The 10 Best College Towns In Missouri For 2022


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

The 10 Best College Towns In Missouri For 2022

  1. Warrensburg, MO
  2. Maryville, MO
  3. Kirksville, MO
  4. Columbia, MO
  5. Marshall, MO
  6. Bolivar, MO
  7. Rolla, MO
  8. Florissant, MO
  9. Joplin, MO
  10. Moberly, MO

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

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

The 10 Best College Towns In Missouri For 2022

Warrensburg, MO
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 20,313
% Undergrad Pop.: 45.0% (2nd best)
Median Rent: $764 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 492.3% (14th best)
Crime Rank: 6th best
More on Warrensburg: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg Area Career Center

Maryville, MO
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 11,641
% Undergrad Pop.: 47.8% (best)
Median Rent: $680 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 257.1% (4th best)
Crime Rank: best
More on Maryville: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: Northwest Missouri State University

Kirksville, MO
Overall SnackAbility
4
/10

Population: 17,645
% Undergrad Pop.: 32.9% (3rd best)
Median Rent: $642 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 668.1% (22nd best)
Crime Rank: 16th best
More on Kirksville: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: Truman State University, Kirksville Area Technical Center, A T Still University of Health Sciences

Columbia, MO
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
7.5
/10

Population: 122,659
% Undergrad Pop.: 21.7% (5th best)
Median Rent: $890 (15th best)
Unemployment Rate: 353.9% (8th best)
Crime Rank: 7th best
More on Columbia: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia College, Stephens College

Marshall, MO
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 12,920
% Undergrad Pop.: 12.0% (10th best)
Median Rent: $667 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 353.3% (7th best)
Crime Rank: 3rd best
More on Marshall: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: Missouri Valley College, Saline County Career Center

Bolivar, MO
Overall SnackAbility
5
/10

Population: 11,000
% Undergrad Pop.: 24.7% (4th best)
Median Rent: $708 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 299.9% (5th best)
Crime Rank: 15th best
More on Bolivar: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: Southwest Baptist University

Rolla, MO
Overall SnackAbility
5
/10

Population: 20,273
% Undergrad Pop.: 18.2% (6th best)
Median Rent: $726 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 479.8% (13th best)
Crime Rank: 17th best
More on Rolla: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla Technical Institute/Center, Metro Business College-Rolla

Florissant, MO
Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 51,220
% Undergrad Pop.: 0.4% (19th best)
Median Rent: $1,054 (19th best)
Unemployment Rate: 776.4% (23rd best)
Crime Rank: 5th best
More on Florissant: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: Saint Louis Christian College, Missouri School of Barbering, Urshan Graduate School of Theology

Joplin, MO
Overall SnackAbility
4
/10

Population: 50,580
% Undergrad Pop.: 12.9% (9th best)
Median Rent: $774 (12th best)
Unemployment Rate: 554.2% (19th best)
Crime Rank: 2best
More on Joplin: Real Estate | Cost Of Living

Colleges: Missouri Southern State University, Ozark Christian College, Vatterott College-Joplin

Moberly, MO
Overall SnackAbility
6
/10

Population: 13,710
% Undergrad Pop.: 1.0% (18th best)
Median Rent: $665 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 421.8% (10th best)
Crime Rank: 10th best
More on Moberly: Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Colleges: Moberly Area Community College, Central Christian College of the Bible

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

To crunch our data on Missouri'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 19 places in Missouri 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 Missouri For 2022".

And it looks like Warrensburg placed Summa Cum Laude.

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

If you're looking for the best college towns in Missouri, 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:

19 Best College Towns In Missouri

Rank City Population
1 Warrensburg, MO 20313
2 Maryville, MO 11641
3 Kirksville, MO 17645
4 Columbia, MO 122659
5 Marshall, MO 12920
6 Bolivar, MO 11000
7 Rolla, MO 20273
8 Florissant, MO 51220
9 Joplin, MO 50580
10 Moberly, MO 13710
11 Hannibal, MO 17312
12 Fulton, MO 12696
13 St. Louis, MO 304709
14 Sunset Hills, MO 8466
15 Liberty, MO 31761
16 Springfield, MO 167601
17 Kansas City, MO 491158
18 Independence, MO 117139
19 Nevada, MO 8198

Best College Towns By State

Enjoy The Snack?