When the coronavirus pandemic forced colleges to close their campuses, many predicted that some students would transfer to community colleges in order to stay closer to home and save money.
The College Board estimates that during the 2019-2020 academic year, tuition and fees for full-time, in-state students at community colleges was $3,730 per year on average, compared to $10,440 at public four-year schools and $36,880 at private four-year schools.
However, more recent reports indicate that enrollments at many community colleges are actually down this semester.
Fortunately for those who are interested in attending a community college, it's not too late. Community colleges typically have rolling admissions or periodic application deadlines throughout the year.
WalletHub recently identified the best community colleges in the country by comparing 698 community colleges across 18 metrics including cost, student loan default rates and post-graduation earnings.
The ranking also allows students to search for the best community colleges in their state.
Here are the top 10 best community colleges in the country, according to WalletHub:
State Technical College of Missouri offers over 35 programs in advanced technical training for both emerging and traditional technologies including robotics, nuclear technology and aviation maintenance. The school claims that 99% of State Tech graduates find gainful employment or continue their education within six months of graduation.
Arkansas State University's campus in Mountain Home, Arkansas is one of the most respected community colleges in the country. ASUMH offers a wide range of degrees as well as technical credential programs.
Located near Silicon Valley, College of San Mateo is known for its connections with nearby tech companies. The school offers 147 degree and certificate programs.
Founded in 1966, Northwest Iowa Community College is a located in Sheldon, Iowa. According to NCC, the school has a 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio and nearly 100% of students report having jobs after graduation.
Northern Wyoming Community College District, known as NWCCD, has several campuses including Sheridan College. Sheridan College offers more than 600 programs and is well known for its agriculture program.
Northwestern Connecticut Community College is located in Winsted, Connecticut. The small community college is known for its nursing and veterinary programs as well as its study abroad opportunities.
Ohlone College's main campus is in Fremont, California. The school offers 189 programs and prides itself on helping students transfer into the Cal State University system or other four-year schools.
Alexandria Technical & Community College is located in Alexandria, Minnesota and offers certificates and associates degrees online and in-person. The school is known for its esports program.
Casper College became Wyoming's first junior college when it was founded in 1945. Today, the school is one of the largest community colleges in the state with some 4,970 enrolled students each year.
Founded in 1947, Orange Coast College is located in Costa Mesa, California. The Orange County school is one of the largest community colleges in the country, enrolling roughly 25,000 students each semester.