Living in Atlanta during your college career is an exciting proposition! With limited options for Atlanta off-campus student housing, we decided to hone in on our top three neighborhood choices that are convenient to student commuters, but also have that Atlanta feel you want to experience in America’s 38th most populous city. With music and arts festivals, five major league sports teams, and a variety of food and dining options, there are plenty of extra-curricular activities to keep you engaged and excited about the city you are studying in. In this article, you’ll find the top colleges and universities in Atlanta, as well as the best communities for you to consider living in.
Why Should I Go To College In Atlanta?
Atlanta is regarded as a metropolitan area with “big-city” activities served up at reasonable prices. In addition to the cost-saving inherent in this location, there are a number of reasons why you might want to consider moving to Atlanta, even beyond your scholastic career.
Like much of the southern United States, Atlanta sees warm (and in the summer, hot!) temperatures throughout the year. A widely diverse community helps define the flavor of this major city. If you’re interested in experiencing food from different cultures, art and museum displays that support diversity, and music venues with varied acts on stage, Atlanta would certainly be a good choice for you. Ponce City Market, the Georgia Aquarium, Zoo Atlanta, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, and the College Football Hall of Fame are all Atlanta-based cultural attractions that might be of interest to you. Add in the myriad of affordable student housing options, on and off-campus, and a great mass transit system, and you have a wonderful mix of reasons as to why you should attend college in the capital city of Georgia!
Colleges and Universities in Atlanta
The Atlanta region boasts 57 colleges and universities. Among the U.S. largest urban areas, Atlanta is seventh in student enrollment, so it is not incorrect to call Atlanta a thriving “college city.” Atlanta is 7th in student enrollment among America’s largest urban areas and 6th in annual college graduates (at the bachelor’s level or higher). The Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce maintains that the city is a national leader in attracting college-educated 25 to 34-year-olds. If you are seeking a studious community, Atlanta is a great match. Below are eight top-notch colleges and universities inside the Atlanta urban area.
Georgia Tech or The Georgia Institute of Technology, is a top 10 public research university with almost 40,000 students. Their engineering and computing Colleges are the largest and among the highest-ranked in the United States, and you will find over 100 technology-focused undergraduate majors and minors at the institution.
Emory is a nationally recognized research university known for its outstanding liberal arts colleges, graduate and professional schools, and one of the nation’s most comprehensive academic health care systems. Emory is regarded as providing the best for quality of life and financial aid as well as one of the best values among private universities.
Spelman College, founded in 1881, is a historically black liberal arts college for women dedicated to the intellectual, creative, ethical, and leadership development of its students. Spelman’s 2,100 students see a 76% graduation rate—one of the highest in the United States.
Georgia State boasts seven campuses situated throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area. The 2022 US News and World Report ranked the university as the number one public university for undergraduate teaching, and the second for innovation. With 52,000 students, the institution is regarded as one of the most diverse in the nation.
Clark Atlanta, is placed right in the heart of the city. Structured upon its social justice history and heritage, Clark Atlanta University is a culturally diverse, research-intensive, liberal arts institution that is committed to academic excellence, building character, and service to others. The university is widely known for its undergraduate and graduate degree programs, NCAA Division II sports teams, and its commitment to educating the next generation of Black leaders.
Morehouse, attended by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., graduates the most bachelor’s degrees among historic Black colleges and universities in the nation. Since 1867, Morehouse has been rooted in five unique qualities that make its graduates stand apart from the rest: Acuity, Integrity, Agency, Brotherhood, and Consequential. An all-male institution, the Business, Economics, Sociology, and Political Science programs are well regarded, as is the “party reputation” of the student body.
Mercer ATL campus, is a nursing university that allows students to earn their BSN in as little as 12 months. With a flexible, online program, a modern nursing skills lab, and opportunities to join clinical rotations at Wellstar Health Systems, this institution is ideal for students interested in a fantastic Atlanta-based nursing school.
Agnes Scott College, nestled in the Decatur neighborhood, this institution has been providing an innovative liberal arts curriculum since 1889. With just over 1,000 students and an 11:1 Student/Faculty ratio, if a small liberal arts college surrounded by a thriving metropolitan environment is your idea of a college experience, Agnes Scott College may just be the institution you have been searching for.
Best Neighborhoods for Student Housing in Atlanta
Affordable student housing options are plentiful in Atlanta! While there are many Atlanta neighborhoods that would be convenient for student housing, we selected our top three choices based on location, accessibility to campuses, and general neighborhood vibes.
With about 3,000 households, the Edgewood neighborhood is a beautiful destination. Filled with Craftsman-style bungalows, the area is known for its distinctive post oak and pecan trees, and hoot owls, the mascot of the community. The neighborhood features affordable housing, and the revitalization of the Candler Park-Edgewood MARTA station has been a boon to the residents. The community is on the east side of Atlanta, about three miles from the central business core.
Decatur has been regarded by some as one of the best neighborhoods in all of Georgia. Known for its spectacular nightlife, historic homes on tree-lined streets, and hundreds of shops and restaurants, this neighborhood is a goldmine of student housing options, and just a few minutes drive from Atlanta proper. Home of the Centers for Disease Control, many colleges are also situated in or near Decatur, including Emory University, Agnes Scott College, Columbia Theological Seminary, and Georgia Perimeter College. Decatur is considered one of the more progressive and hippiest communities in the Atlanta area.
To the west of Downtown Atlanta, the West End neighborhood is a diverse, historic district that is walkable and very bike-friendly. With great MARTA access, and about a fifteen-minute commute to downtown, this is an ideally located community for student housing options. You shouldn’t need a car to get around this community, and the walkability of the neighborhood encourages healthy living. There are plenty of historic homes and lots of shade from the tree-lined streets.
Wherever you choose to live in Atlanta, transportation shouldn’t be too much of a concern. Traffic can be bad, but the MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) is a fantastic resource for college students. Living close to downtown should keep your daily commute to around 30 minutes, even with traffic.
Atlanta is a fantastic choice for serious college students who want to have a fulfilling collegiate career in one of America’s most exciting urban areas. With tons of fun activities about town, a multitude of mass-transit options, and plenty of affordable student housing opportunities, ”The Big Peach” may be a leading destination for you to consider!