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Keywords:

  • college towns;
  • higher education;
  • United States;
  • urban geography

ABSTRACT. With their unusual densities of young people, highly educated workforces, comparatively cosmopolitan populations, dominant institutions of higher education, and characteristic landscapes such as the campus, fraternity row, and college-oriented shopping district, college towns represent a unique type of urban place. This study identifies several basic differences between college towns and other types of cities, considers why the college town is largely an American phenomenon, distinguishes among types of college towns, and examines some of the characteristics that make them distinctive.