The 10 most affordable U.S. college towns

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    Believe it or not, it's almost time for students to head back to school. Even more shocking? In this sellers' market, it's still possible to find good deals on homes in college towns that could appeal to students, parents, teachers, investors and everyone in between.

    According to a new report, buyers looking in these areas will notice an interesting pattern.

    "If you look at the list this year as compared to three years ago, these are markets that are fairly active," said Javier Vivas, manager of economic research at "Don't always translate affordability into desirability. This year, these findings are important because we've gone through an inventory shortage. We're seeing activity in these markets again."

    Less unusual, Vivas said, is that many of the college towns with the most affordable home prices are located in the Midwest -- places like Muncie, Indiana, and Charleston, Illinois.

    The study looked at towns where 20 percent of the population is enrolled in a college or university and the total number of students topped 2,000. Then, for the sake of geographic diversity it limited the results to two cities per state. Among the areas classified as "college towns" under these guidelines, examined which places had the most affordable median home prices.

    Think your favorite college hot spot made the cut? Click ahead to see 10 of the most affordable college towns.

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    Ilyce R. Glink is an award-winning, nationally-syndicated columnist, best-selling book author and founder of Best Money Moves, an employee benefit program that helps reduce financial stress. She also owns, where readers can find real estate and personal finance resources.