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Old 10-29-2013, 07:30 PM
 
19 posts, read 40,402 times
Reputation: 25

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Hi!
I'm looking to relocate my family to a College town. I went to college in Fayetteville, AR and LOVED it, but it was a bit too small in size and conservative at the end of the day.
I feel like most of the places I love will be a bit more conservative than I'm looking for, but thought I'd post here and see what kind of advice you all have!

I'm looking for a college town that is affordable, liberal, safe, and has a good k-12 school system. I am 30, married and have 3 kids (4, 2 and 1)
I am white, married to a black guy, so being in an environment thats ok with that is a BIG concern. My mom is gay, so add that to the mix She and her partner will also be moving with us so being in a Liberal place I'm more concerned about open-mindedness than I am about politics.

I live in Huntington Beach, CA. I grew up in southern Cali, so leaving this liberal area (and the beach!) will be the hardest, but I want to live in a smaller community where I can buy a house with a big yard. I love the sense of community a college town offers and the sporting events and other events that universities have. So definitely looking for a college with an athletics program.

Currently the top 4 places that seem to consistently "match" my criteria when I do different searches are: Austin, TX; Athens, GA; Chapel Hill, NC and Ann Arbor, MI.

If theres any that you've experienced that I should look into please let me know!!! I'm looking to relocate for good and start my kids in school and hopefully stay forever! And I don't want to be in an area where I walk into a resturaunt with my black husband and mixed babies and people are mean to us. I don't experience that in CA and am praying I'll be able to find that elsewhere!
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:58 PM
 
56,565 posts, read 80,847,919 times
Reputation: 12499
Ann Arbor came to mind immediately. Ithaca NY is another place that would work. Charlottesville VA, Columbus OH, Madison WI and Minneapolis, among other college towns or cities with a college town section, could work too. What would be your budget? What about employment?

If you moved to my area, I'd look into the East Side neighborhoods(particularly Westcott, University and Meadowbrook, but public schools may be an issue) or neighborhoods in DeWitt adjacent to those East Side neighborhoods. Both of those areas are close to Syracuse University and many people that live in that general area are affiliated with it or nearby colleges/universities. Syracuse University Football, Basketball and Lacrosse are big and are usually good. Jamesville-DeWitt is a good SD that has a good degree of racial/ethnic and religious diversity as well. If you went with the East Side of Syracuse, I'd live in the zone that goes to Ed Smith Elementary(K-8), if you go city public dchools. You get kids from the families of deans/professors to working class/lower income families and it is a very diverse school in many ways. Those that go private may go with either Manlius Pebble Hill or Holy Cross, both nearby in DeWitt. Some may go with a couple of nearby Montessori schools, also in DeWitt as well. There's also this charter school: http://www.sascs.org/elementary/index.php Here's some information: UNPA - University Neighborhood Preservation Association
Westcott, Syracuse - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Westcott
Westcott Community Center
Westcott Street Cultural Fair
Ed Smith | The Syracuse City School District

Holy Cross School

Manlius Pebble Hill School: A Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12 Private School near Syracuse, New York

Montessori School of Syracuse

Montessori Discovery School, Syracuse/Dewitt NY -- Preschool and Kindergarten for ages 3-6

Jamesville Dewitt School District

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 10-29-2013 at 08:15 PM..
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Old 10-29-2013, 08:14 PM
 
Location: Denver
14,151 posts, read 19,752,834 times
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Living in the south, being in numerous mixed relationships (I'm a black male) I can say any kind of troubles you will have will be far and few in between. Since you considered Austin, you should consider New Orleans as well. The only problem is the schools, but charter schools have been great since Katrina. Very open, large gay population, as well as countless mixed race relationships and children. Just not a college town, but Tulane has plenty of activities and a brand new stadium going up in the urban Uptown neighborhood.
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:12 PM
 
272 posts, read 370,920 times
Reputation: 354
I'd consider Bloomington, IN. I'm not sure it might a smaller size than you want, but it fits your criteria. B-town is 45-50 mins away from Indy, but for bigger city amenties Chicago will be a little less than 4hours of driving away.
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:48 PM
 
Location: Cleveland
3,178 posts, read 3,846,097 times
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Are you looking for a city, or a small town? I know of several small towns that would suit your interests. Look for places with liberal arts colleges. Oberlin, OH is a very good, liberal town, with good schools, culture, and tolerance. It is a small town, but it is only about 40 minutes from Cleveland. Another good one is Northfield, MN. It is a town of about 17,000 and has 2 liberal arts colleges, Carleton and St. Olaf. It has one of the highest education levels per capita of any place in America, is very quaint, tolerant, and has decent schools. It is about an hour from the Twin Cities. For bigger cities, I would recommend Boston, Providence RI, or New Haven. Good luck!
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Old 10-30-2013, 06:52 AM
 
21,187 posts, read 30,351,954 times
Reputation: 19627
Quote:
Originally Posted by kelseylatelyyy View Post
Hi!
I'm looking to relocate my family to a College town. I went to college in Fayetteville, AR and LOVED it, but it was a bit too small in size and conservative at the end of the day.
I feel like most of the places I love will be a bit more conservative than I'm looking for, but thought I'd post here and see what kind of advice you all have!

I'm looking for a college town that is affordable, liberal, safe, and has a good k-12 school system. I am 30, married and have 3 kids (4, 2 and 1)
I am white, married to a black guy, so being in an environment thats ok with that is a BIG concern. My mom is gay, so add that to the mix She and her partner will also be moving with us so being in a Liberal place I'm more concerned about open-mindedness than I am about politics.

I live in Huntington Beach, CA. I grew up in southern Cali, so leaving this liberal area (and the beach!) will be the hardest, but I want to live in a smaller community where I can buy a house with a big yard. I love the sense of community a college town offers and the sporting events and other events that universities have. So definitely looking for a college with an athletics program.

Currently the top 4 places that seem to consistently "match" my criteria when I do different searches are: Austin, TX; Athens, GA; Chapel Hill, NC and Ann Arbor, MI.

If there's any that you've experienced that I should look into please let me know!!! I'm looking to relocate for good and start my kids in school and hopefully stay forever! And I don't want to be in an area where I walk into a restaurant with my black husband and mixed babies and people are mean to us. I don't experience that in CA and am praying I'll be able to find that elsewhere!
I lived in Chapel Hill for seven years and would highly recommend it in your situation. Unlike many other college towns it's not an island of progressiveness/acceptance as it's surrounded by cities that share a common feel (Durham and Carrboro) which in some instances are yet more progressive/liberal. The town is quite safe, family-friendly and the schools are top-ranked in North Carolina. It's very gay-friendly as well which I can personally attest to. I found the general population quite welcoming to newcomers as it's very diverse in terms of resident origins as well, so "blending in" is rather easy. The climate is near perfect in my opinion since the area receives a pretty even set of the four seasons without the extremes of snow/cold or heat/humidity found in other areas on your list. Lastly it's just plain beautiful with lots of trees/greenery and would highly recommend a visit to see for yourself.
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Old 10-30-2013, 07:15 AM
 
Location: South Beach and DT Raleigh
11,810 posts, read 18,796,055 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
I lived in Chapel Hill for seven years and would highly recommend it in your situation. Unlike many other college towns it's not an island of progressiveness/acceptance as it's surrounded by cities that share a common feel (Durham and Carrboro) which in some instances are yet more progressive/liberal. The town is quite safe, family-friendly and the schools are top-ranked in North Carolina. It's very gay-friendly as well which I can personally attest to. I found the general population quite welcoming to newcomers as it's very diverse in terms of resident origins as well, so "blending in" is rather easy. The climate is near perfect in my opinion since the area receives a pretty even set of the four seasons without the extremes of snow/cold or heat/humidity found in other areas on your list. Lastly it's just plain beautiful with lots of trees/greenery and would highly recommend a visit to see for yourself.
As I was reading the OPs list, I was thinking Chapel Hill before it was mentioned. The only thing that might not align is "affordable".....then I thought, well, they are coming from coastal Southern California. Now it seems to fit the affordable category too.
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Old 10-30-2013, 07:25 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,416 posts, read 11,917,166 times
Reputation: 10536
Yeah, I think affordable might be your biggest issue. I'd suggest Northampton, Massachusetts, for example, but by national standards it's not affordable (although it is moderately cheaper than Southern California I think.

If you want affordable, something like Athens, Ohio; Iowa City, Iowa; or Missoula, Montana might be better.

Keep in mind in any college town your job prospects will be limited, unless you happen to have a background in university administration. The lack of jobs beyond low-paid service is what pushes many people out.
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Old 10-30-2013, 08:12 AM
 
56,565 posts, read 80,847,919 times
Reputation: 12499
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
Yeah, I think affordable might be your biggest issue. I'd suggest Northampton, Massachusetts, for example, but by national standards it's not affordable (although it is moderately cheaper than Southern California I think.

If you want affordable, something like Athens, Ohio; Iowa City, Iowa; or Missoula, Montana might be better.

Keep in mind in any college town your job prospects will be limited, unless you happen to have a background in university administration. The lack of jobs beyond low-paid service is what pushes many people out.
I think it depends on the college town's proximity to another city(ie- Ann Arbor) or if it is a bigger college town or a bigger city with a college town section.

Some smaller college towns may have more private sector jobs than people realize as well. Here are some in and around Ithaca, for an example: https://www.cbord.com/jobs/jobs_-1/

BinOptics :: Careers :: Overview...

https://borgwarner.taleo.net/careers...ch.ftl?lang=en

There are some other companies within a 30 minute drive as well.
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Old 10-30-2013, 08:36 AM
 
11,172 posts, read 22,366,973 times
Reputation: 10919
Ann Arbor is a good fit, or somewhere like Madison or Iowa City - although Iowa City might be small for you if you thought Fayetteville was too small and it's a metro of almost 500,000.
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