Published On: Tue, Aug 23rd, 2016

2016’s States with the Best & Worst Community College Systems

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Community colleges want to remind Americans that the road less traveled is not always the worst path. Once disparaged as inferior to four-year institutions, these two-year colleges are finally stepping up their game — at times even outperforming their traditional university counterparts.

In 22 states, community colleges have expanded to include four-year bachelor’s degree programs in high-demand fields. And soon the federal government also may be granting free rides to community college through the America’s College Promise Act of 2015 — or what the media peddleas President Barack Obama’s “GI Bill.” If passed, the new legislation would allow up to nine million first-time enrollees to earn associates degrees every year at no charge.

Minnesota, Oregon and Tennessee are already blazing the trail of the college-for-all circuit, and at least another 10 states — including California, Illinois and Oklahoma — plan to join the bandwagon. Such initiatives from all levels of government are proving to be more critical than ever, with public-college costs rising faster than private-college tuition rates and the need for post-secondary training in most jobs seeing steady growth through 2020.

Drawing on the results of the analysis on the best and worst individual community colleges in the U.S., WalletHub presents a state-by-state ranking of community college systems. You can find the results as well as our detailed methodology below.

The personal-finance website WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis of 2016’s Best & Worst Community Colleges then drew upon its results to identify the States with the Best & Worst Community College Systems.
To help students weigh their community-college prospects, WalletHub’s analysts compared 821 schools across 12 key metrics. The data set ranges from the cost of in-state tuition and fees to student-faculty ratio to graduation rate.

 

Top 20 Community Colleges
1 Helene Fuld College of Nursing (NY) 11 Southwest Wisconsin Technical College (WI)
2 Ilisagvik College (AK) 12 Mesalands Community College (NM)
3 Pamlico Community College (NC) 13 Moorpark College (CA)
4 Cochise County Community College District (AZ) 14 Pratt Community College (KS)
5 State Technical College of Missouri (MO) 15 Coastline Community College (CA)
6 Fashion Institute of Technology (NY) 16 Northern Oklahoma College (OK)
7 Rend Lake College (IL) 17 Whatcom Community College (WA)
8 Lake Area Technical Institute (SD) 18 Barstow Community College (CA)
9 Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture (NE) 19 Manhattan Area Technical College (KS)
10 North Central Missouri College (MO) 20 Turtle Mountain Community College (ND)

 

States with the Best Community College Systems
1 South Dakota 11 Georgia
2 Alaska 12 New Mexico
3 North Dakota 13 Nebraska
4 Florida 14 California
5 Montana 15 Iowa
6 Wyoming 16 Arizona
7 Washington 17 Arkansas
8 Wisconsin 18 Mississippi
9 Connecticut 19 New York
10 New Hampshire 20 Maine

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