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Best community college in every state

  • Best community college in every state
    1/ Photo courtesy of Western Wyoming Community College

    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 in order 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. Bottom-line, when it all 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.

    You may also like: Most liberal colleges in America

  • Alabama: Marion Military Institute
    2/ Photo courtesy of Marion Military Institute

    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

    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
    3/ Photo courtesy of AVTEC

    Alaska: AVTEC – Alaska's Institute of Technology

    - Location: Seward, AK
    - Students: 178
    - Student to faculty ratio: 15:1
    - Acceptance rate: 49%
    - In-state tuition: $3,175
    - Out-of-state tuition: $3,175

    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: Chandler-Gilbert Community College
    4/ Tim Roberts Photography // Shutterstock

    Arizona: Chandler-Gilbert Community College

    - Location: Chandler, AZ
    - Students: 4,141
    - Student to faculty ratio: 26:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $2,094
    - Out-of-state tuition: $7,878

    As one of 10 Maricopa County colleges, Chandler-Gilbert Community promotes the Arizona Transfer Pathways program, making it easier for students to continue their undergraduate education at specific state universities. Additionally, the school's strong work-force ready program is offering students an edge as baby boomers retire and thousands of employment slots open up daily, according to Dean of Instruction Gabriela Rosu. “We can partner with employers in an industry and create scenarios for students to learn and experience real-life situations or processes play out,” she said to Arizona Central news.

  • Arkansas: Arkansas State University – Mountain Home
    5/ Photo courtesy of Arkansas State University

    Arkansas: Arkansas State University – Mountain Home

    - Location: Mountain Home, AR
    - Students: 625
    - Student to faculty ratio: 16:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $2,832
    - Out-of-state tuition: $4,440

    As the two-year campus of Arkansas State University, Mountain Home touts being WalletHub's “Best Community College in the Nation.” There are a host of programs including the General Transfer Degree that preps North Central Arkansas students for their further four-year education. Dozens of other diverse majors and degrees like Criminal Justice, Funeral Science, Mechatronics. and Welding round out the curriculum for approximately 1,500 students who attend Mountain Home Schools of Arts & Sciences, Business Technology, and Health Sciences.

  • California: Cuesta College
    6/ Photo courtesy of Cuesta College

    California: Cuesta College

    - Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
    - Students: 3,372
    - Student to faculty ratio: 26:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $1,338
    - Out-of-state tuition: $6,824

    Located only six miles from the beach, Cuesta College is where San Luis Obispo locals often go when not off to a four-year. The approximate 9,300 student populace attend classes in person and online. A satellite campus in Paso Robles enables others who live 30 miles northeast to take courses at the school, which has almost 80 associate degree programs and 100 certification courses. For a time in 2012, Cuesta College's accreditation went to “show cause” status due to “planning and assessment, technology resources, and financial planning and stability,” according to the Tribune, reporting the school's accreditation was reaffirmed for six years in 2015.

  • Colorado: Pickens Technical College
    7/ Photo courtesy of Pickens Technical College

    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

    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
    8/ Photo courtesy of Manchester Community College

    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

    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 – Stanton-Wilmington
    9/ Tim Kiser // Wikimedia Commons

    Delaware: Delaware Technical Community College – Stanton-Wilmington

    - Location: Wilmington, DE
    - Students: 2,188
    - Student to faculty ratio: 13:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $3,530
    - Out-of-state tuition: $8,282

    As the only two-year technical undergraduate school among Delaware's six other higher learning institutions, Main Lain Today news reports the most popular majors at Stanton-Wilmington are Health Professions, Business, Management and Marketing, Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting, and Protective Services. Like many other two-year technical community colleges, the Delaware school has both general and developmental education areas of study for students who want to be state-certified teachers.

  • Florida: Manatee Technical Institute
    10/ Photo courtesy of Manatee Technical Institute

    Florida: Manatee Technical Institute

    - Location: Bradenton, FL
    - Students: 680
    - Student to faculty ratio: 8:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $5,053
    - Out-of-state tuition: $5,053

    In 2018, Manatee Technical Institute made the news when it offered tuition-free training to 12 students seeking employment in the HVAC industry. Due to the shortage of installers in the Sunshine State, the school teamed up with Manatee/Sarasota County heating and air conditioning company, guaranteeing the students $15 an hour employment after completing the three-month course. For an in-state tuition of $5,063 annually, Florida residents can also pursue a plethora of other trades including pharmacy technician, baking and pastry arts, personal trainer, medical code biller, and customer service technology.

  • Georgia: Augusta Technical College
    11/ DXR // Wikimedia Commons

    Georgia: Augusta Technical College

    - Location: Augusta, GA
    - Students: 1,806
    - Student to faculty ratio: 16:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $2,794
    - Out-of-state tuition: $4,930

    With four campuses including one location in Augusta, the two-year school offers both academic and technical training and accepts 100% of students who apply. The school's Cyber and Digital Education Degree program gained national attention in 2018 when the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security designated Augusta as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Two-Year Education (CAE2Y). The imminent cybersecurity threats in the U.S. have reportedly increased the need for employment in the industry, making Augusta a premiere Georgia college for prospective students interested in the field

  • Hawaii: Kapi'olani Community College
    12/ Mj-bird // Wikimedia Commons

    Hawaii: Kapi'olani Community College

    - Location: Honolulu, HI
    - Students: 2,606
    - Student to faculty ratio: 17:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $3,084
    - Out-of-state tuition: $8,220

    As a branch of the state university system, the Honolulu two-year school promotes a Student Success Pathway based on six principles: connect, prepare, engage, learn, achieve, and thrive. The school has begun hosting transfer days with the state university system to encourage community college students to further their education. Through an auto-admission process, Kapi'olani Community College students can directly transfer to University of Hawaii Manoa, Hilo, West O'ahu. From the two-year school, students can also move into the Culinary Institute of the Pacific, which offers associate degrees and certificates in baking, and culinary and pastry arts.

  • Idaho: Eastern Idaho Technical College
    13/ ARLittleRock // Wikimedia Commons

    Idaho: Eastern Idaho Technical College

    - Location: Idaho Falls, ID
    - Students: 347
    - Student to faculty ratio: 5:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $2,494
    - Out-of-state tuition: $9,056

    First founded in 1969, the Idaho Falls school only become an official community college as of 2017, when the Bonneville County residents voted to create a community college district. Since, the college has been accredited, offering associate degrees in arts, science, and applied science. The school also provides a Fast Forward Program for high school students that enables young adolescents to take overload courses, dual credits, and college-credit bearing exams. Programs of study at the two-year college include Business & Technology, Health Professions, Trade & Industry, General Education, Adult Basic Education, and Online Learning.

  • Illinois: Harper College
    14/ Photo courtesy of Harper College

    Illinois: Harper College

    - Location: Palatine, IL
    - Students: 4,882
    - Student to faculty ratio: 19:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $9,666
    - Out-of-state tuition: $11,478

    The University Center at Harper College has made it possible for students to earn a full four-year degree from the universities of DePaul, Northern Illinois, or Roosevelt on the two-year school campus in Chicago's northwest suburb. Named after the first president of the University of Chicago Dr. William Rainey Harper, the school's most popular majors include Liberal Arts and Humanities, Nursing Assistant, and Business, according to Niche, which rates the school as “an above-average public college. 39% of students who graduate from Harper go onto earn a $28,500 starting salary.

  • Indiana: Ivy Tech Community College – Central Indiana
    15/ Photo courtesy of Ivy Tech Community College

    Indiana: Ivy Tech Community College – Central Indiana

    - Location: Indianapolis, IN
    - Students: 21,180
    - Student to faculty ratio: 17:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $4,255
    - Out-of-state tuition: $8,211

    The Central Indiana school has made it possible for Hoosiers in surrounding areas to attend by offering locations in downtown Indianapolis, Lawrence, Avon, Franklin, Greencastle, Mooresville, Noblesville, and Shelbyville. According to the college website, the school has “become the largest public postsecondary institution in Indiana—and the largest singly-accredited statewide community college system in the entire country,” with 150 programs in seven different schools of study, such as Nursing or Information Technology.

  • Iowa: Hawkeye Community College
    16/ Cedarvalleyarboretum // Wikimedia Commons

    Iowa: Hawkeye Community College

    - Location: Waterloo, IA
    - Students: 2,525
    - Student to faculty ratio: 17:1
    - Acceptance rate: 69%
    - In-state tuition: $5,042
    - Out-of-state tuition: $5,752

    On the school homepage, Hawkeye Community College throws out the statistic that by 2020, almost 70% of Iowa jobs will mandate post-secondary education or training to encourage enrollment. However, with Hawkeye's help, learning can be made accessible, according to the college website, reporting 94% of the 50,000 graduates since 1966 have found and chosen employment in Iowa. The Hawkeye Liberal Arts Transfer Program, which has articulation agreements with some of Iowa's four-year public and private colleges, offers up to 13 emphasis areas including Communications, Philosophy & Religion, Pre-K-12 Education, and Political Science.

  • Kansas: Johnson County Community College
    17/ Photo courtesy of Johnson County Community College

    Kansas: Johnson County Community College

    - Location: Overland Park, KS
    - Students: 5,792
    - Student to faculty ratio: 20:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $3,300
    - Out-of-state tuition: $6,600

    Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission in 2018, Johnson County Community College touts “competitive tuition rates and extracurricular experiences that transcend the norm,” according to the school website. Last year, the school began offering a Child Care Access Fund Scholarship, which covers up to 95% of child care costs for children aged 1 to 6 years old. With an open admissions policy and credits for life experience, non-traditional students are very welcome on the Overland Park campus, which offers up to 19 different fields of study.

  • Kentucky: West Kentucky Community & Technical College
    18/ Photo courtesy of West Kentucky Community & Technical College

    Kentucky: West Kentucky Community & Technical College

    - Location: Paducah, KY
    - Students: 2,140
    - Student to faculty ratio: 19:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $4,080
    - Out-of-state tuition: $13,800

    The school in West Kentucky's blue and gold school colors shine bright and bold as a recipient of the Aspen Institute Prize for Community College Excellence finalist with distinction. “The college is defined by a culture of reflective practice and continuous improvement in teaching and learning,” according to the institute website. Fall 2018 college numbers report 1,273 high school students enrolled in dual-enrollment/dual-credit courses and 2,461 joined in one or more online courses. The percentage of full-time students is 57%, and part-time is 43%.

  • Louisiana: Sowela Technical Community College
    19/ CTtcg // Wikimedia Commons

    Louisiana: Sowela Technical Community College

    - Location: Lake Charles, LA
    - Students: 1,694
    - Student to faculty ratio: 22:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $4,185
    - Out-of-state tuition: $7,612

    Given a reasonable rate of return by WalletHub, Sowela Technical Community College campus, located on a former Air Force base, received the Commission on Occupational Education certification in 1971 and was accredited with technical community college status in 2003. However, Hurricane Rita destroyed some of the Lake Charles campuses in 2005, causing damage worth millions. But like their “fighting tigers” mascot, Sowela students remain resilient and continue to win national competitions including the 2019 SkillsUSA. Students took home gold and silver medals in Commercial Baking, Crime Scene Investigation, and Television/Video Production.

  • Maine: Eastern Maine Community College
    20/ Photo courtesy of Eastern Maine Community College

    Maine: Eastern Maine Community College

    - Location: Bangor, ME
    - Students: 1,145
    - Student to faculty ratio: 14:1
    - Acceptance rate: 66%
    - In-state tuition: $3,747
    - Out-of-state tuition: $6,507

    A Niche poll on Eastern Maine Community College showed student satisfaction in a few areas including class availability, a manageable workload, and professional professors. The top five majors the Maine school are Liberal Arts & Humanities, Medical Office Assistant, Welding, Business, and Nursing. After completing other educational, occupational, and technical associate degree, diploma, and certificate programs, students are almost assured success. “92% of employed graduates from the Maine Community College System work in Maine, no matter their program of study,” according to the school website.

  • Maryland: Howard Community College
    21/ Photo courtesy of Howard Community College

    Maryland: Howard Community College

    - Location: Columbia, MD
    - Students: 3,418
    - Student to faculty ratio: 14:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $5,880
    - Out-of-state tuition: $6,960

    Howard Community College welcomes many non-traditional students into college programs beyond the traditional academic curriculum. The Personal Enrichment and Family Program division has classes in writing, finance and investment and dance for students of all ages. Former Dance Theatre of Harlem Instructor, Darion Smith, who co-founded Jansuphere Dance Company, now teaches at Howard. “I began my dance education at a community college, which was a real catalyzing moment in my evolution as a dancer,” he said.

  • Massachusetts: Greenfield Community College
    22/ Wikimedia Commons

    Massachusetts: Greenfield Community College

    - Location: Greenfield, MA
    - Students: 564
    - Student to faculty ratio: 11:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $5,450
    - Out-of-state tuition: $11,570

    Located in Pioneer Valley near the Berkshire Mountains foothills, Greenfield Community College works closely with the University of Massachusetts for students who wish to transfer to a four-year school. In 2018, 290 certificates and awards were handed off to 267 graduates made up of 38% males and 62% females. The school's STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) program is part of a $20 million unique project awarded to the state's 15 two-year colleges. Greenfield Community College made news in 2018 when it went into lockdown from a campus threat.

  • Michigan: North Central Michigan College
    23/ Photo courtesy of North Central Michigan College

    Michigan: North Central Michigan College

    - Location: Petoskey, MI
    - Students: 746
    - Student to faculty ratio: 17:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $6,202
    - Out-of-state tuition: $7,882

    23 associate degrees and 39 certificate programs are available at North Central Michigan College. College affordability for students eligible for financial assistance is high at the school, which awarded $5,814,575 in aid to 80% of students and $617,904 in scholarships in the 2017–2018 school year. Along with the main campus in Petoskey, additional learning sites include Cheboygan and Gaylord. Like student aid, the school's economic impact is strong, according to the school website, reporting the school's training and activity generated 1,470 jobs in a four-county district in 2015. “Every North Central job supports 3.2 additional jobs in the four-county region,” reports the school.

  • Minnesota: Lake Superior College
    24/ Gilderman33 // Wikimedia Commons

    Minnesota: Lake Superior College

    - Location: Duluth, MN
    - Students: 1,804
    - Student to faculty ratio: 22:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $5,153
    - Out-of-state tuition: $9,483

    Cybersecurity is all the roar at Lake Superior College, “making it one of the fastest growing higher education fields locally,” according to Star Tribune. The school, located on 97-acres overlooking Lake Superior, also offers more than 90 technical and liberal arts degrees at the Duluth campus including a 3-D Printing Certificate. After passing 14 credits, at approximately $3,000, in Rapid Prototype and Design courses, students can pursue career opportunities including auto design detailer or design layout drafter. Lake Superior College also offers pre-baccalaureate majors for students seeking even higher education.

  • Mississippi: East Mississippi Community College
    25/ LeiaHill // Wikimedia Commons

    Mississippi: East Mississippi Community College

    - Location: Scooba, MS
    - Students: 2,442
    - Student to faculty ratio: 18:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $3,240
    - Out-of-state tuition: $6,240

    Serving six counties, East Mississippi Community College is rated B+ by Niche, with high ratings for student life, diversity, and professors. The school, with an extension campus on the Columbus Air Force Base, has an award-winning athletic department including being four-time National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Football Champions. The two-year school also offers dual-credit enrollment for high-school students. East Mississippi Community School “graduation rates are 13% above the national average for community colleges,” according to the school website.

  • Missouri: State Technical College of Missouri
    26/ Kbh3rd // Wikimedia Commons

    Missouri: State Technical College of Missouri

    - Location: Linn, MO
    - Students: 1,041
    - Student to faculty ratio: 12:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $6,060
    - Out-of-state tuition: $11,040

    Forbes listed the State Technical College of Missouri as one of the top 25 two-year trade schools in 2018 based on several factors including post-graduate success, affordability, student experience, completion success. The 360-acre Linn campus, which has student housing, also offers lifetime career services for alumni. “Since 1995, 97% of State Tech graduates find gainful employment or continue their education within six months of graduation,” according to the school website, adding 98% of students are Missourians.

  • Montana: Miles Community College
    27/ David Schott // flickr

    Montana: Miles Community College

    - Location: Miles City, MT
    - Students: 281
    - Student to faculty ratio: 10:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $5,415
    - Out-of-state tuition: $8,595

    Originally called Custer County Junior College, when it started in a few public high school classrooms in 1939, Miles Community College has come along way since. In 2003, the college completed a $2.4 million dormitory for the campus housing complex and in 2018 adopted an inclusion statement promising the college is “committed to building a social and educational environment free of harassment, prejudice, and injustice.” Of the 281 full-time students enrolled at the Miles City campus, 25% are 25 years or older, 38% receive Pell Grant funding, and 33% are varsity athletes.

  • Nebraska: Southeast Community College Area
    28/ Photo courtesy of Southeast Community College Area

    Nebraska: Southeast Community College Area

    - Location: Lincoln, NE
    - Students: 3,825
    - Student to faculty ratio: 12:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $3,570
    - Out-of-state tuition: $4,182

    Southeast Community College's website homepage counts down the days, hours, minutes, and seconds until the Fall 2019 semester begins in the Cornhusker State. With three main campuses in Lincoln, Beatrice, and Milford, the college educates almost 4,000 annually in more than 50 programs of study. “During WWII, more than 1,000 war production workers and specialized technicians, both men and women, were trained at the Nebraska State Trade School, now the Milford Campus,” according to the school website. A Niche poll shows that six years after graduating from Southeast Community College Area, an alumni's median wage is $36,100 annually.

  • Nevada: Truckee Meadows Community College
    29/ Truckee Meadows Community College // Wikimedia Commons

    Nevada: Truckee Meadows Community College

    - Location: Reno, NV
    - Students: 2,816
    - Student to faculty ratio: 19:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $3,075
    - Out-of-state tuition: $9,853

    Up to 50 fields of study, 160 degrees and certificates, and a respected university-transfer program at Truckee Meadows make it popular among students who want to further their education. In 2015, the school made it possible to attain either a bachelor of applied science in either Emergency Management and Homeland Security or Logistical Operations Management on the Reno campus. The college, established in 1971, has four core themes including student success, academic excellence, access to lifelong learning, and stewardship of resources.

  • New Hampshire: Manchester Community College
    30/ John Phelan // Wikimedia Commons

    New Hampshire: Manchester Community College

    - Location: Manchester, NH
    - Students: 770
    - Student to faculty ratio: 11:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $7,232
    - Out-of-state tuition: $15,808

    Since Manchester Community College began as a returning trade school for World War II veterans in 1945, the school has gained many articulation agreements with four-year universities. Top transfer colleges include Southern New Hampshire University, Keene State College, Plymouth State University, and Granite State College. Arts, Humanities & Communication, Business, and Health Sciences & Services are the top three programs of study for students, 97% of which are in-state and from sending Manchester High Schools. The average age of students, ranging from 17–60, is 27 years.

  • New Jersey: Raritan Valley Community College
    31/ Zeete // Wikimedia Commons

    New Jersey: Raritan Valley Community College

    - Location: Branchburg, NJ
    - Students: 3,371
    - Student to faculty ratio: 20:1
    - Acceptance rate: 99%
    - In-state tuition: $5,376
    - Out-of-state tuition: $5,376

    Since establishment under green and gold colors in 1969 and commencing 75 graduates the following year, Raritan Valley Community College touts being Jersey's top two-year. Significant additions to the campus since have been the Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies and the Paul Robeson Institute for Ethics, Leadership, and Social Justice. In 2017, the Branchburg campus added a new Workforce Training Center. Niche student reviews in 2018 report Raritan Valley Community College as “a great choice for anyone looking to further their education,” and “a wonderful choice to begin their education.”

  • New Mexico: New Mexico Military Institute
    32/ Graphmaster // Wikimedia Commons

    New Mexico: New Mexico Military Institute

    - Location: Roswell, NM
    - Students: 419
    - Student to faculty ratio: 12:1
    - Acceptance rate: 4365600%
    - In-state tuition: $4,318
    - Out-of-state tuition: $13,301

    Unlike most two-year schools, New Mexico Military Institute, which enrolls junior level and high school cadets, is governed by the state and governor. Founded in 1891 and nick-named “The West Point of the West,” the school is made up of neo-Gothic style buildings and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Under the motto, “Duty, Honor, Achievement,” a long list of alumni, including actor Owen Wilson, founder of famous hotel chain Conrad Hilton, and former NFL quarterback Roger Staubach, graduated from the military institute.

  • New York: CUNY Hostos Community College
    33/ Photo courtesy of Hostos Community College/Dan Z. Johnson Photography

    New York: CUNY Hostos Community College

    - Location: Bronx, NY
    - Students: 4,165
    - Student to faculty ratio: 21:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $5,208
    - Out-of-state tuition: $8,088

    With 27 associate degrees and two certificate programs, the South Bronx two-year school “is part of CUNY, the nation's leading urban public university serving more than 500,000 students at 24 colleges,” according to the school website. The Spring 2016 profile reports the most popular degree as an A.A./Liberal Arts & Sciences, with almost 30% of students enrolled in this particular program. The second most popular program is in nursing. As of the 2012-2013 Academic Year, the predominant age of graduates was between 20 and 22 years old.

  • North Carolina: Cape Fear Community College
    34/ Photo courtesy of Cape Fear Community College

    North Carolina: Cape Fear Community College

    - Location: Wilmington, NC
    - Students: 3,617
    - Student to faculty ratio: 13:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $2,748
    - Out-of-state tuition: $8,892

    Cape Fear Community College (CFCC) has more than 23,000 students enroll annually to study in over 60 degree and certificate programs. The college transfer programs and continuing education courses earned a 98% student satisfaction rate, according to the school website, adding the percent exceeds the average of 96%. Additionally, “Businesses reported a 95% satisfaction rate on the customized training they received from CFCC. This surpasses the state average of 90%,” reports the school, which has a modern campus in Wilmington.

  • North Dakota: North Dakota State College of Science
    35/ Marketingcats // Wikimedia Commons

    North Dakota: North Dakota State College of Science

    - Location: Wahpeton, ND
    - Students: 1,707
    - Student to faculty ratio: 13:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $4,880
    - Out-of-state tuition: $11,870

    As part of the North Dakota University System, the Wahpeton and Fargo campus instructed 2,957 students, 55.2% men and 44.8% women, in more than 80 academic subjects during the Fall of 2018. The school reports providing more than $17.5 million in financial aid to 94% of students, and 46.4% of full-time students reside on the campus in Wahpeton. The school, with more than 30 clubs and organizations, has four athletic divisions including men and women's basketball, women's volleyball, men's football, and women's basketball.

  • Ohio: Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute
    36/ Ohio State University

    Ohio: Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute

    - Location: Wooster, OH
    - Students: 635
    - Student to faculty ratio: 16:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $7,203
    - Out-of-state tuition: $26,307

    Representing one of Ohio State University's six campuses, Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute (ATI) offers rolling admissions for students interested in gaining an associate's degree within OSU's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. The school is the largest of its kind in the United States, with 700 enrolled students.

  • Oklahoma: Moore Norman Technology Center
    37/ Shutterstock.com

    Oklahoma: Moore Norman Technology Center

    - Location: Norman, OK
    - Students: 168
    - Student to faculty ratio: 28:1
    - Acceptance rate: 68%
    - In-state tuition: $2,830
    - Out-of-state tuition: $2,830

    Long-term programs completed in up to four semesters or 1,050 more class hours and short-term classes finished in 600 hours or less are available at Moore Norman Technology Center. The Oklahoman featured single mother and alumni Jade See, who now teaches at Moore Norman as auto collision instructional assistant. According to the student, her once instructor and now boss Joe Booker Jr. continues to teach her daily. “Like See, Booker also was a student at a technology center,” reports the Oklahoman.

  • Oregon: Clackamas Community College
    38/ Tedder // Wikimedia Commons

    Oregon: Clackamas Community College

    - Location: Oregon City, OR
    - Students: 2,669
    - Student to faculty ratio: 22:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $4,614
    - Out-of-state tuition: $12,399

    As one of the largest community colleges in the Beaver State, Clackamas provides three campuses under its “Education That Works,” motto. But the college beginning in 1966 was more humble when it started in a few Gladstone High School classrooms with only 93 part-time students. Now, the flagship campus, which marks the end of the Oregon Trail, and other two other locations in Clackamas and Wilsonville educate more than 26,000 students in up to 1,300 classes per term, according to the school website.

  • Pennsylvania: Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology
    39/ Randolph Carney // Wikimedia Commons

    Pennsylvania: Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology

    - Location: Lancaster, PA
    - Students: 1,135
    - Student to faculty ratio: 15:1
    - Acceptance rate: 89%
    - In-state tuition: $8,000
    - Out-of-state tuition: $8,000

    A century since being founded in 1905, Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, offers up to 21 programs to approximately 1,200 students under the “Prepare for Work. Prepare for Life,” motto. “Approximately 40% of students pay no tuition and receive room and board without cost,” according to the college website. Five residence halls on the 32.5-acre campus near downtown Lancaster enable students to live on site. However, the school only permits students who have lived in Pennsylvania for more than a year to attend the two-year school.

  • Rhode Island: Community College of Rhode Island
    40/ Kenneth C. Zirkel // Wikimedia Commons

    Rhode Island: Community College of Rhode Island

    - Location: Warwick, RI
    - Students: 5,100
    - Student to faculty ratio: 17:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $4,564
    - Out-of-state tuition: $12,156

    If Gov. Gina M. Raimondo has her way, Rhode Islanders attending the two-year school will be doing so tuition-free. But for now, the $4,564 in-state tuition remains. As the largest two-year school in New England, the Community College of Rhode Island has four campuses including Warwick. Newport, Providence, and Lincoln are the other locations students have been studying from since the college's humble beginnings in 1964 with 325 students. The school last reported an enrollment of almost 18,000 students.

  • South Carolina: University of South Carolina – Lancaster
    41/ Wikimedia Commons

    South Carolina: University of South Carolina – Lancaster

    - Location: Lancaster, SC
    - Students: 679
    - Student to faculty ratio: 15:1
    - Acceptance rate: 65%
    - In-state tuition: $6,948
    - Out-of-state tuition: $17,328

    Attaining either an associate or a baccalaureate degree is possible at the University of South Carolina in Lancaster. As a member of TriO, a U.S. Department of Education funded program for first-generation or low-income high school or college students, the school offers a summer grant scholarship. Additionally, as a part of the University of South Carolina system, students can also attend Palmetto College, the online bachelor's program of the school system that offers up to 13 fields of study.

  • South Dakota: Lake Area Technical Institute
    42/ Bp0 // Wikimedia Commons

    South Dakota: Lake Area Technical Institute

    - Location: Watertown, SD
    - Students: 1,517
    - Student to faculty ratio: 17:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $2,736
    - Out-of-state tuition: $2,736

    Lake Area Technical Institute is the recipient of the 2017 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. The coveted $1 million prize is only offered bi-annually and given to two-year schools that have prominent certificate and degree conclusion, student learning, employment and earnings, and minority and low-income student access. Lake Area Technical Institute has one of the highest graduation/transfer rates in the country at 74%, according to the school website, adding “on average, LATI graduates entering the workforce earn 27% more than other new hires in its region.”

  • Tennessee: Tennessee Technology Center at Elizabethton
    43/ Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

    Tennessee: Tennessee Technology Center at Elizabethton

    - Location: Elizabethton, TN
    - Students: 408
    - Student to faculty ratio: 20:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $4,639
    - Out-of-state tuition: $4,639

    The school website homepage boasts favorable numbers, reporting a 20:1 student-professor ratio, $35,000 welding graduate salary, 91% of alumni work in their field, and student loan debt of $0 at graduation. The school has certificate programs in several areas including Administrative Office Technology, Industrial Technology, Diesel Powered Equipment Technology, Millwright Skills, Pipefitting, Welding, and Practical Nursing. The total enrollment of 458 is made up of 57.9% men and 42.1% women. In February 2019, the Elizabethton campus hosted the 3rd Annual National Technical Letter of Intent, a promise by high school students to pursue technical education.

  • Texas: Northwest Vista College
    44/ Photo courtesy of Northwest Vista College

    Texas: Northwest Vista College

    - Location: San Antonio, TX
    - Students: 4,114
    - Student to faculty ratio: 29:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $7,170
    - Out-of-state tuition: $13,770

    The Alamos College District, which has 17,000 students, is comprised of five community colleges and Northwest Vista is one of them. After its establishment in 1994, the San Antonio campus graduated its first 20 alumni in 1998 and had its 20th graduation ceremony in 2018. Northwest Vista College also enables students to attend any of the five Alamo Institutes including Business & Entrepreneurship, Creative & Communication Arts, Health & Biosciences, Public Service, and Science & Technology.

  • Utah: Davis Applied Technology College
    45/ Amariotti // Wikimedia Commons

    Utah: Davis Applied Technology College

    - Location: Kaysville, UT
    - Students: 519
    - Student to faculty ratio: 10:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $4,402
    - Out-of-state tuition: $4,402

    Davis Applied Technology College has articulation agreements for credit equivalency with Weber and Utah State Universities. The school is one of eight in the Utah System of Technical Colleges and accredited by the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education. Davis Applied Technology College offers certificates in six schools including business and technology, health professions, construction, manufacturing, service professions, and transportation. The school abides by the “We Change Lives,” philosophy, according to the college website.

  • Vermont: Community College of Vermont
    46/ Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

    Vermont: Community College of Vermont

    - Location: Montpelier, VT
    - Students: 811
    - Student to faculty ratio: 12:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $6,414
    - Out-of-state tuition: $12,678

    Though most of the colleges listed as "above average" by Niche and have received at least a B grade, the Community College of Vermont did not. Graded as a C school, the Montpelier location's three most popular majors are Liberal Arts and Humanities, Business, and Medical Assistant. The school has a low graduation rate of 30% for attending students. Niche also reports the Community College of Vermont alumni average a starting salary of $24,200.

  • Virginia: Piedmont Virginia Community College
    47/ Photo courtesy of Piedmont Virginia Community College

    Virginia: Piedmont Virginia Community College

    - Location: Charlottesville, VA
    - Students: 1,257
    - Student to faculty ratio: 20:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $4,678
    - Out-of-state tuition: $10,606

    Piedmont Virginia Community College, one of 23 in the Old Dominion State, offers a plethora of programs including one-year certificates, associate degrees, continuing education, and workforce training. Since 1972, approximately 213,000 students have been educated at the two-year school, according to the college website, adding every year more than 500 students transfer to a four-year school, with 2,400 moving onto to the University of Virginia.

  • Washington: Walla Walla Community College
    48/ Robert Ashworth // flickr

    Washington: Walla Walla Community College

    - Location: Walla Walla, WA
    - Students: 2,367
    - Student to faculty ratio: 15:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $4,455
    - Out-of-state tuition: $5,955

    Walla Walla Community College is the 2013 co-winner for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence along with Santa Barbara City College. To win the elite prize of $1 million Walla Walla and Santa Barbara City had to go through a rigorous, three-round selection process competing with 1,000 other community colleges. With a total of more than 9,000 students, Walla Walla has three locations in southeastern Washington, one of which is at the Washington State Penitentiary.

  • West Virginia: Mountwest Community & Technical College
    49/ Youngamerican // Wikimedia Commons

    West Virginia: Mountwest Community & Technical College

    - Location: Huntington, WV
    - Students: 1,092
    - Student to faculty ratio: 15:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $3,744
    - Out-of-state tuition: $9,528

    The Mountwest school is one of 10 two-year schools in the West Virginia Community and Technical College System, which educates approximately 1,100 students per term. The college name, initially Marshall Community and Technical College, changed in 2009. Along with traditional academics, the Mountwest Maritime Academy, which is part of the school, prepares students for careers in the river towing industry by training them in approved U.S. Coast Guard regulations.

  • Wisconsin: Fox Valley Technical College
    50/ Wikimedia Commons

    Wisconsin: Fox Valley Technical College

    - Location: Appleton, WI
    - Students: 2,190
    - Student to faculty ratio: 12:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $4,497
    - Out-of-state tuition: $6,480

    Fox Valley Technical College serves almost 50,000 people yearly, “more than any other technical college in Wisconsin,” according to the school website, noting three public referendums in 1968, 1998 and 2012 were held for the school to grow. The school has more than 240 associate degree and technical diplomas and 16 apprenticeships available for study. The school reports that 94% of alumni secure employment within the first six months of graduation.

  • Wyoming: Western Wyoming Community College
    51/ Photo courtesy of Western Wyoming Community College

    Wyoming: Western Wyoming Community College

    - Location: Rock Springs, WY
    - Students: 1,196
    - Student to faculty ratio: 14:1
    - Acceptance rate: 100%
    - In-state tuition: $2,953
    - Out-of-state tuition: $7,465

    It is possible to attain some four-year degrees from the University of Wyoming at Western Wyoming Community College, which has a museum and art gallery. The school started with five faculty teachers in 1959 teaching the initial 40 enrolled students at Rock Springs High School. “The College's Rock Springs campus has grown significantly over the years,” reports the school website,” As of December 2014, the Rock Springs campus has approximately 720,000 gross square feet of building space.” Though it is large, the school has a reputation for small class sizes, which reportedly enable enhanced learning.

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