town in America.

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

The 10 Best College Towns In Alabama For 2022

Jacksonville, AL
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
5
/10

Population: 12,796
% Undergrad Pop.: 50.7% (best)
Median Rent: $634 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 941.3% (13th best)
Crime Rank: 4th best
More on Jacksonville: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: Jacksonville State University

Montevallo, AL
Overall SnackAbility
5
/10

Population: 6,829
% Undergrad Pop.: 37.4% (2nd best)
Median Rent: $731 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 671.0% (8th best)
Crime Rank: 7th best
More on Montevallo: Real Estate | Cost Of Living

Colleges: University of Montevallo

Auburn, AL
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
7
/10

Population: 65,508
% Undergrad Pop.: 28.0% (4th best)
Median Rent: $887 (14th best)
Unemployment Rate: 377.5% (2nd best)
Crime Rank: 2nd best
More on Auburn: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: Auburn University

Troy, AL
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 18,995
% Undergrad Pop.: 20.1% (5th best)
Median Rent: $740 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 378.3% (3rd best)
Crime Rank: 15th best
More on Troy: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: Troy University, Troy University-Online, Troy University-Support Locations

Huntsville, AL
Overall SnackAbility
7
/10

Population: 199,845
% Undergrad Pop.: 3.7% (12th best)
Median Rent: $868 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 504.8% (5th best)
Crime Rank: 7th best
More on Huntsville: Real Estate | Cost Of Living

Colleges: University of Alabama in Huntsville, Oakwood University, J F Drake State Community and Technical College

Birmingham, AL
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 210,928
% Undergrad Pop.: 8.0% (9th best)
Median Rent: $870 (12th best)
Unemployment Rate: 832.9% (12th best)
Crime Rank: 16th best
More on Birmingham: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: University of Alabama at Birmingham, Jefferson State Community College, Samford University

Tuscaloosa, AL
Overall SnackAbility
7
/10

Population: 100,633
% Undergrad Pop.: 16.7% (6th best)
Median Rent: $858 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 706.3% (10th best)
Crime Rank: 11th best
More on Tuscaloosa: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: The University of Alabama, Shelton State Community College, Stillman College

Tuskegee, AL
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
4
/10

Population: 8,443
% Undergrad Pop.: 29.2% (3rd best)
Median Rent: $598 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 1084.8% (14th best)
Crime Rank: 7th best
More on Tuskegee: Real Estate | Cost Of Living

Colleges: Tuskegee University

Talladega, AL
Overall SnackAbility
5
/10

Population: 15,405
% Undergrad Pop.: 3.1% (13th best)
Median Rent: $565 (best)
Unemployment Rate: 1112.9% (15th best)
Crime Rank: 14th best
More on Talladega: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: Talladega College

Mobile, AL
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 189,994
% Undergrad Pop.: 6.4% (10th best)
Median Rent: $873 (13th best)
Unemployment Rate: 626.3% (7th best)
Crime Rank: 13th best
More on Mobile: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: University of South Alabama, Bishop State Community College, University of Mobile

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

To crunch our data on Alabama'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 12 places in Alabama 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 Alabama For 2022".

And it looks like Jacksonville placed Summa Cum Laude.

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

If you're looking for the best college towns in Alabama, 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.

For more reading, check out:

12 Best College Towns In Alabama

Rank City Population
1 Jacksonville, AL 12796
2 Montevallo, AL 6829
3 Auburn, AL 65508
4 Troy, AL 18995
5 Huntsville, AL 199845
6 Birmingham, AL 210928
7 Tuscaloosa, AL 100633
8 Tuskegee, AL 8443
9 Talladega, AL 15405
10 Mobile, AL 189994
11 Fairfield, AL 10749
12 Montgomery, AL 199054

Best College Towns By State

Enjoy The Snack?