Pennsylvania has a lot to offer when it comes to colleges and universities. Pennsylvania, often referred to as the Keystone State has been historically significant in the formation of the United States. Today, this state stands as a testament to its rich history and future potential. One of the remarkable aspects of Pennsylvania is its emphasis on education. There are several cities throughout the state that not only house prestigious institutions of higher learning but also have built infrastructures and cultures that are conducive to students, academics, and university personnel.

This article seeks to shed light on the most college and university-friendly cities in Pennsylvania and discuss the positive correlation between academic institutions and real estate.


Educational Institutions: Philadelphia is home to numerous colleges and universities. Some of the most noteworthy include the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, Drexel University, and Saint Joseph’s University.

Impact on Real Estate: Philadelphia’s thriving student population has spurred the development of student housing, apartments, and condominiums in and around the university areas. Areas like University City have seen substantial growth due to the proximity to campuses. Additionally, the presence of these institutions has also attracted businesses, shops, and eateries, making the locale vibrant and dynamic.


Educational Institutions: The Steel City boasts of renowned institutions such as Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh, and Duquesne University.

Impact on Real Estate: Pittsburgh has seen a resurgence in recent years, and universities play a significant role in that. Neighborhoods like Oakland have a high student population, necessitating student accommodation. This demand has also led to an increase in property values. Additionally, Pittsburgh’s tech boom, partly powered by graduates from these institutions, has brought in professionals seeking homes close to their workplaces.

State College

Educational Institutions: This town is primarily known for Pennsylvania State University, commonly referred to as Penn State.

Impact on Real Estate: As the town’s name suggests, State College’s economy and real estate revolve around the university. Student housing demands have led to the development of apartment complexes and rental homes. The university’s events, games, and activities also draw alumni and visitors, promoting short-term lodging and increasing tourism-related real estate opportunities.


Educational Institutions: Lehigh University and Moravian College are the academic staples here.

Impact on Real Estate: Bethlehem’s South Side, in proximity to Lehigh University, has seen growth in student housing and rentals. These institutions have also acted as catalysts for revitalizing certain areas of the city, with renovations and new establishments catering to students and academics.


Educational Institutions: Franklin & Marshall College and Millersville University are key institutions.

Impact on Real Estate: Lancaster’s real estate has benefited from the colleges, with student housing demands leading to a steady rental market. Furthermore, the colleges’ events and cultural programs attract visitors, indirectly supporting the city’s tourism and hospitality sectors.

The Positive Impact of Colleges and Universities on Real Estate

Demand for Housing: With a constant influx of students, faculty, and staff, there’s a perennial demand for housing, from shared accommodations to individual apartments.

Infrastructure Development: Universities often lead to improvements in city infrastructure, including roads, public transport, and amenities. This infrastructure uplift can increase property values in the surrounding areas.

Business Opportunities: Local businesses flourish due to the steady stream of students and university staff. This attracts investors, leading to commercial real estate development.

Cultural and Social Events: Colleges and universities often host events, conferences, and festivals, drawing large crowds. This can lead to the development of hotels, inns, and short-term rental opportunities.

Research and Innovation: Top-tier universities often incubate startups and attract businesses, leading to the development of research parks and business centers. This can drive up property demand in nearby areas.


Pennsylvania’s college and university-friendly cities are not only centers of academic excellence but also hubs for real estate growth and development. The symbiotic relationship between these institutions and the real estate sector ensures that both thrive in tandem, making these cities some of the best places for investment and residence in the state.