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Top education towns 2011: Median home prices under $100,000

From the Northwest coastline to the Ozark mountains, these top 10 cities offer affordable homes and stellar school districts.

By GreatSchools Staff

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Aliquippa, PA

Education quality score: 78.29
Median home price: $67,520
Population: 10,582

Originally named after a Seneca Indian queen, this ex-steel center on the Ohio River goes by the nickname "Quip Town." Aliquippans built ships and tanks for the World War II effort, but the area's economy evaporated when the mills shut down in the 1980's. Today, Aliquippa is a racially diverse town with a 35.52 percent African-American population, and it offers the second-best housing bargain on this list.

Aliquippa has produced gargantuan figures in music and sports. Composer Henry Mancini resided here, plus gridiron giants Mike DItka and Tony Dorsett, and hoops legend "Pistol" Pete Maravich. Educational stardom is also in evidence in Aliquippa, which maintains academic excellence despite the depressed economy.

Hopewell Senior High School is perennially recognized by the Pennsylvania Department of Education as a "Keystone Achievement School,” the hardy students of Aliquippa Elementary School recently boasted perfect attendance in all classrooms for nine consecutive weeks, and the entire community is involved in the recent Extreme Academic Makeover program to raise student’s test scores. Generosity is part of the local culture, too: Students pitched in to help cash-strapped community members with a food drive that gathered over 2,600 cans.

To learn more about schools in Aliquippa, PA.