With back-to-school season in full swing and several states, such as New York and Rhode Island, offering free community-college education starting this month, the personal-finance website WalletHub recently released its report on 2017’s Best & Worst Community Colleges, coupled with its state-by-state ranking of the Best & Worst Community-College Systems.

To determine where students can receive the best education at the cheapest rates, WalletHub’s analysts compared more than 700 community colleges across 14 key indicators of cost and quality. The data set ranges from the cost of in-state tuition and fees to student-faculty ratio to graduation rate.

“During the 2016 to 2017 academic year, tuition and fees for full-time, in-state enrollment at a public two-year college averaged $1,760 per semester versus $4,825 at a public four-year institution and $16,740 at a four-year private school,” notes WalletHub’s website. “Based on those rates, students who earn their general-education credits at a community college before transferring to an in-state public four-year university would save $12,260 over two years on tuition and fees alone.”

However, WalletHub also acknowledges that “Individual community colleges vary in performance and affordability.”

The 10 Best Community Colleges

1. Leech Lake Tribal College (MN)

2. Cochise County Community College District (AZ)

3. Southwest Wisconsin Technical College (WI)

4. Stella and Charles Guttman Community College (NY)

5. Blackfeet Community College (MT)

6. Aaniih Nakoda College (MT)

7. llisagvik College (AK)

8. Northern Oklahoma College (OK)

9. Mesalands Community College (NM)

10. Lake Area Technical Institute (SD)

The 10 Worst Community Colleges

1. Kilian Community College (SD)

2. Hudson County Community College (NJ)

3. Austin Community College District (TX)

4. Lackawanna College (PA)

5. Denmark Technical College (SC)

6. Reading Area Community College (PA)

7. Baton Rouge Community College (LA)

8. Community College of Philadelphia (PA)

9. Eastern Gateway Community College (OH)

10. Essex County College (NJ)

(Next page: Best and worst states for community college systems)

About the Author:

Meris Stansbury

Meris Stansbury is the Editorial Director for both eSchool News and eCampus News, and was formerly the Managing Editor of eCampus News. Before working at eSchool Media, Meris worked as an assistant editor for The World and I, an online curriculum publication. She graduated from Kenyon College in 2006 with a BA in English, and enjoys spending way too much time either reading or cooking.


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