For many students, community college provides a secondary education at a more attainable and affordable price. But just like major universities differ in terms of what you get for what you pay, some community colleges stack up better than others.
WalletHub's 2018 Best and Worst Community Colleges Study looked at 715 schools listed as member institutions in the American Association of Community Colleges (the study notes that due to data limitations, it could not include all member schools). WalletHub then looked at 17 metrics, including factors like cost of in-state tuition and fees, per-pupil spending and student faculty ratio, from across three key dimensions: cost and financing, education outcomes and career outcomes. Ultimately, schools were ranked on a 100-point scale, with 100 representing the best community college.
Topping WalletHub's list of the best community colleges is Arkansas State University-Mountain Home, with a total score of 66.13. The school boasted high rankings across all three key dimensions, particularly in the education outcomes category. Coming in second is Stella and Charles Guttman Community College in New York City. Its high ranking was likely due to its top spot in the cost and financing category.
Rounding out WalletHub's top three is the State Technical College of Missouri, which boasts an impressive number one ranking in education outcomes and a number two ranking in career outcomes.
Here are the top five best community colleges in the U.S., according to WalletHub's study:
1. Arkansas State University-Mountain Home
Location: Mountain Home, Arkansas
2. Stella and Charles Guttman Community College
Location: New York, New York
3. State Technical College of Missouri
Location: Linn, Missouri
4. Alexandria Technical & Community College
Location: Alexandria, Minnesota
5. Northland Community and Technical College
Location: East Grand Forks and Thief River Falls, Minnesota
Meanwhile, falling to the very bottom of the list is Eastern Gateway Community College, located in Ohio. This school had poor rankings across all three key dimensions, earning it an overall score of 27.21. The second worst community college, according to WalletHub, is Hudson County Community College in New Jersey, followed by Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College, in Wisconsin.
Here are the five worst community colleges in the U.S., according to WalletHub's study:
1. Eastern Gateway Community College
Location: Steubenville and Youngstown, Ohio
2. Hudson County Community College
Location: Jersey City, New Jersey
3. Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College
Location: Hayward, Wisconsin
4. Denmark Technical College
Location: Denmark, South Carolina
5. Bladen Community College
Location: Dublin, North Carolina
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