There is no doubt about it Columbia, South Carolina is a college town. Learn about the great neighborhoods that college studnets flock to.There is no doubt about it Columbia, South Carolina is a college town. Learn about the great neighborhoods that college studnets flock to.Moving Tips

Best Neighborhoods for College Students in Columbia, SC

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6 Neighborhoods that College Students in Columbia, SC will Love:

  • Downtown Columbia
  • Five Points
  • Olympia
  • Rosewood
  • Shandon
  • Vista

There is no doubt about it Columbia, South Carolina is a college town. Columbia is home to the University of South Carolina that has an enrollment of about 30,000 students. There are also six other private colleges and universities including Allen University (about 850 students), Benedict College (about 3,100 students), Columbia College (about 1,400 students), Columbia International University (about 1,200 students), Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (about 150 students) and W. L. Bonner College (about 50 students).

This means that there are about 36,750 college students out of a total population of around 133,000. About one out every four people in Columbia, SC is a college student!

Many students like the neighborhoods nearest to the campus of the school that they are attending. For example, there are many nice, privately-owned apartment buildings near the campus of the University of South Carolina. These apartment complexes cater to college students who prefer to live off-campus instead of in the dorms.

Uloop has many college-student-friendly apartment listings to choose from that rent for around $550 for a one bedroom, up to about $1,050 for a four bedroom. The median rent in all of Columbia is $850 per month.

Downtown Columbia

The University of South Carolina (USC) is in downtown Columbia. Students enjoy the shops, restaurants, and entertainment establishments along Main Street. For those seeking cultural experiences, there are plenty of festivals, performances by a symphony orchestra, and theater shows to enjoy. The Columbia Museum of Art is also located in downtown. There is the nice public Finley Park to hang out in, meet up with a study group for a picnic, or to use for an early morning jog.

The Vista

To the western side of downtown is the cultural district of Congaree Vista, often called just "The Vista" that is located along Gervais Street. There are lots of apartments in this urban area. The Vista is where students go to for nightlife activities at bars and clubs. There are annual festivals such as the Vista Lights during the winter holiday and Artista Vista art festival in the spring. There are frequently live concerts to enjoy as well.

Five Points

Five Points was established as a village community neighborhood over 100 years ago. It has always kept its village charm with its public display of artwork on wall murals and many attractive water fountains. Students who live in this neighborhood can walk to USC. Five Points is at the intersection of Devine Street and Harden, just east of USC. The bars, cafes, and restaurants are always full of college students and fun places to go. This area has a huge celebration each year for St. Patrick's Day.


For those who can afford it, the Shandon neighborhood, while a bit pricey, is very nice. To reach Shandon from Five Points just go east on Devine Street. Shandon is a nice neighborhood with historic homes on wide, tree-lined streets. There are fashionable boutiques, bakeries, and restaurants for fine dining. Students can use public transportation to get to the USC campus or ride a bicycle to get there from Shandon in about 15 minutes.


The Rosewood neighborhood is next to Shandon. It is a little less expensive than Shandon and has more green space in the form of beautiful public parks. The streets in Rosewood are also lined by trees. There are many historic homes in this neighborhood as well.

For students who appreciate nature and growing things, Rosewood has two community gardens and a community orchard. The first urban farm established in South Carolina, called City Roots, is in Rosewood. Farm fresh produce and locally raised beef, chicken, and pork are abundant. This neighborhood has plenty of food-based events including a wonderful tomato celebration called the Palmetto Tasty Tomato Festival.

Getting to the USC campus is easy from Rosewood. The bus runs down Rosewood Drive. It passes through Five Points on the way to USC. Using a bicycle to get there takes about 10 to 15 minutes.


Football fans will enjoy seeing the USC games at the Williams-Brice Stadium that is next to Olympia. In this neighborhood, buildings that used to be textile mills were converted into modern apartments for students. There are many apartments along Heyward Street and Whaley Street to chose from. Taking the bus, walking, or riding a bike to USC are all easy to do from this neighborhood.

A Great College Town

You probably cannot find a more student-friendly town than Columbia, South Carolina. The rents charged for apartments are reasonable. The neighborhoods near college campuses are very enjoyable places to live in.

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