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Best College Communities in NYC

Choosing an educational institute isn’t just about going for the best or the most renowned college or university; it’s also about where it’s located because location plays a huge role during your college or university experience.

There are many cities in the country that proudly boast the reputation of being the ‘best college cities,’ but when you were to narrow down your choices, New York should definitely top your list. Apart from excellent educational institutes, you will also find student-friendly rentals and apartments here quite easily.

New York – The Largest City in the U.S.

The fact that New York City is the largest city in the country simply suggests that it’s also the one with the most number of colleges. You are likely to find as many as 200 or perhaps even more colleges in NYC within a 25-mile radius.

Among those 200+ colleges, you not only want to pick the best place for your higher studies, but you also want to ensure that it’s located in a student-friendly community, right? If you already live in New York, perhaps that isn’t likely to be one of your concerns. However, if you are an international student or you’re coming in from another city or state, you want to make sure that the college you choose is close to home, is situated in an area that allows you to find apartments with reasonable rentals, and one that caters exclusively to college and university students.

After all, you certainly don’t want to rent an apartment at one end while your college is at another end of the city.

Student-Friendly College Communities in New York

To help sophomores, juniors, and seniors with their search, we’ve listed below the best college communities in NYC that will make the college-hunt easy for you.

1. Upper Manhattan

This area is home to Columbia University, which is one of the oldest higher learning institutes in the State of New York. It is exactly located in Morningside Heights, Manhattan.

If you decide to go to Columbia University, here are some of the best neighborhoods for students, with affordable rentals and apartments

2. Morningside Heights 

Morningside Heights is a famous residential neighborhood in Manhattan’s northern section and is considered to be one of the best places to live in the city. Columbia University has several undergraduate dormitories on campus as well as in Morningside Heights. Other than that, it also owns about 7800 apartments in this neighborhood.

Since the university is located here, it makes sense to find an apartment to rent in Morningside Heights. The majority of the residents here are students, so you will also find plenty of student-friendly services in this neighborhood, thus why it made our best college communities in NYC list.

3. Harlem

This is another great neighborhood for students where the university plans to take over a residential tower as a part of its expansion. The best part is that the Morningside Heights campus is located just west of Harlem, which makes it super easy for students to commute back and forth.

4. Greenwich Village

This neighborhood is located towards the west of Manhattan, and it’s also where the notable New York University is located.

The university does offer on-campus living, but if you prefer living off-campus, here are a few ideal options.

5. Long Island City

This is a commercial neighborhood located on the western tip in Queens, one of the five boroughs of New York City. It is at a very short distance from New York University, which is one of the biggest advantages for university students.

If you are worried about rentals and apartment costs, you will find a plethora of apartments here that cater to college and university students.

6. Union Square

NYU also built a community in Union Square, a popular neighborhood near Manhattan. The proximity is a plus for students as they won’t have to spend a lot of time commuting to and from the university. This neighborhood is home to numerous studio apartments, where you can live with other students from NYU (to make the rent a little easier to bear).

7. TriBeCa

This is an acronym for ‘Triangle Below Canal Street,’ and it is a super vibrant neighborhood in the Manhattan community. It is also home to Borough of Manhattan Community College, which has established itself as one of the leaders among community colleges in New York City.

If you choose to study in BMCC, there are a few neighborhoods that you might want to consider when looking for living arrangements. You will also find affordable rentals if you search a little harder.

8. Hudson Square

This is a quiet neighborhood in lower Manhattan, which is quite famous among university students. It is quite student-friendly and has several options for cheap apartments that you can look into. It’s a great option if you are looking to find a place with reasonable rentals and apartment options.

9. Brooklyn

If you don’t mind a long ride, Brooklyn is a great option for you. It is home to wonderful neighborhoods where you can easily find a place to live with decent rentals. It is also quite a thriving part of New York so you’ll have a lot of fun there, too.


The majority of colleges and universities in New York City offer excellent on-site living options, which basically means that you’ll be studying and living in the same place. As convenient as that may sound, you are likely to get bored of your routine quite soon.

If you prefer living off-campus, you’re likely looking for a nice place to live, one that’s closer to your institute, and also has decent rent that you can afford easily.

There’s no denying the fact that NYC is home to some amazing student-friendly communities, so the chances are that while going to your dream college, you’ll also be able to find a nice place to live! You really don’t have to worry about finding an apartment or a rental in this city because if you do your research and look up any residential rental platform, you will come across many great options, some of which will really suit your liking.

Did we miss any best college communities in NYC that we should include? Let us know by reaching out to us at blog@dwellsy.com.

Enjoyed this blog post on the best college communities in Los Angeles? Check out our other blog posts here.

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