Morgantown, W.Va., home to West Virginia University, is the most affordable college town in the nation for U.S. renters, according to Apartment Guide’s recent ranking of the nation’s most affordable college towns based on one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartment rents.
The core list of “college towns" includes 62 cities with at least one NCAA Football Bowl Series university or college in one of the Power Five conferences—ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, and SEC. (Clemson, S.C., and Palo Alto, Calif., were not included because they did not have sufficient inventory.) Each one was ranked based on average one-, two-, and three-bedroom rental prices in August 2019, which were averaged to determine the most and least affordable cities.
The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Morgantown is $522.33—the most affordable one-bedroom apartment rent on the list. For a two-bedroom apartment shared with roommates, the price is $364.20 per room, while a three-bedroom apartment is $275.27 per room, also the most affordable three-bedroom apartment rent on this list.
Norman, Okla., home to the University of Oklahoma, comes in second with an average rent of $679.11 for a one-bedroom apartment, $399.30 per room in a two-bedroom apartment, and $325.72 per room in a three-bedroom apartment.
Third is Stillwater, Okla., home to Oklahoma State University, with an average rent of $593.78 for a one-bedroom, $356.67 per room for a two-bedroom, and $366.90 per room for a three-bedroom.
While Morgantown is still the most affordable college town for one-bedroom rentals, Stillwater and Norman have switched places this year. Fayetteville, Ark., home of the University of Arkansas, ranks fourth for one-bedroom apartment rents at $683, but 17th overall.
Stillwater ranks first for two-bedroom apartment affordability, with an average two-bedroom apartment rent of $713. Morgantown ranks second at $728, and Iowa City, Iowa, home to the University of Iowa, third at $733. Apartment Guide notes that average two-bedroom apartment rents in Iowa City have fallen 40% over the past year, from $1,026 to $733, as demand has fallen.
Iowa City ranks first for three-bedroom apartment affordability at $723 per unit, down 48% from $1,068 last year. Oxford, Miss., home of Ole Miss, comes in second at $805.71 per unit, and Morgantown in third at $825.80. A number of cities in the Top 25 for three-bedroom apartments fall outside the top of the list for one- and two-bedroom rentals, including Syracuse, N.Y., Starkville, Miss., and Athens, Ga.
Using this same calculation, Berkeley, Calif., home to the University of California, Berkeley, is the most expensive college town in the U.S. The city’s average rent is $2,918 for a one-bedroom apartment and $6,900 for a three-bedroom apartment, or $2,300 per room.
Los Angeles, home to USC and UCLA, comes in second at $2,897 for a one-bedroom apartment and $6,834 for a three-bedroom apartment. Chestnut Hill, Mass., home of Boston College, is third at $2,990 for a one-bedroom apartment and $5,564 for three bedrooms.
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