Downtown Philadelphia at night looking down street with blurry streetlights and

Spotlight on 3 Great College Cities on the East Coast

Atlanta, Boston, and Philadelphia are three examples of fun college towns with great schools and big opportunities for students. Learn more about them here!

There are about a million things on our minds as seniors in high school, and with all the pressure of graduating and getting into college, we barely have time to slow down and think about what we really want to do after we graduate. Our first big choice that we have to make (other than voting) is, “Are we going to college?” And if so, where? If you’re unsure where you want to go, this spotlight on three great college towns can help get your search started. These cities feature tons of colleges to choose from, big student populations, and excitement around every corner. 

Atlanta, Georgia

This is one city I find very peachy, if you know what I mean! Atlanta has 16 colleges and universities, plus dozens more in the surrounding area. This city is home to approximately 250,000 college students and offers off-campus living in places like small apartments and high-rise hotels. The weather in Atlanta ranges from a cold, wet 35°F in the winter to a hot, muggy 89°F in the summer. There are also over hundreds of summer jobs available to college students in Atlanta. What about stuff you can do outside of school, where you can hang out with and meet friends your age? One hot spot is High Note, a cool rooftop bar that’s a local favorite.

Related: List: Excellent Colleges In or Near Atlanta

Boston, Massachusetts

Our next big city is home to 29 colleges and universities (with many more in the surrounding area) and is home to approximately 139,000 students, but it’s known for much more than the amount of students and world-class schools it has. We’re traveling to Boston, also known for championship sports teams, American history, and the bar from Cheers. The weather averages around 80°F in the summer and switches to frigid, snowy conditions in the winter—though New England is the place to be for great fall foliage. If you decide to go to college in Boston, there are over 100 paid internship opportunities and a lot of popular places for young people to live, including Harvard Square, Central Square, and Porter Square, which you can commute to by riding the bus or taking the local subway system, “The T.”

Related: List: Excellent Colleges In or Near Boston 

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The last college town we’re looking at is Philadelphia, with 115 colleges and universities in the metro area (six within two miles of downtown) and over 120,000 college students within the city limits. Temperatures in Philadelphia vary as low as 10°F and as high as 87°F. You can find around 700 jobs for college students, plus some really cool tourist attractions like Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. Philly is also considered to be one of the prettiest cities in the United States!

Related: List: Excellent Colleges In or Near Philadelphia  

While there are many more great college towns all around the country, these three cities are a great eye opener for students just starting their search. Each one offers many activities for college students to enjoy while they start their new lives away from home. The weather, the drive to and from school, and the size of the city compared to your hometown population are a few important things to consider before moving. I hope this spotlight helped you learn about your options, and I wish you luck in finding more than just your dream college but your dream city too! 

Search for other great schools in famous college towns across the country using our Lists & Rankings based on College Cities.





Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

city life college search college towns finding a college student life

About K.A.M. Robbins

K.A.M. Robbins is a high school student born in the South who lives in a big city with her family. She has a passion for the world and all the discoveries awaiting her. She strives to be the best she can be, no matter the challenge at hand.


Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
CollegeXpress Logo


Are you our next winner?

Register now for our scholarship giveaway

Anthony Vidal

Anthony Vidal

High School Class of 2023

CollegeXpress has helped me in a series of different ways when it comes to finding scholarships and learning information about different universities. I actually found my dream university through CollegeXpress and am working on getting there.

Rayan Hamdan

Rayan Hamdan


I joined CollegeXpress just a few months ago. I had been struggling with severe anxiety, causing me to not be able to tour schools and make sure a college would be perfect for me. I came across CollegeXpress one day when I was searching for colleges online, and it completely changed the game. I was easily able to choose colleges that would suit me, and I also entered a few giveaways! Thank you so much!



High School Class of 2019

My college search began at CollegeXpress. Due to this helpful tool, I was able to gather a lot of information to guide my college planning decisions. Through CollegeXpress, I was also able to apply to several scholarships to help pay for my tuition. I would definitely recommend this website to anyone who wants to explore colleges and get more information from admission experts, counselors, and real students.

Tinuola Dada

Tinuola Dada

$2,000 Community Service Scholarship Winner, 2015

I am very excited to be this year's recipient of the Multicultural Student Community Service Scholarship. This scholarship will bring me ever closer to my academic and professional goals. CollegeXpress has been an exceptional resource to me, and I recommend it to all rising seniors as they begin to navigate the college application process.

Bri'Yana Brown-Dunn

Bri'Yana Brown-Dunn

High School Class of 2022

CollegeXpress helped me gain interest in many colleges/universities and many scholarships. I would say the most helpful thing CollegeXpress has done for me is sending me emails that tell me certain types of colleges are interested in me as well as emails about scholarships that I can look at and possibly apply for.

College Matches