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You’ve recently graduated from college. Now it’s time to start a new phase in your life – swapping a lifestyle filled with exams and eating ramen to a more professional atmosphere filled with working and suits. Now is also the time to start discovering yourself and deciding whether you want to stay in your hometown or move to a new city. Below is a list of the top five most favorable cities for new graduates to live, work and play. The list was chosen and based on mean entry-level income, average price of a one-bedroom apartment, proximity to postgraduate institutions as well as number of social opportunities. Do you live in one of these cities?

ForRentUniversity.com Top 10 Cities for New Grads

Number One City to move after graduation is Atlanta - ForRent.com

1. Atlanta, Georgia

  • Mean entry level income: $43,000
  • Median price for a one-bedroom apartment: $800
  • Unemployment Rate: 6.9 percent
  • 19 nearby colleges/universities
  • Average salary for recent college grads in Atlanta is 21% higher than the national average. Tied with Raleigh and Houston for the lowest average rent, this city is extremely friendly to recent grads with minimal savings. The city is also home to many post-secondary educational institutions including Clark Atlanta University and Georgia Institute of Technology, among others—perfect for grads wishing to attain additional degrees. According to Busy Travelers, Atlanta holds the country’s third largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies and is the global headquarters of corporations including The Coca-Cola Company, The Home Depot, Delta Air Lines and UPS.


2. Dallas, Texas

  • Mean entry level income: $38,000
  • Median price for a one-bedroom apartment: $900
  • Unemployment Rate: 5.8 percent
  • 17 nearby colleges/universities
  • Well above the national average, Dallas’ 8.67% rental vacancy rate results in notably affordable rent in relation to most comparable metros. With more money for leisure opportunities, recent grads can enjoy the many attractions and activities Dallas has to offer. Home to five professional sports teams, one for every major American team sport, Dallas offers an abundance of athletic events, entertainment and professional options.


3. Houston, Texas

  • Mean entry level income: $41,000
  • Median price for a one-bedroom apartment: $800
  • Unemployment Rate: 5.7 percent
  • 14 nearby colleges/universities
  • Houston boasts one of the highest average incomes for entry-level jobs and is home to 24 Fortune 500 companies. Coupled with a relatively low cost of living, commuter-friendly transportation and a promising job market, Houston is ideal for young people looking to launch their careers.

ForRent.com St. Louis

4. St. Louis, Missouri

  • Mean entry level income: $38,000
  • Median price for a one-bedroom apartment: $960
  • Unemployment Rate: 8.2 percent
  • 7 nearby colleges/universities
  • St. Louis topped Forbes’ 2012 list of happiest places for postgraduates, earning accolades based on overall career happiness among those with jobs requiring less than two years of work experience as well as the average cost of living-adjusted salary in each city. Encouraging the enjoyment of public attractions of all residents, St. Louis offers free entry into the majority of the city’s art institutions, science exhibits, museums, theatres and zoos – making it the perfect entertainment location for cash-strapped college graduates.

ForRent.com Minneapolis

5. Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota

  • Mean entry level income: $32,000
  • Median price for a one-bedroom apartment: $900
  • Unemployment Rate: 5.0 percent
  • 10 nearby colleges/universities
  • With more than 50% of homes in Minneapolis listed as rentals and roughly 5% of them currently unoccupied, finding “home sweet home” is relatively easy. A city with a dynamic music scene, a physically fit mantra, professional sports teams and a vibrant art, theater and literary culture, Minneapolis is worth a second look for college grads. More than 82,000 Minneapolis residents are between the ages of 25 and 34, making it easy for recent grads to find and fit into social circles. Home to large company headquarters, including PepsiCo, Target and General Mills, Minneapolis offers a variety of job opportunities for young career seekers.

Visit ForRentUniversity.com to find your perfect rental space or connect with one of many property managers in your ideal city. For more information and ideas to make the most of your space, visit the ForRent.com Apartment Living Blog. Check out the rest of the top cities for new grads below!

Top 10 Cities for New Graduates to Live - ForRentUniversity.com


About Maggie Standing:

Hi, all! I'm Maggie, the Public Relations Specialist at ForRent.com. I'm part of an awesome team of fun, creative people that love to get together and think up new ideas and solutions for the multifamily industry. Here at ForRent.com, I write and edit A LOT! Other things I love: reading, Netflix, rain storms, Thai food, beach days with friends and the Georgia Bulldogs.


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