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


High School Class of 2019

CollegeXpress has helped me by opening my eyes to new opportunities. I learned about such easy ways to get financial help to achieve my dreams while also learning about myself and who I truly am. I know this isn't a very long explanation of what CollegeXpress has done for me, but nonetheless, I believe it's crucial to how I developed as a person throughout my time as a college student.

Dani York

Dani York

High School Class of 2022

CollegeXpress helped in my journey by comparing multiple colleges for my final decision. While looking at different colleges, I was able to compare the tuition expenses and that landed me with the college that I’m currently enrolled in, Western Kentucky University. Thank you!

Jada Bohanon

Jada Bohanon

High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress has helped me find scholarships for the colleges I applied to. It was very hard for me to find scholarships in the beginning that I was qualified for. My teachers recommended this website to find some, and not only did I find some scholarships but I also got to look into some schools I hadn’t heard of before. I was very happy to have discovered this website, especially with the coronavirus spreading all over as I can’t really go visit many colleges.



High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress really helped me by letting me know the colleges ratings and placements. They gave me accurate information on my colleges tuition rates and acceptance. They even let me know the ration between students and faculty and the diversity of the college. Overall they told me everything I needed and things I didnt even think I needed to know about my college and other colleges I applied for.

Ida Akoto-Wiafe

Ida Akoto-Wiafe

High School Class of 2022

I wanted a school that wasn't too far away from home and could provide me with a full-ride scholarship. CollegeXpress helped me put into perspective the money I had to pay to attend those schools, which ultimately drove me to choose to attend a community college first to get used to being in college before transferring to the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor, one of the colleges I was able to research further on CollegeXpress.

College Matches