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Best community college in every state

  • Best community college in every state

    Long gone are the days when education levels weren't inherently tied to income levels. Twenty-first-century teens as young as high school freshmen consider what colleges are available to them sooner rather than later to make a decent living in the long run.

    Be it grades or money—many young adults automatically choose the more convenient access to community college to begin their undergraduate education. With 41% of all undergrads in a two-year school, according to the American Association of Community Colleges, Stacker looked to Niche to find out the top community colleges in every state across the country.

    Considering the cost and quality indicators of 700 community colleges, WalletHub ranked Arkansas State University's two-year public school Mountain Home as the "Best Community College in the Nation." At the same time, the U.S. Department of Education ranked two-year schools by the highest salaries earned upon graduation. They too gave the Land of Opportunity State the top rating by naming Arkansas State University's two-year college in Beebe the best. The bottom line is this: When it comes down to education and numbers, a community college's annual tuition and fees of $3,660 beat out a four-year university's tuition and fees of $10,230 per year.

    In Stacker's research, Davis Technical College tuition was estimated using their net price calculator, Tennessee Technology Center at Elizabethton's tuition was estimated using their net price calculator, and Moore Norman Technology Center tuition was estimated using their net price calculator.

    Similar but different, just like each state across the country, the best community colleges in the U.S. offer a great reason to consider a two-year education before moving on to a four-year school. If considering a continued education, there is no better time than now to start studying, and these community colleges are a great place to start.

    Read on to find out the best community colleges in every state.

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  • Alabama: Marion Military Institute

    - Location: Marion, AL
    - Students: 442
    - Student to faculty ratio: 16:1
    - Acceptance rate: 56%
    - In-state tuition: $9,418
    - Out-of-state tuition: $15,418
    - Six year median earnings: $42,700
    - Employment rate two years after graduation: 92%

    Founded in 1842 and listed on the Alabama National Register of Historic Places, Marion Military Institute is the nation's oldest military junior college. The school, which has a National Junior College Athletic Association certification, mandates fitness programs as a part of the student curriculum to instill regimen and rigor. MMI's Service Academy Program is the only one in the country that offers availability to all five U.S. Service Academies, including West Point. The institute offers $2 million in scholarships annually.

  • Alaska: AVTEC—Alaska's Institute of Technology

    - Location: Seward, AK
    - Students: 178
    - Student to faculty ratio: 15:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: data not available
    - Out-of-state tuition: data not available
    - Six year median earnings: $35,300
    - Employment rate two years after graduation: 83%

    Alaska's Institute of Technology (AVTEC) boasts a 90% employment placement within the first year of graduation, officially making the school motto "A career in less than a year!" The school is a division of the Department of Labor and Workforce Housing and reports to the Commissioner of Labor. The recommended and approved curriculum is "both relevant and valued by employers in Alaska," according to the school website. With housing onsite, students can choose a dormitory setting or from a variety of housing style units, some specifically for those with a spouse or children.

  • Arizona: GateWay Community College—Phoenix

    - Location: Phoenix, AZ
    - Students: 1,217
    - Student to faculty ratio: 14:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $2,094
    - Out-of-state tuition: $7,878
    - Six year median earnings: $34,100
    - Employment rate two years after graduation: 82%

    Arizona’s GateWay Community College has a reputation for being laser-focused on job placement. Job placement fairs are held on campus, and have focused on health care, which is a thriving industry in the region. Students have said they are happy with the attention paid by professors, and the sense of community the school fosters, even in an intensive job prep environment.

  • Arkansas: University of Arkansas Community College—Morrilton

    - Location: Morrilton, AR
    - Students: 1,115
    - Student to faculty ratio: 21:1
    - Acceptance rate: 75%
    - In-state tuition: $3,308
    - Out-of-state tuition: $4,004
    - Six year median earnings: $27,500
    - Employment rate two years after graduation: 84%

    The University of Arkansas Community College—Morrilton is somewhat unusual for a community college because it has less than 100% acceptance rate. The 75% rate keeps the size of the college low and allows for a high degree of personalized instruction. Students are particularly enthused by the school’s high level of personalized attention, and how “above and beyond” they say the professors go to make sure they succeed. Students enjoy the cost of the school, which they feel is an excellent value.

  • California: Cypress College

    - Location: Cypress, CA
    - Students: 5,260
    - Student to faculty ratio: 24:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $1,140
    - Out-of-state tuition: $6,154
    - Six year median earnings: $35,600
    - Employment rate two years after graduation: 81%

    Of particular note at Cypress College is the degree to which school administrators beyond the professors collaborate with students to help them succeed. Many students cite everything from the school’s Learning Center and health center to the parking administration as all working together to create an environment that makes it easy to set up for and achieve success.

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  • Colorado: Pickens Technical College

    - Location: Aurora, CO
    - Students: 943
    - Student to faculty ratio: 22:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $4,510
    - Out-of-state tuition: $7,990
    - Six year median earnings: $33,100
    - Employment rate two years after graduation: 81%

    Pickens Technical College offers 50 certificate programs in eight different areas including Arts Media and Communication, Engineering and Technology, Health, and Human Services. In October 2018, it was one of 30 Colorado colleges to offer free application, dismissing fees up to $100 to encourage further education. The school also received attention in 2018 when it won the national Weld it Forward competition for building paralyzed student Noah Williams a wheelchair ramp for his home. “By winning, it was good to feel like I gave something back to the people who helped me out,” William said to CBS.

  • Connecticut: Manchester Community College—Connecticut

    - Location: Manchester, CT
    - Students: 1,969
    - Student to faculty ratio: 17:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $4,276
    - Out-of-state tuition: $12,828
    - Six year median earnings: $34,700
    - Employment rate two years after graduation: 88%

    As Connecticut's largest community college, the school named after its location sits on 160 acres of land and is home to the Great Path Academy, a middle college program for academically advanced high school students. With more than 40 disciplines for both an associate in arts or science degree, Manchester Community offers the “Transfer Ticket” pathway, which promises no credit loss when transferring to any of the state's four universities or charter college. The school also offers two-year equivalent honor societies including Phi Theta Kappa and Alpha Mu Gamma.

  • Delaware: Delaware Technical Community College—Owens

    - Location: Georgetown, DE
    - Students: 1,803
    - Student to faculty ratio: 13:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $3,530
    - Out-of-state tuition: $8,282
    - Six year median earnings: $30,400
    - Employment rate two years after graduation: 88%

    Delaware Technical Community College is the only community college in the state. Some of its primary claims to fame include it being the teaching alma mater of the former Second Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden, and a cameo in a famous film. In the Alfred Hitchcock thriller “Strangers on a Train,” a “Delaware Tech” math professor is too drunk to remember talking to a tennis star about differentials on a train, and is therefore unavailable to provide an alibi for a murder.

  • Florida: Lorenzo Walker Institute of Technology

    - Location: Naples, FL
    - Students: 358
    - Student to faculty ratio: 18:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: data not available
    - Out-of-state tuition: data not available
    - Six year median earnings: $26,400
    - Employment rate two years after graduation: 79%

    Lorenzo Walker Institute of Technology is unusually small for a community college, with just 358 students. Students are particularly enthusiastic about the help they get from the school navigating the financial aid process. Most students, however, report paying for the school themselves, with an average of just $1,000, making it an excellent value. The school also offers some classes online, which is helpful for students who may need to work during the day to pay their way through school.

  • Georgia: South Georgia Technical College

    - Location: Americus, GA
    - Students: 941
    - Student to faculty ratio: 16:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $2,136
    - Out-of-state tuition: $4,930
    - Six year median earnings: $23,400
    - Employment rate two years after graduation: 81%

    South Georgia Technical College was an air force base earlier in the century and has an outsize role in aviation history. The famous aviator Charles Lindbergh purchased his first plane from what they then called “Souther Field.” Many students still study aviation at the school, along with other technical professions like automotive and aviation. Students today give the school high marks for its considerably involved professors, who help students with everything from practical and academic concepts to job placement.

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