Rafalina Alvarado

A Real Estate Agent at Alvarado et al.

Rafalina Alvarado

Alvarado et al.

A Real Estate Agent based in Baton Rouge Community College

No Awards Received

 

Information Provided about Rafalina's Coverage Area

 
Nightlife

Nightlife

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Baton Rouge’s nightlife isn’t as famous--or maybe I should say infamous--as nearby New Orleans, but there’s still plenty of shenanigans students can get involved in here. And Baton Rouge celebrates Mardi Gras just as hard too, with parades and parties and just all-around mayhem. This should be expected, as the city is home to LSU’s main campus, and the students there love to party. Every weekend there are events going on around the city and near their campus not just for them, but for every college student in the area. So BRCC students should feel perfectly at home at an LSU football game, or making friends at one of their parties.

 
Public Transportation

Public Transportation

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Baton Rouge has a cool public transportation setup, led by Capital Area Transit System buses. They have a student rate you can sign up for, I think the fare is only thirty or forty cents with it. I don’t think I have to tell you how much cheaper that is than buying gas and parking. They also provide a bus tracking system so students can use their phones, laptops, tablets, or whatever devices they carry around nowadays to know where their bus is at all times. If you own a vehicle you may still feel more inclined to drive it to class, but the city allows you to commute with a car if you want to.

 
Apartment Costs

Apartment Costs

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Some parts around Seattle can be really expensive to live in. Suburban areas with great city access tend to almost have as much value as living in Seattle itself. With that said, Everett is definitely one of the less expensive places to rent in the region. The average two bed is around a thousand a month, which is cheaper than nearby towns like Marysville, Clinton, Langley, etc. Really, it’s great value considering what you’re getting with an apartment here: a short commute to the college, a great location on the Sound, and a quick drive to Seattle.

 
Recreation

Recreation

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

I’ve yet to meet a student who doesn’t enjoy the occasional excursion to the big city. Seattle is about a half hour away from Everett. It’s easiest to take I-5 there, but buses in Everett can get you there, too. It’s awesome to be so close to Seattle, but don’t sleep on Everett. There are some great restaurants and bars there, and though it may not be as high-profile it’s still a lot of fun for students. Traveling east will bring you to some of the state’s best recreational areas like Lake Stevens, Mt. Pilchuck State Forest, and the Spada Lake.

 
Crime & Safety

Crime & Safety

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

I’m never too surprised when students tell me how safe the university’s campus is. After all, Aurora is an incredible safe city in general. So when students make the transition from campus to an apartment, they should expect to live with the same comfort level they have at school. Aurora’s crime rate is much lower than the US average for a city its size, and has around half as many burglary, assault, and larceny crimes and a quarter as many vehicle thefts as the average. It’s never difficult to find a nice part of the city to live in.

 
Traffic & Commuting

Traffic & Commuting

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

The reliable Metra Rail service has a station in Aurora, but unfortunately it isn’t walkable from the university. It’s about three miles away, which you can only get to with a car (but that would take the point out of traveling by train) or bus. Most students don’t want to put up with the hassle of taking both the train and bus to class and back, so if they live further away in the city or outside of it they’ll most likely be driving. City buses are available for student use, but if they don’t want to use public transportation they should get familiar with Aurora’s sidestreets or Interstate 88.

 
Restaurants

Restaurants

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

I spent much of my childhood in a small Kentucky town where the only places to eat were fast food establishments like McDonalds or chain restaurants like IHOP. When my family wanted a dinner out, we used to drive miles to the Louisville because of all the great restaurants there that were started up and operated by locals. For college students in a rural area, it’s easy for them to fall into the easy traps of unhealthy fast food because there aren’t many other options. But in Bowling Green, one of the Kentucky’s biggest and greatest cities, there are tons of great places to eat. Students here really are blessed with a nice selection of places where they can get lunch or dinner.

 
Demographics

Demographics

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

The city of Bowling Green’s population, which is the third largest in Kentucky, is bolstered greatly by students in the area. The majority of them hail from Western Kentucky University, as the school has over twenty thousand enrolled. BGTI has just a fourth as many, but that’s still a good five thousand or so. The difference is that BGTI has many more students that commute from out of town, because the majority of the student body is only part time. But for the ones who do live in Bowling Green, they’ll certainly notice that there are thousands of other city residents that are just as young as them.

 
Economy and Jobs

Economy and Jobs

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Pace is a great school in one of the best cities in the world to start a career in. The campus is right next to the Financial District and gives students easy access to Lower and Midtown Manhattan’s businesses and organizations. So not only does this school prepare students academically, but it puts them in a direct position to succeed with local opportunities. Pace’s Career Services office is terrific at helping students with the job market and career strategy, even if it’s outside of NYC’s options. Pace gets an A+ in my book for student preparation.

 
Nightlife

Nightlife

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

I’ll be bold and say it: Pace has the best nightlife out of any college in the country. Do traditional party schools have better athletic and on-campus events? Probably. And better Greek Life? Sure. But Pace’s location trumps all. Its campus is in Manhattan, minutes away from the best nightlife in the world. But really, it’s not just nightlife. NYC is the center of culture in the United States, with more art, music, bars and clubs, and parties than anywhere else. And that includes other colleges and universities; they’re not even close to Pace.

 
Public Transportation

Public Transportation

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

There are two trains based out of Oceanside, both belonging to the North County Transit District. One is called the Coaster, and the other is the Sprinter. The former rides from Oceanside to San Diego along the Pacific. The latter goes from Oceanside to Escondido, and is the train that commuter students use to get to MiraCosta. It stops at the Rancho Del Oro Station, which is a little less than a mile from campus. Conveniently, it is exactly three stops from both Oceanside and Vista. Because these two places are where most students live, they should be able to take the train to class every day if they don’t own a vehicle.

 
Apartment Costs

Apartment Costs

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

MiraCosta is sandwiched in between Oceanside and Vista, so it doesn’t matter much commuting-wise which one you choose to live in. But with apartment costs, the difference between the two areas is hundreds of dollars per month. Oceanside, with its location on the Pacific coastline and higher affluence, is much more expensive than Vista. In fact, Vista has the cheapest average apartment costs out of anywhere within twelve miles of MiraCosta (this includes Carlsbad, San Marcos, and a few other places). For college students on a budget, Vista is a no-brainer.

 
Recreation

Recreation

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

It can be tantalizing to live so close to a city yet not be able to take advantage of it every day like you want to. Like it or not, you will be busy most days with class, homework, or studying, so when you have free time it won’t always be enough to go to Minny or St. Paul. When you consider the time it takes to drive there and back, find something to do, and then actually do it, it’ll probably take up at least two hours of your day. Some Hennepin students remedy this by living closer to the cities, or even in them, and justify the higher prices with their location, as they can be close to everything Minny or St. Paul has to offer.

 
Traffic & Commuting

Traffic & Commuting

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Hennepin’s campus in Brooklyn Park is near the outer edges of the Twin Cities region, but driving to Minneapolis and St. Paul still doesn’t take very long. It’s about 15 minutes to Minny and 20 to St. Paul. Will students be commuting from there? Not usually. Most of them don’t want to pay either cities’ rental costs, which are much higher than its suburbs or more remote areas on the other side of Brooklyn Park. Route 169 and Interstate 94 are both close to Hennepin and are the main roads commuters use to get here, regardless of where they live.

 
Public Transportation

Public Transportation

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Brown and RISD have a collaborative bus system called the SafeRIDE that’s free for students. It won’t pick you up on the other side of Providence like the city buses would, but if you’re trying to get around campus, or if you live nearby, this is an ideal way to commute. As I mentioned RIPTA also runs buses that travel around the city, and just like SafeRIDE, students ride free! The larger cities in the Northeast generally have great public transportation infrastructures, and Providence is a great example. In addition to the buses, it’s also served by Amtrak and the MBTA’s commuter rail, which primarily provides service to Boston and the rest of Massachusetts.

 
Crime & Safety

Crime & Safety

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Providence hasn’t always had the best reputation when it comes to crime and safety in the city. This has often times conflicted with the other rep the city has, which is one of the East Coast’s best college cities. But I’ll tell you one thing I’m certain about: Brown is in one of the safest parts of the city. It’s located right on College Hill, and shares downtown real estate with RISD, Johnson & Wales, URI Providence, and several other colleges. All these schools have ensured that their security presence is strong and capable, and have worked with the city to make the downtown community the best in the city for its students.

 
Nightlife

Nightlife

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Some students feel left out when a huge Buckeye sporting event takes place in Columbus and they’re miles away in Newark, unable to watch it or celebrate after with the crowds. But this is easily remedied by the spirited student body in Newark, which always congregate together to watch their school compete at a bar, restaurant, or on campus somewhere. And yes, I know you’re wondering, there are parties here, too. Some students, however, make weekly trips over to Columbus, either in their car or a friend’s. It’s so easy to make friends at the campus over there, and once you do you’ll have event invites and places to stay the night. Either way, whether you’re staying in Newark or heading to the big city, the nightlife for an OSU student is always entertaining.

 
Demographics

Demographics

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

OSU’s main campus lies in Columbus, about forty minutes from the Newark campus. Even though they’re pretty close to each other, they couldn’t be more different. The Columbus campus has one of the largest student enrollment in the USA, with almost 45,000 of them. At the Newark campus, meanwhile, there are only a couple thousand. The size discrepancy creates really different cultures, too. At Newark you could easily see the same people around campus every day, and when parties roll around there are usually two or three consistent locations and you’ll know the students who throw them. But at OSU Columbus, it could easily feel like you’re in the middle of a huge collegiate city. And I’m not even talking about Columbus, but rather the campus itself. The Ohio State brand is the same at both places, but they might as well be two different schools.

 
Recreation

Recreation

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

It’s funny that when most people want a break from work, they go out and golf. But for the trainees at the Keiser College of Golf, golf is work. And when they spend nearly every day playing or studying the sport or spending time on the green, sometimes they just want to take a break when they have free time. As it turns out, the only thing more calming than a golf course, the ocean, is just twenty minutes from the school. And the sand there will be a lot less frustrating than the bunkers on the golf course. Downtown Port St. Lucie is also relatively close, it’s just 15 minutes from Keiser.

 
Economy and Jobs

Economy and Jobs

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

There aren’t a lot colleges in America that specialize in golf like this school does. Most schools support athletics with their teams, clubs, and intramurals, but few make a sport their entire focus. At Keiser, however, this is exactly their strategy, and they have the staff and location to make it effective. And by location, I don’t just mean sunny Florida. The school sits on an immaculate golf course that’s owned and operated by the PGA. Students can walk across their “campus” and learn from professionals who are practicing or playing a tournament there. It’s no wonder Keiser has produced so many successful golfers, and continues to make a reputation for themselves as the best prep school the sport has.

 
Apartment Costs

Apartment Costs

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Belleville’s rental costs aren’t too outrageous--students will end up paying anywhere from three to five hundred per month, depending on how patient they are and if they have roommates or not. For the sake of convenience and simplicity, most students won’t bother looking outside of Belleville’s borders. But if they do, I would suggest apartment searching in East St. Louis. You’ll be much closer to the city, and the apartment prices are much cheaper. As for commuting, the Metrolink train can transport you between the two locations for a reasonable price.

 
Traffic & Commuting

Traffic & Commuting

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Even though its campus is in Illinois, SIC’s Belleville location is considered part of the St. Louis suburban region. In fact, the city’s popular Metrolink rail system extends to Belleville and has a station on the SIC campus’s eastern edge. The train can take students to the city, or to the airport if they’re going home to another state after their semester or to somewhere warm during winter or spring break. But students will probably ride the train far more often than that if they live outside of Belleville. But if these out-of-towners have cars they will be more acquainted with Interstate 64, which is just three miles from campus.

 
Restaurants

Restaurants

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Expand your culinary horizons during your time at Wichita State. Try some great Turkish food at Zaytun, Thai at Siam, Japanese at the Sake Steakhouse, or Indian at Passage to India. The Midwest isn’t exactly where you’d expect to find great exotic restaurants, but these eateries are just that. Oh, and did I mention they’re all a couple blocks from campus? You can’t beat their convenience, but if you want to find the best restaurant scene in the city, downtown is a must. There are so many incredible restaurants there, most of which have reasonably priced menus, too.

 
Public Transportation

Public Transportation

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Wichita doesn’t have the greatest public transportation system you’ll find in a big city, but it definitely gets the job done. Wichita Transit runs the city buses, and they’re always on time, run routes through almost every neighborhood, and even have free Wi-Fi for its passengers. With over a dozen buses in service every day, you should be able to catch one for every destination. I know a lot of people in Wichita, both students and not, who depend on buses to get around, and I applaud them. It’s a cheap, easy, eco-friendly way to commute, and I would highly recommend it to anyone.

 
Economy and Jobs

Economy and Jobs

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Anne Arundel is about 30 minutes from Baltimore and 45 from Washington DC. Close enough, I’d say, to get an internship or part time job during the summers or on non-class days during the semester. This is a very fertile area for job growth, and following a tough recession, that’s exactly what college grads need. Anne Arundel students already have a leg up on everyone else because they won’t have as much debt, and their great location is just another advantage they have on their side. With the country’s weak job market, these factors are just as important to consider as any in a college.

 
Weather

Weather

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

I’m not usually one to around quoting clichés or old sayings, but the weather in Arnold is truly both a blessing and a curse. In the summer students couldn’t find a more comfortable place to live, with a cool breeze floating from the Chesapeake Bay to alleviate the thick humidity and the sun’s hot rays. And there are plenty of plenty of places to swim locally that will help, too. But in the winter, the same breeze off the bay will freeze you to the core and make you wish you wore a couple more layers over the three you’re already wearing. But if you can survive the cold here, you’re rewarded with perfect summers.

 
Crime & Safety

Crime & Safety

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Most, if not all, of the crime in Shepherdstown comes from the university. But don’t be alarmed, they’re usually minor crimes like a party-related mishap or a theft now and then. I don’t think anyone can rightfully consider an area dangerous if the majority of calls to the police are for disturbing the peace or underage drinking. Outside of the university, there’s hardly any crime at all. This is a very small town, and most people respect the community. And if someone doesn’t, everyone knows about it immediately and will report them to the police.

 
Demographics

Demographics

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Shepherdstown is located in an interesting part of West Virginia. It’s a half hour from both the Virginia and Baltimore state borders, and a little over an hour from Washington DC. But in this town of a little over a thousand people, it doesn’t feel close to anything. Its atmosphere has an isolated rural feel, which most West Virginia residents are accustomed to, but it feels strange to outsiders, especially those from cities. Some students embrace the small community of the town and the university, whereas others go bonkers. Everyone reacts differently, but I feel like if you give the school and the town a chance it’s easy to fall in love with them.

 
Apartment Costs

Apartment Costs

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

South Bend apartment living will cost the typical student around three or four hundred dollars per month, or maybe even less if you find a 3+ bedroom rental with a few roommates. With so many students here, these prices are purposely cheap. The apartments aren’t always “luxury” quality, if you know what I mean, but in my experience I’ve found that this is never really a high priority for most students. It’s more about affordability to them. Outside of South Bend, some students live in Mishawaka. The prices are around the same here, and it’s close enough to Ivy Tech that the commute is doable.

 
Nightlife

Nightlife

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

South Bend is considered a tremendous university town because of the schools in the area. The two most popular are Notre Dame and Indiana University; you may have heard of them. Ivy Tech students are part of this young crowd too, and on any given weekend you can see them right there with the Notre Dame and IU kids at football games, parties, bars, or at concerts and shows around town. What Ivy Tech lacks in nightlife opportunities for its students, South Bend, Notre Dame, and IU make up for. Ivy Tech students should feel very fortunate to live in South Bend.

 
Traffic & Commuting

Traffic & Commuting

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Holland has a business spur route off of Interstate 196, which is a special diversion from the highway created for better traffic circulation in Holland. There aren’t many of these in Michigan, and any local could tell you how valuable it is for getting around. For Hope students, it’s mostly used by commuters from out of town or the other side of town, and it significantly cuts down their travel time. This is especially true in the winters, when the local roads are affected by natural conditions and drivers move at a crawl on them.

 
Recreation

Recreation

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Holland’s greatest attractions are the local bodies of water. The big one of course is Lake Michigan, the coast of which is just a few miles away. But in between lies the Macatawa Bay, the Big Bay, and the Pine Creek Bay, all of which are part of the Macatawa Lake. That lake flows into Holland, and on its banks are a few popular student hangouts, like the Window on the Waterfront park, Kollen Park, and Windmill Island and its park. When the weather’s warm and you’re looking for outdoor recreation or just a place to chill with friends, you’ll probably head to one of these lakefront spots.

 
Crime & Safety

Crime & Safety

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Albany has a crime rate that’s two times higher than the US average, and almost double the Georgia average, too. The safest parts of the city are the western neighborhoods in the Ducker and Gillionville region and the southeast near Crestwood and Putney. Not coincidentally, these are also the communities that are furthest from downtown. Fortunately, Darton is in a safe part of Albany, almost four miles out of downtown and near the Doublegate and Gillionville communities.

 
Public Transportation

Public Transportation

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Darton College is large reason why the Albany Transit System exists. With seven bus routes and several others proposed, every student should look into their services before buying a car or ask a friend for rides. The only disadvantage is that the buses run from eight in the morning to five in the night. Some students need an earlier bus because they have a class at eight, and others need a later bus because their class runs past five. But even with limited hours, the buses can be a huge help to your commute, and if you need to you can plan your class schedule around their hours.

 
Demographics

Demographics

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

PCOM’s campus is around five miles out of downtown Philly, but it’s not far enough to be considered suburban. I would definitely categorize PCOM’s surroundings as an urban settings. And with this comes a different way of approaching your way of living, both good and bad. Why it’s good: there are so many ways of getting to class using public transit, like trains and buses. But it’s bad because there are parts of the city you should try to avoid. I don’t want to scrutinize specific neighborhoods, but once you cross the river and enter North Philly there are some high-crime areas to be wary of.

 
Public Transportation

Public Transportation

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

PCOM is somewhat in the center of the Wynnefield Heights, Bala, and Cynwyd neighborhoods of Philly. This location works out great for students because the Bala train station is only half a mile away and the Cynwyd station is about a mile. And students also can ride any of the buses that pass through Wynnefield Heights around campus, whether it’s to go to the rail station or their apartment. The Paoli/Thorndale line is also relatively close to campus at the Overbrook station.

 
Apartment Costs

Apartment Costs

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

The rental prices are cheaper here than you would expect for a big city like Las Vegas. The average cost of a two bedroom is around $900, or $450 per person if you rent with a roommate. North Las Vegas, Boulder City, and Henderson’s costs are around the same, give or take a hundred dollars per month or so. There are some suburbs that offer super cheap housing if you have a smaller budget, but I think that living here is very affordable. If I was a student I would be thrilled about the cost of housing near CSN.

 
Nightlife

Nightlife

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

It seems the average American doesn’t know much about Nevada aside from Las Vegas and our deserts. But if you think this is the part where I tell you about another part of the state that has nightlife that has nightlife that’s just as good and should be as well-known, you’re wrong. There’s nothing comparable to Las Vegas’s nightlife, not just in other parts of the state but in the entire country. And CSN students are just ten miles out of the city; a location I absolutely would’ve loved in college. Even if there isn’t as much going on CSN’s campus as a school that’s famous for its party life, the nightlife for a student here is still unparalleled.

 
Crime & Safety

Crime & Safety

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Muskegon has the unfortunate distinction of being listed on Neighborhood Scout’s annual top 100 list of the country’s most dangerous places. The crime rate is almost double the Michigan and US averages, and has assault and burglary rates that are around three times higher than average. I’m not going to sugarcoat this; there are definitely some parts of Muskegon that students should avoid like a bad rash. But just like there are streets to steer away from, there are also streets that I would highly recommend living on, and would feel safe walking at night. It all hinges on location here.

 
Public Transportation

Public Transportation

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Muskegon and Milwaukee sit almost exactly opposite each other on Lake Michigan. I’m glad that someone besides me noticed this, because whoever it was created a ferry system that connects the two cities. From spring to fall anyone can ride this boat (and bring along their bike or car if they so choose), and make the commute in just a few hours. As for local transit, Muskegon has its own transportation company, the Muskegon Area Transit System, that blankets the area with bus coverage and helps students commute to Baker every day.

 
Economy and Jobs

Economy and Jobs

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

One would imagine that a city that has seen a population spike of almost 125% in the past twenty years would have a job shortage, but as the number of residents has grown, so has the Murfreesboro’s economy. In fact, that’s one of the reasons why this city has been such an attraction to many. The unemployment rate is well below the US average right now, and a lot of companies here and in nearby Nashville are opening up and expanding. If you’re a college grad leaving MTSU, you will probably be well off if you stay and begin your career here. This is definitely a city on the rise.

 
Recreation

Recreation

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Murfreesboro is often overshadowed because Nashville is only a half hour away. But it’s a legitimate big city with a population of over a hundred thousand. But get this--there were only sixty thousand people here in 2000, and since then forty thousand more have moved into the city. This makes Murfreesboro one of the fastest growing cities not just in Tennessee, but in the South, too. With the city’s rapid increase has come a real cultural presence that the city has never had, or at least not like this. Now there are trendy restaurants opening up, “cool spots” for students to hang out, and even clubs. It’s great for students, and certainly they don’t complain about being so close to Nashville, either.

 
Traffic & Commuting

Traffic & Commuting

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Commuting in Dublin is the easiest thing in the world. As a town of only a couple thousand, traffic is basically nonexistent around here. The worst situation that could happen is a tree falls in the road and shuts it down for the day, or a storm makes road conditions dangerous. But aside from that, the roads are usually clear and peaceful here. There is a major road south of town, Interstate 81, that can be a little busier, but for the most part it’s quick highway driving.

 
Local Events

Local Events

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

I love NRCC’s location, and I don’t think I’m alone. It’s right near the center of Dublin, so the entire town is within walking distance. That includes the town’s best attraction, the New River Fairgrounds. They’re about a five minute drive from campus, and you’ll know that mile well if you’re a student here. The fairgrounds has a lot of great annual events, from concerts from big music acts like Blake Shelton and Joe Nichols, to a huge fair, to horse shows, to flea markets. These fairgrounds add a lot of excitement to Dublin, which is a very small town that doesn’t usually have a lot going on.

 
Demographics

Demographics

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

The demographics of your college experience really varies depending on where you go. At a community school, you could have a class with teens from a local high school who are trying to get college credits, or adults in their forties who have been laid off and are trying to get a degree or certification for a new job, or are at the school for career development. This really changes the atmosphere of a classroom, but not negatively. I think it’s unique that there are representatives of different generations attending here, and it really adds a different perspective to classrooms and their discussions.

 
Public Transportation

Public Transportation

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

You have to give credit to Pierce Transit. Seattle isn’t as close to Tacoma as many incoming freshmen think (around 40 miles away), but PT runs a bus that directly connects the two cities. This is great on the weekends, and even better for students who live in either city or anywhere in between and don’t have a car to commute with. You can catch the bus in either downtown Tacoma or Lakewood. Public transportation still isn’t as popular as cars, but has made great strides compared to where it used to be with students a few years ago.

 
Apartment Costs

Apartment Costs

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

A lot of students lament about how expensive West Palm Beach is, and how tough it is for them to stay within their desired price range. I can’t help but agree with them--this is a very pricey area. And not just West Palm Beach, but Riviera Beach, Lake Worth, and the other parts of Palm Beach, too. But, you get what you pay for. Unbelievable access to the ocean, beaches, nightlife, shopping, and PBAU. If you can stretch your budget to live here, I would say it’s worth it. If not, there are affordable places in the region, but it’ll be a longer commute for you.

 
Traffic & Commuting

Traffic & Commuting

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

The drive to PBAU is a scenic one on South Flagler Drive along the water. There’s nothing better than getting out of class and riding on Flagler, basking in the sun and feeling free. It feels even sweeter if you’re headed to the beach, which is just minutes away from the school. You could probably walk there if you wanted to. South of West Palm Beach is Lake Worth, and Riviera Beach lies to the north. PBAU is also accessible by I-95 or Route 1, depending on where your apartment is.

 
Nightlife

Nightlife

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

A half hour drive to downtown Los Angeles? Check. A twenty minute drive to Long Beach? Check. And easiest of all, a fifteen minute drive to Anaheim? Check, again. Cypress’s location is fantastic for nightlife. There’s enough going on at the local campus to make a student’s weekend epic, and then there are all the places I just mentioned if they want to make it an adventure. And they don’t even have to worry about driving! Public transportation can take them anywhere around the area, and transport them back after they’ve had drinks.

 
Crime & Safety

Crime & Safety

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

I’m going to go out on a limb and say the Cypress is one of the top three safest LA suburbs. Except, if you know Cypress at all, then this shouldn’t be a shocker. I’ve never felt unsafe here, and the students are a large reason why. Aside from being a part of LA, Cypress is primarily known for its college. The local area revolves around that school, and students do nothing but make us proud every semester. They take part in community activities and events, they work hard to make their campus a comfortable environment, and they don’t clash with the locals at all. If you’re a Cypress student searching for an apartment, there’s no reason to look outside of this area.

 
Weather

Weather

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Y’all shouldn’t forget that North Carolina is part of the South, and that the winters here are usually pretty mild. The temperatures are usually in the forties, and sometimes dip in the thirties or below on the coldest days. But still, there usually isn’t snow, and we don’t get the same rainy season that other states do. The summers are also more mild than other Southern states, thankfully. Usually it stays in the seventies during that part of year, and peaks in the eighties on hotter days in July and August.

 
Recreation

Recreation

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Forsyth is one of a half dozen or so colleges and universities in Winston-Salem. Some of the others are Wake Forest, Winston-Salem State, Salem College, and Piedmont. Student life isn’t exactly hopping at a technical college like Forsyth, but there are numerous activities for college students in the city, whether it’s a sports game, party, or event at one of the schools, or a happy hour at a city bar or a college discount night at a local business. It’s good to be a student in Winston-Salem, regardless of which school you attend.

 
Apartment Costs

Apartment Costs

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

With two colleges in town Gainesville has no shortage of student apartments and landlords who don’t mind dealing with them. The good news is that these rentals are usually cheaper than most, and though they’re not always in the best shape, students don’t usually mind. There are residential areas all around the school, and students who jump on the apartments that open up early are rewarded with a great location within walking distance.

 
Demographics

Demographics

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

It’s no secret that one of the main concerns students at Women’s colleges have is that they won’t be able to meet any men. But here, there are thousands of male students at the nearby Gainesville State College. As for Brenau, there are only around two thousand undergrads. It’s a very small school by any measure, but it doesn’t shy away from this fact. It boasts small liberal arts classes and a real “community feel” on campus, and has been recognized nationally for its academics at the Gainesville campus, satellite campuses, and online classes.

 
Nightlife

Nightlife

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

I don’t think there’s a better nightlife spot in Florida than Daytona Beach outside of Miami and Orlando. This area is consistently one of the state’s number one destinations during spring break and summer vacation, and it definitely lives up to its party hard reputation. The bars are packed and stay open late, the beach is a sanctuary from the heat and a tremendously fun place to hang out with friends, the clubs are full of young, attractive students, and reservations go quick at the trendy restaurants. Quite simply, nothing beats Florida nightlife, especially in Daytona.

 
Traffic & Commuting

Traffic & Commuting

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

ERAU is perfectly in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and Interstate 95. The former symbolizes peacefulness and relaxation. The latter, on the other hand, makes you think of the frustration and stress that comes with peak hour traffic. The majority of students take I-95 to get to school, and if they can they try to avoid the morning and evening stampedes. Once you get off the interstate, however, the drive is easy and even a little pleasant.

 
Restaurants

Restaurants

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

JCCC’s dining options aren’t as extensive as a normal college’s. They are, to be fair, better than most community colleges, with a couple coffee shops, a cafe, and a food court, but students will get tired of the lack of variety pretty easily. At that point they can either pack their own food, or look to other restaurants in the area. Overland Park has a good number of places to eat, and students will undoubtedly establish favorite lunch spots that they’ll take friends to or study at. Many of the restaurants in the area also deliver, which is ideal for long study sessions.

 
Public Transportation

Public Transportation

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

There are two bus circuits students at JCCC that bolster the local public transportation. There’s the Lawrence/KU Edwards/JCCC K-10 connector and the Johnson County Transit, which students call the Jo. The Jo has ten different bus routes that go to JCC and and then run around the county, to locations like downtown Metcalf, Olathe, Antioch, and of course Kansas City. It’s very easy to find an apartment near one of these many routes and take the bus to class every day.

 
Recreation

Recreation

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

What do college students like to do in their free time? Most would say hang out with friends, leave their dorm room or apartment that they’ve slaved away studying in, and enjoy a sunny day. There’s no better activity that combines all three like retreating to the mountains that students stare out the window and daydream at when they’re in class. The San Bernardino National Forest is very close, just a short drive down Mill Creek Road. Here there are lakes, springs, towering peaks, and great trails for exercise, leisure, and recreation.

 
Crime & Safety

Crime & Safety

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Redlands is about a fourth safer than the California and US average. Its violent crime rate is especially low, with a murder rate that’s half of the CA/US average and a low assault rate, too. The risk of vehicle theft is a little higher than the country average, but that trend is true in California as a whole. Redlands overall is a great place for students. When you look around the rest of Southern California, you could make a case that Redlands, combined with San Bernardino, is one of the best places for students to go to school.

 
Recreation

Recreation

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Much of the social life at Elon is involved with the school’s Greek life, much more so than at the typical university. If students aren’t in a fraternity or sorority, odds are they know someone who is. And if they do, they’ll get the invite to go to one of the many Greek life parties on the weekends. In a small place like Elon, there’s not a lot to do so weekends are spent on campus and at events like frat or sorority get togethers. If students are feeling particularly ambitious, Greensboro, Durham, and Raleigh are within driving distance.

 
Economy and Jobs

Economy and Jobs

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Elon is right down the road from the best place to get a technology job in the United States. You can make a case for the Silicon Valley in California or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology being better, but none of them can claim what the Research Triangle Park in North Carolina can: it’s the biggest research park there is. Not just in the U.S., but in the entire world. There are almost 200 companies here, and more recognizable names in the industry than I can list here. Going to school at Elon will help you get your foot in the door here if you so desire.

 
Apartment Costs

Apartment Costs

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Living in a city like Birmingham doesn’t have to be expensive if you don’t want to compromise your budget. There are luxury rentals, and apartments in the center of downtown, but there are also student apartments that are affordable, a decent living situation, and close to campus. There’s no need to look outside the city, because the costs aren’t worth it. Sometimes the prices aren’t even cheaper. Did you know that Fultondale has a higher average rent than Birmingham? There are tons of low-priced apartments in Birmingham if you look around for them.

 
Traffic & Commuting

Traffic & Commuting

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

It’s very rare for students to commute to UAB with transportation that’s not their car, or a friend’s vehicle. Some of them are able to walk, but if they live more than three quarters of a mile away they have to find wheels. The school is launching its own transportation system soon, and this will definitely help with commuting and getting around campus. But for now, cars dominate the commuting statistics. The school knows this, and makes sure that parking is always available and easy to find.

 
Nightlife

Nightlife

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Fargo has great nightlife, with a downtown full of life and a large college (North Dakota State University) with parties and large events just steps away from it. Meanwhile, in Moorhead, MSUM has events of its own too, like concerts, monthly festivals, and weekend shenanigans at students’ apartments or Greek Life houses. But for city thrills, downtown Fargo dominates downtown Moorhead any day. Fortunately, they’re just a mile away from each other and are both a short trip for MSUM students.

 
Restaurants

Restaurants

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

There are two borders near MSUM, the one that divides Moorhead and the city of Fargo, and another that separates North Dakota and Minnesota. Both are just minutes from campus. There are good restaurants in Moorhead, from chains like Dairy Queen to unique local establishments like Pizza Nico. But I think the best restaurants are across the border in downtown Fargo. It might be a mile further, but with some of the fantastic eateries they have there it’s worth the extra distance.

 
Crime & Safety

Crime & Safety

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Ashburn, Hometown, and East Burbank have low crime and are at least a short drive away from campus, if not a short walk. But if you look more east, towards Englewood, Auburn Gresham, and Chatham, you’ll find that the crime is higher than average. And these areas are further from the campus, so it’s not worth it in my opinion. RJD College students are best of living in Ashburn or another close area, like West Lawn.

 
Public Transportation

Public Transportation

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

The Richard J Daley College has two train stations on the city’s rail system near them, but they’re not necessarily close. The difference is that students can’t walk to them from campus. The orange line is three miles north, and the red line is four miles away. But the great part about Chicago is that where a student can’t walk, a bus can surely bring them there. Both rail stations are just a short ride away, and if students don’t mind making a rail-bus connection, it’s totally possible to use them to commute. Another option is the metra rail, which has two stations both a mile and a half from campus.

 
Economy and Jobs

Economy and Jobs

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

St. Leo stands out as a liberal arts college with a Roman Catholic founding. It’s the oldest Catholic school of its kind in the state and one of the top ten oldest in America. It’s also one of the largest in the country with multi-state educational centers and classes worldwide for military personnel. Its campus in Florida, however, is definitely the heart of the university. For over a hundred years it’s been preparing its graduates here for the working world with dozens of programs from the associate level to its brand new doctorate level.

 
Weather

Weather

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Saint Leo is just outside of Dade City. This shouldn’t be confused with Dade County in the southeastern region of the state, which is well-known because Miami is in it. Both areas are hot and humid in the summer, but I’d say that St. Leo is slightly less so. It’s also far less likely here to be in the path of a tornado--the area hasn’t been significantly damaged by one since early in the 20th century. Most of the rain falls here in the summer, and it’s always a likely break from the heat. In the fall, winter, and spring, the temperatures are perfect and the rain is sparse.

 
Traffic & Commuting

Traffic & Commuting

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

The region’s famous forests are a wall against the edge of campus, and on the opposite side are the residential Kendall and Hudson neighborhoods. It goes without saying that these are the best areas to find an apartment in because of convenience. Beyond those neighborhoods is Interstate 215, which many students use to get to class. Even if they live in central San Bernardino, the university is on the northern outskirts and usually requires some highway driving to get to. This can make the commute irritating, but traffic never really gets too bad (compared to nearby LA areas) here.

 
Recreation

Recreation

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

It doesn’t take long for CSUSB students to see that the city isn’t a great place for students to be. It doesn’t have a great variety of the typical student amenities like cheap bars, clubs, and music venues, and students will spend a lot of their time at friends’ places or at their own apartment. But it’s not all bad. There are several big colleges within driving distance, and if you have connections at one of them you can spend some time there on the weekends. Also, CSUSB organizes a lot of events; I’ve heard the best are the ones that involve the gorgeous mountains and nature in the campus’s backyard.

 
Apartment Costs

Apartment Costs

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

The city of San Antonio’s average rental price per month is around a thousand dollars, which isn’t really a lot if you factor in a roommate and split it in half. You’ll find more expensive properties south of SAC’s campus below I-35. To the north, try looking for deals in neighborhoods like Beacon Hill, Alta Vista, and Monte Vista. As for suburbs, Universal City and Elmendorf are further away but are cheaper options than living in the city. For some people, price is more important than the commute.

 
Nightlife

Nightlife

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

SAC is only a mile from everything that makes this city’s nightlife great. Downtown and the Riverwalk aren’t just for tourists; it’s also where some of San Antonio’s best restaurants and entertainment are. It’s about a five minute drive and a 15 minute walk to get to downtown, and on the weekends you’ll pass crowds of people headed to any of the city’s many bars or clubs. Many of these clubs are right near campus in Tobin Hill, a five minute walk away and an easy place for students to venture off to on the weekends.

 
Crime & Safety

Crime & Safety

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

The College of New Jersey is tucked in the northwest corner of the Ewing Township, which is a nice part of town for the most part. The closest neighborhoods students can live in are Ewingville, Prospect Heights, Braeburn Heights, and Parkway Village. All of these areas I’d recommend to anyone, especially students. They’re fortunate to have these communities around their campus--there’s low crime, lots of friendly faces, and even after dark students shouldn’t feel unsafe here.

 
Public Transportation

Public Transportation

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Usually large cities make sure that their suburban areas are well supplied with public transportation, and this it’s no different in Philadelphia. The Ewing Township is past Northeast Philadelphia, and though there aren’t any trains that come to the town, there’s a station in nearby Trenton. There are buses for the College of New Jersey, run by NJ Transit, that students can take to their apartment in the area or to the Trenton train station if they commute from further away or want to go to the city during their free time.

 
Traffic & Commuting

Traffic & Commuting

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Galveston is on an island off of Texas’s eastern coast, only connected to the mainland by Interstate 45 and the Bluewater Highway--unless you want to take a boat across the bay, that sure would be an interesting way to commute! But the majority of UTMB students live in Galveston. There’s plenty of affordable housing here, and why go through the hassle of commuting to the island when you can just live on it? The drive to the school is short and easy from most parts of the city, and students are usually ready to embrace island living.

 
Recreation

Recreation

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Galveston is a tourist hotspot in the summer, so the city has plenty of restaurants, boutique shops, bars, and other fun places. During the warmer months these establishments are crawling with out-of-towners, but during the school year students and locals have them all to themselves. Galveston is known for its beaches, and there isn’t ever a bad time of year to kick back and relax on the island’s sandy coasts. If students want to be adventurous and explore a larger city, Houston is just fifty miles away.

 
Apartment Costs

Apartment Costs

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

La Jolla is the most affluent part of San Diego, and one of the richest areas in the United States. This means that housing prices are much higher than average, and some students would even say they’re outrageous. Basically, students should expect to pay at least a thousand a month to rent in La Jolla. Apartments increase by a thousand incrementally with every additional bedroom. For example, the average one bedroom is around $1200, a two bedroom goes for $2200 usually, and a three bedroom would be $3200. The best bet is for students to look in University City near Interstates 5 and 805.

 
Economy and Jobs

Economy and Jobs

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

UCal San Diego is a humongous school, with around 30,000 students enrolled in their programs. Throughout the university’s history, alumni have gone on to bright futures and fruitful careers, not to mention plenty of Nobels and Pulitzers. This success isn’t due to how many graduates come out of the school every year, but rather the quality of the school’s academics. Over half of the student body is enrolled in either social or biological sciences, and they have proven to be the school’s strongest subjects. The UC system has received a lot of merits, and the San Diego branch is one of its best.

 
Apartment Costs

Apartment Costs

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Monterey and Carmel, to the south, are the most expensive places in the region to rent an apartment. Their average costs for a two bedroom rental both exceed $2600 per month, which would be $1300 if you split it with a roommate. Most students don’t want to pay these prices, or simply aren’t able to. The rent in Seaside, Marina, Salinas, and Castroville are all a thousand less a month for the typical two bed.

 
Traffic & Commuting

Traffic & Commuting

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

The Naval School is easy to get to, as it’s right off of a Route 1 exit in Monterey. It’s close to Monterey’s center, as well as the Pacific Grove and Seaside neighborhoods. Most students are lucky enough to live in Monterey, and find themselves as close to the Pacific and the incredible coastline as they are to school. If students look for rentals outside of Monterey, they’ll most likely end up in either Marina or Salinas. The commute from there is a tad longer, but still manageable.

 
Demographics

Demographics

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Berkeley isn’t known as one of the most educated cities in America because of BCC. Although the school is definitely part of it, most of the local academic attention is paid to the University of California Berkeley, which is the oldest and best school in the well-regarded state system. As a result, the demographics of the area show above-average numbers of residents in their late teens and early 20s, as well as older adults who hold a college degree. And, of course, you can’t mention the city’s demographics without noting that it has a very liberal reputation, perhaps more so than anywhere else on the West Coast.

 
Public Transportation

Public Transportation

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

BCC’s location in the center of Berkeley makes public transportation the easiest way to commute to class if your apartment is near a stop as well. Right across the street from BCC is the Downtown Berkeley train station, which allows students to hop on two routes. The first is the Fremont/Richmond line, and the second is the Daly City/Millbrae line. Taking the train can commute you to any region of the Bay Area, and best of all, it perfectly fits a student’s schedule. They run early in the morning and late at night, and students will never have to wait long for a train to arrive. Buses are also a great way to get around, and bicycling is a very popular form of transportation here, too.

 
Recreation

Recreation

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

If we’re being truthful, the town of Wayne isn’t the most interesting place in the world. It’s safe, yes, and a good setting for a school, but it doesn’t have the bars or clubs that students desire. Next to Wayne is Paterson, which is a better option for that kind of stuff, but aside from that there aren’t a lot of places close by. It’s mostly just NYC suburbia, and residential communities. But if you really want to have a fun time, take a trip out to the Big Apple. It’s best if you have a vehicle, or know someone who does, but public transportation is available and can take you into the city for a day or night of fun.

 
Crime & Safety

Crime & Safety

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

WPU is in the northeastern outskirts of Wayne, and is also very close to the Paterson border. This part of town is ranked fourth best in Wayne in terms of annual crime rates. Wayne’s downtown places last on that list, but even the worst part of Wayne is still miles better than some other towns’ safe areas: the crime rate here is 15 times lower than the state average. Believe me, it’s as staggering as it sounds. Wayne is one of the safest parts of New Jersey, and I would encourage students to live in any neighborhood here.

 
Public Transportation

Public Transportation

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

I know what students say about public transportation. Waiting for the bus can be a pain, especially when it’s close to a hundred degrees out and students just want to be in an air conditioned car, or when they’re late for class and can’t afford to wait for a bus to come by. Using it to commute comes with many inconveniences, but also a lot of benefits. Driving around Miami, especially if your class ends when the work day does, can be the most stressful part of your day. Personally, I’d rather take a test than be stuck in rush hour traffic sometimes. And when you factor in paying for gas, parking, and repairs, taking the bus starts to look more like a money-saving and simple solution.

 
Restaurants

Restaurants

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

You can waft in Miami’s signature Cuban and Latin flavors in the air near FCC, as you’d probably expect, but the restaurant selection has far more depth than that. La Nonna is a small, standout Italian eatery nearby, La Porteña is an Argentinian mainstay in the community, and the Lung Gong is an outstanding Chinese restaurant down the street. Dining in this neighborhood will be common for students because FCC doesn’t have a lot of lunch or dinner options, but it’s never a hard task to find a great local place to sit down and enjoy a meal at.

 
Apartment Costs

Apartment Costs

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

When you’re apartment hunting for rentals near Richland you should look outside of Dallas if you want to pay less, but if you have a large budget then, by all means, take your search closer to neighborhoods like University Park or Downtown. The difference between one of those areas and a community like Richardson and Garland is worth hundreds of dollars. For example, the average price of an apartment in University Park is around $1500. In Richardson, it’s about $1200, and $850 in Garland. Suburban areas may not be as enticing as city neighborhoods, but they’re much more affordable.

 
Nightlife

Nightlife

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Richland has some inherent advantages for students looking to spice up their nightlife. Dallas is a vibrant city after dark, and with Arlington and Fort Worth right next door, your nightly options are virtually unlimited. But there are also a lot of great party schools nearby, like the University of Texas and SMU (which has been recognized nationally for its party scene, something students revel in and administration isn’t always proud of). There are also a lot of smaller schools in the city, and altogether the student population is massive. They’re always throwing a party or finding something to do here, so believe me, you’ll always be busy and having fun on nights off from school work if you want to.

 
Traffic & Commuting

Traffic & Commuting

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

UCCS is positioned in Northeast Colorado Springs, right off the Ronald Reagan Highway/Interstate 25 and Routes 87/85. It’s very to easy to get around here, the school is a straight shot from downtown Colorado Springs on North Nevada Avenue, and the rest of the city is accessible through the interstate. West Colorado Springs and the gateway to the Garden of Gods and the best natural areas in the state is just a 15 minute drive away. Everything is very close together here, which makes commuting a simple part of your day.

 
Economy and Jobs

Economy and Jobs

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

There must be something about UC state college systems: The Universities of Colorado, like the Universities of California, have terrific academics. Its Colorado Springs branch is especially known for its engineering program, which is ranked very high nationally among all schools, both public and private. The school itself also earns high marks annually, and is possibly the best public university in Colorado. For its price and quality, it’s definitely one of the best value schools in the state, too.

 
Nightlife

Nightlife

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Most CCC students have friends who go to state colleges or private universities, and while they may enjoy certain facets of college life like Greek life, major sports games, and other school events, CCC students have a huge advantage in one area of college life: nightlife. Despite not having as much of the aforementioned activities, their school is only two miles from Center City in Philly. That’s only a five minute drive, 15 minute bus ride, and 20 minute train ride. You have the all the city’s resources at your command, whether it’s on a calm Sunday afternoon or a raging Saturday night.

 
Public Transportation

Public Transportation

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Both the state’s light rail system (the Riverline route) and PATCO’s trains (Lindenwold and Philadelphia routes) are within a block from Camden Community College’s campus. These trains serve Camden and the towns and cities next to it. Most notably, it provides quick and simple access to Philadelphia. A lot of students here hail from the city, and others move there when they’re enrolled here. For them, the trains are a lifesaver, and keep them from worrying about vehicles and parking. There are also buses that run in the area, and have more stops for their routes than the trains do.

 
Recreation

Recreation

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Boca is famous for its shopping--boutiques, retail, department stores, the works. I don’t think that many students are able to shop a lot on a college budget, but there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself after a stressful week or before a big school event or party, right? The Boca Village Square, my favorite place to shop around here, is a mile south of Lynn’s campus. You’ll need a car, because you certainly won’t be able to carry all those bags back with you! But just having a shopping complex so close is really nice, even if you’re only using it for groceries or products for your apartment. If shopping isn’t your thing, the beaches are only five miles away. I’ve yet to find a student who doesn’t love the beach--especially the ones in Boca.

 
Crime & Safety

Crime & Safety

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Don’t worry Mom and Dad, Lynn’s in a great area of Boca that you can feel comfortable sending your kids to. Mission Bay is the best neighborhood in the city, and is located right near campus. The Whisper Walk and Hamptons are two other great communities right nearby, and Boca Pointe, the closest them all, is also one of the safest. Students, you won’t be able to find the beachside condos you were envisioning in these neighborhoods, but trust me they are the more affordable and safer choice.

 
Public Transportation

Public Transportation

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Champlain’s location in downtown Burlington is terrific for many things, but affordable housing isn’t one of them. A lot of students move outside of downtown in search of cheaper apartments in other neighborhoods in the city, but not all of them will be able to bring a vehicle with them. In the long, freezing winter here, walking distance is limited to a half mile, or maybe three quarters of a mile if you’re particularly brave. But if you live further away than that, you’re going to need a car or public transportation. Fortunately, most of the city’s bus routes Champlain start or finish near Champlain, and students can easily work their commuting time around their schedule.

 
Demographics

Demographics

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Burlington is Vermont’s college city, and there isn’t a younger area than downtown, where Champlain College and the University of Vermont practically share a campus. There’s only a block or two that separate the schools, and during both day and night you’ll see only kids in their late teens and early 20s walking around these parts--aside from professors. There really isn’t anywhere else in the Northeast with so many students from multiple schools in such a concentrated area, except maybe in Boston or Providence. Students should enjoy their time here as much as possible, you don’t stay young forever, after all!

 
Apartment Costs

Apartment Costs

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

The rental market in Utica requires a lot of attention. There aren’t as many apartments here as you’ll find in nearby cities like Syracuse, Rochester, or Albany, so if you find a rental you like you should snatch it quickly. Many of the apartment complexes are situated near the college, so I’d say the ideal situation is if you find a place you can walk to campus and back from. If you’re interesting in looking outside of Utica, there aren’t many options within 15 miles other than Rome. I’d say your best bet is staying in town, and don’t be discouraged if you don’t immediately find a place.

 
Recreation

Recreation

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Utica is near the outer edges of the Adirondack Mountains, considered to be one of the natural areas in the Northeast with the most recreational activities and beauty. What more could a student ask for than to be a short drive from some of the best hiking, photography, climbing, and mountain biking in the country? Alas, I suppose my interest great outdoors isn’t shared by everyone. Students who are more into a bar or party scene will find Utica to be a great college town, and will be glad to hear that Syracuse and Rochester, two more well-known and large college areas, are within driving distance.

 
Traffic & Commuting

Traffic & Commuting

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

UMKC is in the middle of Kansas City, between downtown and South Kansas City. With such a centralized location, you can basically live in any neighborhood or suburb and the commute won’t be too much of a hassle. Route 71 will take you to the campus gates, and it’s also pretty close to Interstates 435 and 35. I know that public transportation in the city is available for students, but most of the kids would rather drive a car if they have an apartment that’s over a mile from campus. Kansas City’s a good car city, and the traffic doesn’t get too bad near campus, even during busy parts of the day.

 
Nightlife

Nightlife

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

I’ve heard that the Kansas City campus has the best nightlife and most things to do out of any UM campus. There are boundless activities on campus, but the main reason why students want to spend their weekends at UMKC is because the big city is so accessible. It’s a ten minute drive, but most kids don’t want to have to worry about driving when they go to Kansas City because drinks are usually involved. They usually take one of two buses that goes from campus to the city. Fortunately they run well past midnight, and students use them all the time to experience weekend nightlife.

 
Local Events

Local Events

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Omaha’s largest annual event, the College World Series, isn’t just a baseball tournament. It’s an essential component to the city’s economy, and it triggers festivities all over the city. The tournament has been here for 60 years, and now that the city is experiencing rapid growth the series is seeing more attendance and hype than ever. There have also been other large festivals, concerts, and city events recently, all of which students have attended in droves. They’re huge supporters of Omaha, and no one has fun at the city’s large-scale events than they do.

 
Economy and Jobs

Economy and Jobs

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

UNO will give you a public education with great value, and the key to a city that has been one of the key economic cogs of the Midwest. Everyone knows about the famous billionaire that lives in Omaha, Warren Buffet, but the economy extends further than just him and his businesses. It’s surprising to some that the city is a major hub for tech companies, but it’s one of the top five or ten in the nation in that field. As for UNO grads? The city has a fertile environment for small, start-up businesses, but also a large group of Fortune 500 companies and established organizations where grads can climb the career ladder. Students aren’t as tempted to flee town for bigger cities on the coasts anymore, and are immersing themselves in Omaha’s economy.

 
Public Transportation

Public Transportation

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Rio Hondo students can apply for a public transportation pass, which gives them free rides on popular transit bus companies like Foothill Transit, Norwalk Transit, the LA Metro, and several others. The school also received funds for a shuttle system, and in a few years there will be multiple buses taking students around campus. But for now, they’re encouraged to take advantage of the great public transportation in the area, and make use of their free student pass.

 
Crime & Safety

Crime & Safety

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Whittier is, I think, one of the top five safest suburbs of Los Angeles. There are very few shady areas here; they’re far outnumbered by nice neighborhoods like Friendly Hills that are just as pleasant as they sound. Rio Hondo is in northern Whittier, near South El Monte. There aren’t many better parts of Whittier in my opinion. SoCal is a great region for students, but not all of it is safe for young adults to embark on their own. Fortunately, Whittier is, and it’s a great place for someone to rent their first apartment.

 
Weather

Weather

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

The Indy weather will bite you in the winter and smother you in the summer. For someone who’s used to cold weather, the winter’s may not seem like they’re too bad. At least not until the wind whips and sends a chill through the air and the temperatures into the teens or single digits. And in the summer, the humidity is what puts the heat over the top here. On the hottest days, the temps can hit the 90s, and sometimes even hotter. But as extreme as these two seasons sound, the times of year when school is in session, spring and fall, are usually the best times of year.

 
Nightlife

Nightlife

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Everything students expect from the typical college nightlife experience is present at Marian: frats, parties after sporting events, musicians, artists, and shows coming to campus, student productions, etc. But there’s an added wrinkle, one that most students wish they had--the school’s campus is only five miles out of downtown Indianapolis. Students will make the same discovery that football fans made last year when the Super Bowl was held here, which is that the city’s nightlife is hopping! The restaurant scene perfectly compliments the clubs and bars and theaters and other venues, as one often leads to the other. There aren’t a lot of great public transportation routes from the campus to the city, but if one person in a group of friends has a car then they’re set for a fun weekend.

 
Economy and Jobs

Economy and Jobs

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

UMW is not just one of the leading public liberal arts universities in the South, but in all of America. If you don’t believe me, just check out the school rankings on any website or trusted academic source. The undergrad enrollment is under 5,000 which makes for great teacher to student ratios and individual attention, and doesn’t make the academic environment too competitive or hostile. Rather, there’s a collaborative spirit that exists here, both in the classroom and outside of it. In my opinion, this is why the school is known for its skilled debate team and has successful sports teams. UMW will definitely prepare you for the working world, and just for adult life as a whole.

 
Apartment Costs

Apartment Costs

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

UMW students don’t have a lot of housing options outside of Fredericksburg. There’s only one town, Stafford, within ten miles of the school. And the rental prices there, along with the next closest, Spotsylvania, are both in the same ballpark as Fredericksburg. Living alone is considerably more expensive, and if you rent in a one bedroom you’ll have to pay upwards of $900 per month. But if you share a two bedroom with a roommate, you’ll only have to pay $500 or so, and around $400 if you split a three bedroom with two roommates.

 
Traffic & Commuting

Traffic & Commuting

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

You will often hear people claim that Tacoma is part of Seattle, like it’s one of the city’s neighborhoods or something. But truthfully, Tacoma is a forty minute drive from downtown Seattle and two hours via public transit, and feels like a very different area. I suppose it’s officially part of the metropolitan area, and you can call it a suburb, but in my eyes it’s a totally different city. The two cities are connected by Interstate 5, which is the region’s main highway. If you’re a commuter, you will most likely have to take it, or one of its branch routes, like 16, 167, or 518.

 
Restaurants

Restaurants

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

The University of Puget Sound is in Tacoma’s North End. The neighborhood isn’t especially known for one type of cuisine; I’d say its specialty is its variety. There are sushi bars, Italian restaurants, seafood spots, Asian fusion eateries, and many other types of foods. This is definitely a benefit of living in an urban area--you can let your foodie desires run wild and eat a different type of meal every weekend. If not in the North End than you definitely can in downtown Tacoma, which is walkable from campus.

 
Public Transportation

Public Transportation

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Wheaton’s public transportation is simple, easy to figure out, and effective. For getting around the local area, PACE buses are the best option. For out of town commuting, Chicago’s Meta Rail trains are perfect. This can apply to students who have an apartment or live at home in another suburb of the city, or to students who want to get in and out of Chicago. Fortunately, Wheaton’s campus is quite contained, so transportation to get around isn’t necessary. Commuting to campus is the tough part, but once you’re there your legs are all you need!

 
Recreation

Recreation

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Wheaton’s suburban setting opens up the opportunities for Chicago excursions, but students won’t have any problem finding things to do closer to campus. The Billy Graham Center Museum is one of the finest in the region, and right next door are the McCully and Bean Stadiums where the school’s sports teams play. For recreation, there are small parks nearby like Hoffman Park and large parks like the Northside Park. But on campus is where most students spend their free time, doing everything from partying late at night to sitting around outside with their friends on a sunny day.

 
Economy and Jobs

Economy and Jobs

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Tampa is one of IADT’s older campuses, as it was first established way back in the 80s. In the three decades since, it’s established itself as one of the premier design schools in the Tampa area. It has over a hundred thousand square feet of studio and lab space for students, and offers eclectic majors ranging from retail management to photography to audio production. And its location close to Tampa’s city center really opens the door for careers and artistic opportunities for students. For what this school specializes in, there aren’t any better local alternatives.

 
Crime & Safety

Crime & Safety

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Though it’s not as nice of an area as northwest and northeast Tampa, IADT’s location is still very safe. Town ‘N Country is a great neighborhood for students, as are the nearby communities of Westchase and Drew Park. IADT is far enough from downtown Tampa that it’s removed from the danger of the area’s crime, but close enough that it’s still a short drive away. I would advise students to be careful if they’re out late, however, both downtown and closer to campus. No matter how safe a community is, there’s always an increased risk of trouble past midnight.

 
Demographics

Demographics

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

It doesn’t get more small town than Wingate, which has a little over 3,000 residents. Eighty percent of Wingate University’s 2,700 enrolled students live on campus, so they account for most of the town’s population. Even though Wingate has the look and feel of a rural campus, it’s technically considered suburban because it’s just thirty miles from Charlotte. Truth be told, there couldn’t be anything more different between Charlotte and Wingate. It has a real quaint charm, but many students lament that if they want to live off campus they don’t have many options in town, and have to look further away for a rental.

 
Traffic & Commuting

Traffic & Commuting

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

Students who don’t live in Wingate, either on campus or off in an apartment setting, have a frustrating commute. Monroe and Marshville are the nearest neighbors along Route 74 (Andrew Jackson Highway), and to commute from either of them to Wingate is a pain with traffic, poor weather conditions, or when students wait until the last minute to leave like they usually do. The good news is that the university is right off of a highway exit, which makes getting in and out very simple.

 
Nightlife

Nightlife

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

One of the complaints about city living is that everything is so much more expensive. This isn’t true at Harold Washington College. They understand that attending the University of Chicago or Northwestern University is out of many families’ price ranges, and offers an affordable solution. Not only that, but HWC’s location beats out pretty much every other school in the city. Students have unparalleled access to downtown Chicago and the Loop, with recreational and nightlife attractions like famous bars and restaurants, the Millennium and Grant parks, and the culture of a world class city.

 
Public Transportation

Public Transportation

Rafalina Alvarado - Real Estate Agent

A whole rainbow of subway lines run within a block of Harold Washington College. There’s pink, red, purple, blue--essentially all of the city’s subway routes. Also a block away is the Randolph St. Metra station, which is a stop for the Metra Rail. If you look further away from campus, you’ll find that any form of public transportation in the city is walkable from here. And even walking itself is a functional way of getting around; after all, you’re in the Loop. There are so many great things to do and places to be within walking distance of campus.

 

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