Community colleges occupy a unique space in higher education, because they are often hubs of innovation while at the same time making higher education more accessible and affordable to more people. Now, new rankings examine the best community colleges on at individual level, along with the best state community college systems in the U.S.
Some states make community college even more accessible through College Promise programs that give residents free rides to community college provided they meet certain criteria. New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Tennessee are some of the states that have joined so far.
Such initiatives are proving to be more critical than ever, with college tuition increases outpacing inflation and the need for post-secondary training in most jobs protected to grow through 2020. During the 2018 to 2019 academic year, tuition and fees for full-time, in-state enrollment at a public two-year college averaged $3,660 per year versus $10,320 at a public four-year institution and $35,830 at a four-year private school.
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