Community Colleges Offering the Most — and Least — for Your Cash

To get the most bang for your buck at a community college, consider heading to one state in the Southeast.

To get the most bang for your buck at a community college, consider heading to the Sunshine State.

Two of the nation’s three best community colleges are in Florida, according to a new analysis by WalletHub. North Florida Community College, based in Madison, was ranked No. 1.

The rankings have nothing to do with their sunny locations, though. WalletHub ushered in the back-to-college season by analyzing what students get for their money at 670 of the “junior colleges,” as they’re sometimes called:

Community colleges are slowly stacking up against their traditional four-year counterparts. Schedule flexibility, rigorous coursework and smaller class sizes supply the majority of their appeal to first-time college entrants as well as to university students choosing to transfer to community colleges — an emerging trend that goes against the usual grain of transitioning from a two-year to a four-year institution.

WalletHub looked at 17 characteristics across four categories:

  • Cost and financing
  • Classroom experience
  • Education outcomes
  • Career outcomes

Based on that data, the best-ranked schools out of the 670 analyzed are:

  • North Florida Community College (Florida)
  • Diné College (Arizona)
  • Chipola College (Florida)
  • Northwest College (Wyoming)
  • Taft College (California)

The worst-ranked schools are:

  • Blinn College (Texas)
  • Baton Rouge Community College (Louisiana)
  • Calhoun Community College (Alabama)
  • College of Western Idaho
  • Terra State Community College (Ohio)

Click on the link above to see how all 670 schools are ranked.

If you’re headed to community college or considering it, check out “The 10 Highest Paying Jobs You Can Land With a 2-Year Degree” to find out which majors offer the most bang for the buck.

If you’re struggling with student loans, be sure to visit the Money Talks News Solutions Center to find out how to get help with student loan debt.

Did you or your child attend community college? How do you rate the experience? Sound off in our Forums. It’s the place where you can speak your mind, explore topics in-depth and post questions and get answers.

Stacy Johnson

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