At a glance
“Living in the Ultimate US College Town gives you access to both beautiful campuses and a supportive tight-knit community, including world-class faculty who judge their achievements by how students succeed at launching their careers. With students making up 85 percent of all residents in our village, you know we are student-centered."
Alfred State President Dr. Steven Mauro
Alfred, NY is the Ultimate US College Town.
Known for being friendly and offering a warm welcome even in the winter, Alfred, NY is ranked number one in a February 2023 nationwide survey to earn the nickname College Town USA for the home of Alfred State College and Alfred University.
Data analysis by Washington Post Reporter Andrew Van Dam defined the Ultimate College Town by ranking US Census Urban Areas with the largest share of college students. Urban Areas follow population-density patterns, not municipal borders.
Alfred is No. 1 by a wide margin.
Winning the number one national ranking proves that Alfred's picture-perfect environment away from big city worries stands out among all other university and college towns in the country. Van Dam called Alfred “the collegiest” a term he coined.
Van Dam describes Alfred as a village wedged into Western New York’s hills that is home to both a public and private school, Alfred State College and Alfred University. As noted in the Washington Post, "Students make up an astonishing 85 percent of the town's population... If you go left at the town's only stoplight, you're on one campus. Turn right, you're on the other. Now that's a college town."
Alfred is at the center of the US Northeast.
Located along the I-86 freeway, Alfred is a convenient and attractive college town for students from a wide region and around the world. According to NASA's Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC), there are 104,464,746 people within 350 miles of Alfred. That amounts to approximately one-third of the US population. Visit Alfred and see for yourself.
Students across New York and from many states choose Alfred to take advantage of a caring academic community, enjoy low student-to-faculty ratios for personal attention, and be part of something special.
Alfred State College (ASC) President Dr. Steven Mauro said, “Living in the Ultimate US College Town gives you access to both beautiful campuses and a supportive tight-knit community, including world-class faculty who judge their achievements by how students succeed at launching their careers. With students making up 85 percent of all residents in our village, you know we are student-centered. Great ideas and innovations are shared across Main Street, many alumni met their spouses at the sister school, and everyone benefits from the wealth of recreation to share fun, fitness, and fellowship in such a friendly environment.”
Alfred University (AU) President Dr. Mark Zupan said, “While there is only one traffic light in Alfred, there are plentiful and potent intersections that benefit faculty, students, and staff—including those offered by our sister school, Alfred State College, and the friendly surrounding village. Set in a safe, bucolic valley in the Finger Lakes region of New York, our students make bold discoveries by pursuing multiple pathways and integrating their interests. Alfred University’s purpose is to help our students identify and realize their purpose. The combination of our small size, wide range of programs, applied learning opportunities, and commitment to student engagement through mentoring allows Alfred University to be a talent incubator and socioeconomic development engine.”
Village of Alfred Mayor Becky Prophet said, “In this beautiful valley of Western New York, the word Alfred is applied to three communities that coalesce into a single multifaceted gem. The Village of Alfred, nestled between the two schools, makes an intersection and a gathering place for the valley. There is nothing like the sum of the Alfreds anywhere in the US or, perhaps, in the world. We are the most collegiate of all college towns. We are an excellent place to grow up. We are a fine place to raise a family. But most of all, Alfred is the best place to combine daily life and learning. In Alfred, we live to learn and learn to live for all of our lives.”
Additional information is available from ASC at AlfredState.edu/college-town-USA, AlfredState.edu/where-is-Alfred, and AU at Alfred.edu. New York State leads the nation with the most and highest-ranked NYS Ultimate College Towns.
The full list of Ultimate College Town rankings by the Washington Post is based on US Census Urban Area Data. NASA's Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) is the source of information regarding the 104 million people surrounding Alfred.
Ultimate College Towns: National Top 25
|Nat'l Rank||US Census Urban Areas||State||Student Share||Population||350-Mile Population||Higher Education Institutions|
|1||Alfred||NY||84.6%||4,500||104,464,746||SUNY Alfred State College and Alfred University|
|2||Prairie View||TX||77.8%||6,161||36,423,024||Prairie View A&M University|
|3||Slippery Rock||PA||67.3%||6,550||100,962,665||Slippery Rock University|
|5||Oxford||OH||62.3%||22,933||71,886,161||Miami University of Ohio|
|6||Air Force Academy||CO||59.9%||2,833||9,380,557||United States Air Force Academy|
|7||Potsdam||NY||59.8%||8,337||75,427,182||SUNY Potsdam and Clarkson University|
|11||Boone||NC||54.8%||22,323||71,663,488||Appalachian State University|
|14||Kutztown||PA||52.2%||8,859||93,026,622||Kutztown University of Pennsylvania|
|15||Whitewater||WI||51.6%||14,346||52,704,085||University of Wisconsin, Whitewater|
|16||Pullman||WA||51.1%||32,940||20,000,885||Washington State University|
|17||Raymond||MS||50.9%||2,689||31,056,189||Hinds Community College|
|18||Canton||NY||49.5%||7,041||76,113,118||SUNY Canton and St. Lawrence University|
|19||Ada||OH||48.0%||5,137||74,225,420||Ohio Northern University|
|20||Dahlonega||GA||47.8%||5,588||54,527,100||University of North Georgia|
|21||Cullowhee||NC||47.8%||10,363||57,339,618||Western Carolina University|
|23||Ithaca||NY||45.9%||56,833||99,100,146||Cornell University and Ithaca College|
|24||New Concord||OH||45.1%||2,836||92,759,959||Muskingum University|
|25||Lexington||VA||43.8%||9,435||76,385,204||Washington & Lee Univ. and Virginia Military Institute|