Why Cedar City is the Best, and Most Affordable, College Town

Published: July 23, 2014 | Author: Jessica Young | Read Time: 4 minutes

2013 Homecoming football game

When you are picking what college to go to, you’re also picking what town you’re going to live in.  So remember location determines price, making Southern Utah University an even easier choice, seeing that it’s home, Cedar City, has been named a top ten affordable college town in the U.S. by the Council for Community and Economic Research.

But what makes Cedar City a great city to call home and SUU a great university to attend? Let’s take a look at the top ten reasons why this college town is the absolute best place to study, learn and play, without depleting your wallet. 

1. Proximity to about everything

From your apartment you can hop on your bike and within minutes you’re cruising down Main Street and two blocks later you’re spinning across campus. Instead of wasting your college career stuck in traffic, use that time actually in class, studying, or doing what you want to be doing.

2. Weekends are never planned this easily

A highly satisfying, if jam-packed, weekend could include: snowboarding at Brian Head, canyoneering in Zion National Park, mountain biking in Bryce Canyon and a Greenshow at the Utah Shakespeare Festival. These are the kinds of everyman pleasures that appeal to students at SUU because each is no more than 45-minutes from campus.

3. Poker face to painted face

When school is in session, evenings are planned with campus poker nights, concerts on Main Street, football games, campus barbecues and outdoor movies. The University must be doing something right to have a combination of an active social scene and well-loved athletics that students come out in droves to support.

4. “Wow” factor to “ahh” factor

And if you don’t think all those campus events and nearby national parks are oodles of fun, remember, you’re living in Festival City U.S.A., aka parks fill up with Renaissance enthusiasts and streamer lined floats parade down Main Street, almost weekly during the summer months. Bringing more than a “wow” factor, but also an “ahh” factor to Cedar City, with its tree-lined streets, quaint downtown and old school haunts like Hermies Drive-In or Brad’s Food Hut. 

Carter Carillon tradition with class of 2017

5. The Bard’s favorite place to vacation

With a population of 29,000, you may think Cedar City is a backwoods, hick town, think again my friends; we have the power of the arts. Located in the heart of SUU and Cedar City is the Bard’s summer home, the Utah Shakespeare Festival. Founded in 1961, the Festival brings to campus Emmy Award winning productions and free nightly shows. So spread a blanket near the look-a-like Shakespeare Globe Theatre and enjoy a production of dancing Scots or singing Irishmen. 

6. Welcome to the Middle of Everywhere

 Some may say Cedar City is in the middle of nowhere, but really, we are in the middle of everywhere. To the south we have the neon lights of Las Vegas, a mere 2.5 hour drive, and sunny Los Angeles is a four-hour drive past that. Want to avoid the heat? Travel north 3.5 hours and you are in Salt Lake City. Plus, this is the Collegiate Gateway to the National Parks; the Mighty 5 are literally in our backyard.

7. Safety first

You’re in college now, so remember, safety first. Well, maybe not, but at least in Cedar City, feeling safe is commonplace. With the crime rate far below the national average, you can be sure to feel safe walking home at night, and if you want the added protection, we have security guards who will gladly come to your rescue.

8. Small town girl meet big city boy

Cedar City may be a small college town, but let’s have a chat about this community. It’s pretty great with people still greeting each other at the grocery store and tractors driving down city streets. But then there are concerts on campus and plays in the park, all with a red rock backdrop, the perfect mix.

9. Rent? I don’t owe that

Oh dreaded rent, yes we all have that bill. But in Cedar City, rent isn’t an evil payment that sucks you dry. The average cost for an off-campus housing shared apartment is about $250 a month, which includes an actual kitchen and laundry. Your mother would be so proud.

10. History we are proud of

There’s plenty to learn outside the classroom. With historic buildings across the city dating back 100 plus years, Cedar City is steeped in — though by no means stuck in — the past. A pioneer settlement began in 1851, but those men and women weren’t the first settlers of Color Country; archeological evidence date settlers in Iron County back to 1100 A.D. 

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