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View Poll Results: Do virtually college of the great college towns have their state's flagship public university?
Yes 7 16.28%
No 36 83.72%
Voters: 43. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-14-2017, 12:47 PM
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Durham NC is a prime example of "no" in my opinion. While not truly a college town one would wonder how much the city would have evolved without Duke and it's medical center, especially since "big tobacco" left town.
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Old 01-14-2017, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post
Yep, I'm a guy who is interested in universities and college towns and I have started a few threads on them. I'm going to make an assertion that the truly great college towns tend to have one thing in common: they are home to their state's flagship public university.

Would you agree or disagree with that statement.

Just listing that type of town......State College, Charlottesville, Chapel Hill, Athens, Gainesville, Oxford, Ann Arbor, Bloomington, Madison, Iowa City, Colombia (MO), Lawrence, Austin, Boulder, Berkeley and the like.....gives me the impressions that the flagship public university seems like a really big piece of the puzzle in making a great college town.
I see where you are coming from, but there are many exceptions.

Davis, California is one of the most fantastic college towns in the country. UC-Davis, while highly regarded, is not a flagship university. What about towns with large private universities - like Provo (BYU) and South Bend (Notre Dame) and Syracuse (Syracuse). Are none of the Ivy League Schools in exceptional college towns?
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Old 01-14-2017, 01:08 PM
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Who voted yes? That doesn't even make sense. There are tons and tons of examples that go contrary to that.
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Old 01-14-2017, 01:36 PM
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The best college towns in my opinion are the biggest cities. Manhattan with NYU and Columbia, Boston with Harvard, MIT, and a million others, Seattle with the UW (gotta include my city in there), and so on. Whether it's public or private is irrelevant.
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Old 01-14-2017, 01:48 PM
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The NY SUNY doesn't really have a true flagship school, but SUNY Stony Brook is among the top SUNY schools and Stony Brook is a mediocre college town. SUNY Binghamton and SUNY Albany are in small/midsize cities but don't have much of a college neighborhood nearby. UConn (Connecticut ) has nearly no college town next to it. University of Rhode Island doesn't have much of a town, either.
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Old 01-14-2017, 02:07 PM
Location: Greenville SC 'Waterfall City'
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for me, a true college town is basically the university with a strip of stores adjacent to it. I think Storrs fits this mold now if it didn't before. It looks a bunch of new buildings with restaurants and a little park / town square were constructed near campus.
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Old 01-14-2017, 10:44 PM
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A good college town is a place that would be no whereville with out the college.

The college just has to be large (20k+) and far enough from the student body's home towns that they don't commute home for weekends

Berkeley is not a college town. It is a city with a college. Anyone calling Berkeley a college town is so not from California.
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Old 01-15-2017, 12:02 AM
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That seems to be your belief only.
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Old 01-15-2017, 12:11 AM
Location: Eugene, OR
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Definitely not. I live in a textbook college town of a flagship public university, but I have spent time in multiple college towns nearby that were no less dominated by their university (like Corvallis), or college towns centered around private schools (like McMinnville).
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Old 01-15-2017, 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Sharks With Lasers View Post
Nobody is going to argue that Blacksburg, Raleigh, Tallahassee, Starkville, East Lansing, West Lafayette, Ames, Manhattan, College Station, Fort Collins, etc. aren't legitimate college towns either.

But simply having a college does not make a college town either.
The OP didn't say 'legitimate college town,' they said 'Great College Town.' Now I don't agree that you need the flagship school to have a great college town, but your post almost makes me reconsider. Of the cities you've listed that I've been to:

East Lansing < Ann Arbor
West Lafayette < Bloomington
Ames < Iowa City
College Station << Austin
Fort Collins << Boulder
Of the remaining that I haven't visited, Charlottesville and Chapel Hill are usually considered much more charming than Blacksburg and Raleigh. Same with Lawrence compared to Manhattan. I don't know as much about Oxford/Starkville or Gainesville/Tallahassee to make a comparison. Again, I agree that all the towns you listed are legitimate college towns, but most are the second tier in their own state, and not real high on anyone's greatest list (except for their alums and football fans).

My guess is that the flagship schools are usually the oldest in the state, or in the case of Texas where A&M is older, they grew to have larger enrollments than the ag schools early on. The ag schools also usually had huge campuses with farm fields, so they tended to not really interface with the town as much, where as most flagships college towns have a blurry line where campus ends and the shops and restaurants begin, as the campuses are more compact and hemmed in. The ag schools saw their big boom with the GI bill post-war, and as a result the towns tend to be more suburban/car oriented then the flagship college towns which were already more developed by the post war period, though obviously they got an enrollment boom as well.
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