**Related Video Above: High school grads opting out of college.***

(STACKER) — With college costs mounting and student debt remaining a hot topic of conversation, public opinion on four-year colleges has begun to shift, as people contemplate whether they are in fact the only—or best—option for all students.

An estimated 7 million undergraduates enrolled in public, two-year colleges during the 2020-21 academic year according to the National Center for Education Statistics, representing 33% of all undergraduate students.

While there are many reasons to choose a community college over a traditional four-year program, one key factor is cost. Student Loan Hero reports that the average cost-per-credit for a two-year public school is $158, compared to $448 for a four-year public school. This last number rises significantly—to $1,148 per credit hour—when that four-year school is out of state.

Cheaper classes may put less pressure on students to settle and choose a career path immediately. Community colleges also allow for flexibility in ways traditional schools may not: Students who work full-time can attend school part-time and often in the evenings. Whether it’s to save money, to take advantage of the flexibility, or experiment with career choices, community colleges not only serve as an alternative but also a gateway to four-year universities.

The cost of a four-year college education continues to dominate the national conversation as the United States now weathers the post-pandemic effects on higher education.

(AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

The CARES Act allotted $14 billion to the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund to aid students and institutions negatively impacted by COVID-19, but under-enrollment and funding issues persist. Many progressives have endorsed plans that would make public colleges free in America. Others are more skeptical, proposing more modest loan-forgiveness ideas. These changes would have substantial effects on the education sector.

Stacker looked at data from Niche’s 2023 Best Community Colleges in America to compile this list of the top 100 community colleges nationwide. The data is based on rigorous analysis of academic, financial, and student life data from the U.S. Department of Education, along with reviews from students and alumni.

The community college list includes public junior colleges, public technical schools, and all other public, two-year colleges.

Read on to see how community colleges across the nation stack up.

100. Kansas City Kansas Community College

  • Location: Kansas City, Kansas
  • Students: 1,568
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 13:1
  • Graduation rate: 39%
  • Net price: $13,043
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $31,200
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 85%

Kansas City Kansas Community College has been serving local students since its founding in 1923, celebrating its centennial this year. Part of the celebration included the opening of a residential hall on campus with a capacity for more than 200 students.

99. Harper College

  • Location: Palatine, Illinois
  • Students: 4,405
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 21:1
  • Graduation rate: 45%
  • Net price: $8,874
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $37,300
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 88%

As far as namesakes go, Harper College couldn’t have a more apt one. The school was named for William Rainey Harper, a pioneer in the junior college movement in the United States who was also the first president of the University of Chicago.

98. Central Wyoming College

  • Location: Riverton, Wyoming
  • Students: 590
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 14:1
  • Graduation rate: 33%
  • Net price: $5,827
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $28,400
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 83%

Students interested in broadcasting have a unique opportunity at Central Wyoming College. The campus is home to Wyoming’s only public television network, Wyoming PBS.

97. Oakton Community College

  • Location: Des Plaines, Illinois
  • Students: 2,491
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 14:1
  • Graduation rate: 42%
  • Net price: $6,559
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $38,500
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 86%

Movie buffs have a particular reason to attend Oakton Community College. The beloved 1984 cult classic film “Sixteen Candles” was filmed at the campus, albeit when the campus was home to another school.

96. San Diego Mesa College

  • Location: San Diego, California
  • Students: 3,968
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 23:1
  • Graduation rate: 29%
  • Net price: $7,617
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $37,800
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 83%

With more than 3,900 students, San Diego Mesa College is the largest college in the San Diego Community College District. The Department of Education has also designated the school as a Hispanic Serving Institution thanks to its dedication to serving Hispanic, Latinx, and similar communities.

95. CUNY Kingsborough Community College

  • Location: Brooklyn, New York
  • Students: 6,854
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 22:1
  • Graduation rate: 41%
  • Net price: $6,808
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $35,400
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 83%

Since admitting its first class of students in 1964, Kingsborough Community College has played host to several important political figures over the years, including former Vice President Al Gore, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, and former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

94. Manchester Community College – New Hampshire

  • Location: Manchester, New Hampshire
  • Students: 676
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 12:1
  • Graduation rate: 53%
  • Net price: $13,594
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $36,800
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 90%

Manchester Community College – New Hampshire was created for military members coming home from World War II in 1945. Now, the school serves a much broader demographic, serving over 3,500 students per semester from 50 countries.

93. Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College

  • Location: Perkinston, Mississippi
  • Students: 5,126
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 20:1
  • Graduation rate: 46%
  • Net price: $7,074
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $27,900
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 84%

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College has its roots as an agricultural school but has expanded its programs and impact over the years to serve both military and civilian populations in applied technology, performing arts, and more.

92. Redlands Community College

  • Location: El Reno, Oklahoma
  • Students: 557
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 20:1
  • Graduation rate: 37%
  • Net price: $7,680
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $33,200
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 85%

Redlands Community College values affordable education, and its tuition and fees are 17% lower than the state-wide average for public community colleges. The Redlands Foundation also provides more than $60,000 in scholarships each year.

91. College of Lake County

  • Location: Grayslake, Illinois
  • Students: 3,966
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 16:1
  • Graduation rate: 40%
  • Net price: $3,940
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $33,800
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 87%

Students of the Health and Wellness Promotion program will be excited for the opportunity to join a fitness testing team that works with the Chicago Blackhawks. The College of Lake County is the only college to work with the team.

90. Glendale Community College – California

  • Location: Glendale, California
  • Students: 6,482
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 23:1
  • Graduation rate: 35%
  • Net price: $5,727
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $33,200
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 80%

When Glendale Community College first opened its doors in 1927, only 139 students enrolled in classes. The school’s focus on providing both basic foundational skills and career and technical education have allowed the student population to grow over the years.

89. Lewis & Clark Community College

  • Location: Godfrey, Illinois
  • Students: 1,390
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 13:1
  • Graduation rate: 60%
  • Net price: $4,755
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $27,400
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 86%

With more than 25 student-run clubs and organizations, Lewis & Clark Community College offers a way for any kind of student to get involved. Whether you are more interested in drama or robotics engineering, you can find an extracurricular on this campus.

88. Pinellas Technical College – Clearwater

  • Location: Clearwater, Florida
  • Students: 463
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 9:1
  • Graduation rate: 49%
  • Net price: $7,733
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $30,800
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 76%

Pinellas Technical College – Clearwater puts career preparation first, using a network of more than 250 advisors from various business and industry partners on their programs to ensure students are adequately prepared to enter the workforce upon graduation.

87. Stanly Community College

  • Location: Albemarle, North Carolina
  • Students: 449
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 8:1
  • Graduation rate: 44%
  • Net price: $6,219
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $28,200
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 83%

Stanly Community College stands out for its personalized attention to its students. Students rave about the many options in clubs and classes available to suit just about any interest, and how willing everyone from professors to the administration is to work with students.

86. Amarillo College

  • Location: Amarillo, Texas
  • Students: 3,213
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 22:1
  • Graduation rate: 37%
  • Net price: $6,215
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $32,400
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 86%

Amarillo College was one of the first colleges in the state of Texas to racially integrate. The state’s NAACP chapter argued that Black residents paid taxes in the state, and therefore had the right to attend.

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85. Eastern Arizona College

  • Location: Thatcher, Arizona
  • Students: 1,301
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 17:1
  • Graduation rate: 55%
  • Net price: $9,498
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $29,200
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 76%

The musically inclined may want to give Eastern Arizona College a closer look. The college is the only community college in Arizona to have a marching band, and welcomes everyone, including freshmen, into their ranks.

84. Northwest College – Wyoming

  • Location: Powell, Wyoming
  • Students: 687
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 12:1
  • Graduation rate: 51%
  • Net price: $8,518
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $30,000
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 87%

Northwest College – Wyoming offers a variety of programs in divisions including agriculture, health professions, STEM, social sciences and education, and visual and performing arts. Students study subjects from aerial adventure operations to criminal justice.

83. Kapi’olani Community College

  • Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Students: 1,997
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 17:1
  • Graduation rate: 28%
  • Net price: $6,411
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $37,200
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 85%

Kapi’olani Community College has an exceptional namesake. This one is a former Hawaiian chieftess and queen who the college says strove for excellence in everything she did, which the college adopts as its mantra today.

(Getty Images)

82. St. Philip’s College

  • Location: San Antonio, Texas
  • Students: 1,570
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 17:1
  • Graduation rate: 33%
  • Net price: $6,916
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $29,900
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 85%

Founded in 1898, St. Philip’s College in San Antonio is one of the oldest community colleges in the country. The school is celebrated for its diversity, as it is the only college in the nation to be designated both a Historically Black College and a Hispanic-Serving Institution.

81. Howard Community College

  • Location: Columbia, Maryland
  • Students: 2,683
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 15:1
  • Graduation rate: 35%
  • Net price: $10,085
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $38,600
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 88%

High-tech students will especially appreciate Howard Community College. In 2017, the college opened a new building with state-of-the-art equipment to focus on teaching cybersecurity and 3D printing, among other in-demand areas for career development and growth.

80. Savannah Technical College

  • Location: Savannah, Georgia
  • Students: 1,237
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 14:1
  • Graduation rate: 48%
  • Net price: $6,768
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $25,300
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 83%

Savannah Technical College takes pride in its graduates’ career readiness, boasting 95% of graduates working in their field of study within one year of graduation. The school offers programs in business, nursing, and more to prepare students for a wide range of occupations.

79. Saddleback College

  • Location: Mission Viejo, California
  • Students: 5,621
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 22:1
  • Graduation rate: 51%
  • Net price: $7,867
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $38,700
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 81%

Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, California supports all kinds of learning, whether online or in person. The school currently offers 85 fully online degrees and certificates to provide flexible opportunities for its students.

78. North Central Kansas Technical College

  • Location: Beloit, Kansas
  • Students: 369
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 9:1
  • Graduation rate: 67%
  • Net price: $12,518
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $39,600
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 92%

North Central Kansas Technical College is another of the smallest schools on the list, and students say they feel everyone pulls in the same direction to support each other. Students say that they feel they get out of the experience what they put in and that there is a “family environment.”

77. Montgomery College

  • Location: Rockville, Maryland
  • Students: 6,902
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 16:1
  • Graduation rate: 35%
  • Net price: $8,582
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $40,700
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 87%

Montgomery College’s racial integration did not have an easy road. When the school was finally integrated in 1950, only half the enrolled class of new African American students were able to attend due to difficulties with transportation and tuition.

76. Cerritos College

  • Location: Norwalk, California
  • Students: 8,240
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 26:1
  • Graduation rate: 33%
  • Net price: $4,514
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $31,900
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 85%

Cerritos College has been dedicated to expansion in the last decade, opening a Veterans Resource Center, Physical Science and Technology Building, Child Development Center, new gymnasium, and more since 2010.

75. Chipola College

  • Location: Marianna, Florida
  • Students: 733
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 17:1
  • Graduation rate: 49%
  • Net price: $3,554
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $30,300
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 88%

Chipola College celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2022. In addition to its numerous associate’s degree programs, the school also offers baccalaureate degrees in subjects including business, education, and nursing.

74. Skyline College – San Bruno

  • Location: San Bruno, California
  • Students: 1,560
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 19:1
  • Graduation rate: 27%
  • Net price: $3,680
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $40,500
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 86%

Skyline College in San Bruno California is dedicated to sustainability alongside education and has published both a Sustainability Plan and Climate Action Plan outlining its initiatives to improve its sustainability and environmental impact.

73. Northeast Community College

  • Location: Norfolk, Nebraska
  • Students: 1,913
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 17:1
  • Graduation rate: 63%
  • Net price: $8,813
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $33,900
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 92%

Students of Northeast Community College have the opportunity to join more than 40 clubs and on-campus organizations, including eight intercollegiate athletic programs. Men’s athletic programs include baseball, basketball, soccer, and golf, while women’s programs include basketball, soccer, softball, and volleyball.

72. Blue Ridge Community College – North Carolina

  • Location: Flat Rock, North Carolina
  • Students: 665
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 10:1
  • Graduation rate: 65%
  • Net price: $7,924
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $25,800
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 85%

Blue Ridge Community College – North Carolina boasts a campus surrounded by mountains with a tree-lined river running through its center. In addition to a 450-seat auditorium and television recording center, the campus also offers nine computer labs.

71. Johnson County Community College

  • Location: Overland Park, Kansas
  • Students: 4,765
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 17:1
  • Graduation rate: 34%
  • Net price: $12,974
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $36,600
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 88%

Art lovers will have much to admire in Johnson County Community College. The school opened a museum of contemporary art, which has everything from Native American art to new media installations.

70. West Valley College

  • Location: Saratoga, California
  • Students: 2,380
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 17:1
  • Graduation rate: 46%
  • Net price: $6,541
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $38,800
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 78%

West Valley College is dedicated to supporting students in all walks of life, offering child care for student parents, veteran support services, disability services, and more. Many courses also include flexible online or distance learning options for those who need them.

69. Chippewa Valley Technical College

  • Location: Eau Claire, Wisconsin
  • Students: 2,021
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 13:1
  • Graduation rate: 52%
  • Net price: $10,050
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $35,700
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 92%

Chippewa Valley Technical College is extremely vocation-oriented, offering 120 degree tracks and more than a dozen apprenticeship programs. CVTC has 12 campus locations, making it easy for students to attend.

68. Pinellas Technical College – St. Petersburg

  • Location: Saint Petersburg, Florida
  • Students: 532
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 6:1
  • Graduation rate: 43%
  • Net price: $10,901
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $27,500
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 79%

Students ready to find a job can take advantage of Pinellas Technical College – St. Petersburg’s free job board, Career Rocket. Exclusive to PTC students, this tool helps job seekers find careers that match their skills and interests.

67. Kauai Community College

  • Location: Lihue, Hawaii
  • Students: 335
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 11:1
  • Graduation rate: 28%
  • Net price: $9,446
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $39,000
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 84%

Located in the beautiful Lihue, Hawaii, Kauai Community College is the only higher education institution on the island. Part of the school’s mission is promoting sustainability and continuing the rich culture of Kauai while sharing its unique history.

66. Metro Technology Centers

  • Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Students: 293
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 10:1
  • Graduation rate: 64%
  • Net price: $3,379
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $34,000
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 82%

Metro Technology Centers provides higher education for both high school and adult students. Students in the Oklahoma City and Crooked Oak school districts can take advantage of the school’s free bus transportation.

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65. Northeast Wisconsin Technical College

  • Location: Green Bay, Wisconsin
  • Students: 2,359
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 15:1
  • Graduation rate: 46%
  • Net price: $10,207
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $35,900
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 89%

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College has transfer agreements with roughly 40 other universities. It is also the only college in Wisconsin to offer boat patrol and dive classes.

64. De Anza College

  • Location: Cupertino, California
  • Students: 9,316
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 31:1
  • Graduation rate: 68%
  • Net price: $7,685
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $41,700
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 85%

De Anza College is known for being the top college in the Silicon Valley area for transfers to four-year schools. Eligible students receive free tuition and fees for two years, $1,000 total toward course materials, and support via services, counselors, and other activities.

63. Northcentral Technical College

  • Location: Wausau, Wisconsin
  • Students: 1,212
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 15:1
  • Graduation rate: 39%
  • Net price: $10,011
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $36,000
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 89%

Northcentral Technical College makes every effort to make students feel they are at a real home away from home, getting a full college experience. The college offers robust dorm life and campus life programs, including a disc golf course for students who want to connect over sports.

62. Honolulu Community College

  • Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Students: 988
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 15:1
  • Graduation rate: 34%
  • Net price: $8,345
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $35,700
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 79%

With its Student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1, Honolulu Community College prides itself on creating a feeling of ‘ohana (family) among its students and faculty. The school prioritizes hands-on learning and interaction with classmates to create a sense of community.

61. Mission College

  • Location: Santa Clara, California
  • Students: 1,565
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 15:1
  • Graduation rate: 50%
  • Net price: $6,036
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $34,500
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 80%

In the last decade, Mission College has invested in improving its facilities, including refurbishing their hospitality management and child development centers. They also built a new student engagement center and sports complex.

60. Southeast Community College

  • Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Students: 3,234
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 11:1
  • Graduation rate: 41%
  • Net price: $5,114
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $37,000
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 91%

Southeast Community College has a significant presence in Lincoln. Three campuses are dedicated to current students, alumni and continuing education, and the energy sphere. Another area is designed to support professional development for more health service workers.

59. College of Eastern Idaho

  • Location: Idaho Falls, Idaho
  • Students: 558
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 11:1
  • Graduation rate: 62%
  • Net price: $7,079
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $26,200
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 82%

In addition to its variety of programs for adult students, the College of Eastern Idaho offers an Early College program for local high school students. Courses are available either at a local high school, on-campus, or online, and allow students to earn transferable college credit.

58. North Seattle College

  • Location: Seattle, Washington
  • Students: 1,731
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 19:1
  • Graduation rate: 30%
  • Net price: $5,132
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $37,800
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 77%

Students hoping to transfer to a four-year college might fare well at North Seattle College: It ranks among the highest community colleges for transfer students accepted to the University of Washington. The school also offers six bachelor’s degrees of its own.

57. Ogeechee Technical College

  • Location: Statesboro, Georgia
  • Students: 813
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 14:1
  • Graduation rate: 50%
  • Net price: $3,098
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $26,000
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 82%

Ogeechee Technical College has deep roots in its community. The college was created by former state Sen. Joe Kennedy to give job training to people in rural Georgia and has been responsible for the adult literacy program in the region since 1989.

Since October, $8.1 billion in student debt relief has been approved for some 145,000 borrowers due to changes to a federal forgiveness program. (Getty)

56. Florida Gateway College

  • Location: Lake City, Florida
  • Students: 1,018
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 15:1
  • Graduation rate: 56%
  • Net price: $2,930
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $29,500
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 85%

Florida Gateway College developed from a forest ranger school with structures from a WWII-era naval air station. Since its founding in 1947, the school has served the community known as “Florida’s Crown” and the “Gateway to Florida.”

55. Sandhills Community College

  • Location: Pinehurst, North Carolina
  • Students: 1,148
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 9:1
  • Graduation rate: 51%
  • Net price: $8,967
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $24,800
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 81%

Mary Luman Meyer donated the 240 acres of land that would become Sandhills Community College. In its 60-year history, the school has only seen three presidents—Dr. Raymond Stone, who served 25 years, Dr. John Dempsey, who served 33 years, and Brenda Jackson, the current interim president of the college.

54. Tennessee College of Applied Technology – Nashville

  • Location: Nashville, Tennessee
  • Students: 619
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 14:1
  • Graduation rate: 72%
  • Net price: $7,638
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $27,300
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 83%

Tennessee College of Applied Technology – Nashville strives to educate students who become successful workers that better the local community. One of its on-campus programs, SkillsUSA, helps do just that by equipping students with the skills and attitudes necessary to become high-performing workers.

53. Lincoln Land Community College

  • Location: Springfield, Illinois
  • Students: 1,835
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 18:1
  • Graduation rate: 46%
  • Net price: $5,495
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $29,600
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 86%

Lincoln Land Community College is one of the largest community college districts in the state of Illinois, covering 15 counties in central Illinois. In 2022, the school conferred more than 1,600 degrees.

52. Moorpark College

  • Location: Moorpark, California
  • Students: 4,737
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 30:1
  • Graduation rate: 48%
  • Net price: $4,703
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $38,600
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 87%

Moorpark College offers the country’s only associate degree exotic animal training program, started in 1974. The course takes place at America’s Teaching Zoo, which is home to animals including a 100-year-old Galapagos tortoise named Clarence.

51. Santa Monica College

  • Location: Santa Monica, California
  • Students: 10,005
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 24:1
  • Graduation rate: 31%
  • Net price: $6,625
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $33,000
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 82%

Santa Monica College is a leader in the state for transfers to four-year colleges including the University of California, Loyola Marymount University, and the University of Southern California. Every semester, the school hosts visitors from universities around the world so students can learn more about their opportunities.

50. Wayne Community College

  • Location: Goldsboro, North Carolina
  • Students: 977
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 9:1
  • Graduation rate: 55%
  • Net price: $5,900
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $27,400
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 83%

Wayne Community College strives to offer course schedules that fit any student, with traditional semester courses alongside 12-week and 8-week courses for a late start. No matter your start date, students can also choose between on-campus, online, and hybrid classes.

49. Elgin Community College

  • Location: Elgin, Illinois
  • Students: 2,846
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 18:1
  • Graduation rate: 52%
  • Net price: $4,159
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $32,300
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 88%

Elgin Community College’s campus has a unique history. It was originally a farm colony and became a campus after local government voted to approve land to turn it into a seat of higher education.

48. Texas State Technical College

  • Location: Waco, Texas
  • Students: 6,282
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 14:1
  • Graduation rate: 46%
  • Net price: $10,738
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $No data available
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: No data available

Striving to fill in-demand jobs in the state of Texas, Texas State Technical College offers specialized programs in vocational areas with labor shortages across the state. Programs include welding technology, occupational safety and environmental compliance, culinary arts, and more.

47. Santiago Canyon College

  • Location: Orange, California
  • Students: 2,764
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 21:1
  • Graduation rate: 51%
  • Net price: $6,344
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $No data available
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 84%

Upon its founding in 1971, Santiago Canyon College spanned 30 acres in Orange, California. Since then, the school has expanded to cover more than 80 acres with additional facilities. One of its primary missions is to aid local economic development by helping place its graduates in local jobs.

46. MiraCosta College

  • Location: Oceanside, California
  • Students: 4,674
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 21:1
  • Graduation rate: 36%
  • Net price: $5,995
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $28,900
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 81%

Art lovers will be pleased to learn MiraCosta College recently opened a new Media Arts Complex on its Oceanside campus. The facility will host both study spaces and an art gallery for displaying student work.

45. Western Suffolk BOCES

  • Location: Northport, New York
  • Students: 253
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 12:1
  • Graduation rate: 83%
  • Net price: $19,981
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $39,700
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 89%

Western Suffolk BOCES is one of three Boards of Cooperative Educational Services on Long Island, part of a system of BOCES created in 1948 by the New York State Legislature. It offers programs in three main divisions of special education, career and technical education, and instructional support services.

44. Minnesota State Community and Technical College

  • Location: Fergus Falls, Minnesota
  • Students: 2,083
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 24:1
  • Graduation rate: 83%
  • Net price: $10,233
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $36,200
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 90%

Minnesota State Community and Technical College could be a particularly good option for students looking to take courses online. The school has more than 30 majors offered online, including its eCampus, which is available to high schoolers.

43. North Dakota State College of Science

  • Location: Wahpeton, North Dakota
  • Students: 1,485
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 12:1
  • Graduation rate: 48%
  • Net price: $10,630
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $43,400
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 93%

North Dakota State College of Science has a relatively historic campus. The original building was designed in 1891 by the noted architect, John H. Coxhead, and is still where many activities on campus take place today.

42. Southwest Wisconsin Technical College

  • Location: Fennimore, Wisconsin
  • Students: 675
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 14:1
  • Graduation rate: 56%
  • Net price: $10,115
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $33,200
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 90%

While the focus of the school was once primarily agricultural, Southwest Wisconsin Technical College has since expanded its offerings and is now more holistic, offering courses in health and science.

41. Southwestern Community College – North Carolina

  • Location: Sylva, North Carolina
  • Students: 643
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 7:1
  • Graduation rate: 50%
  • Net price: $5,562
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $25,200
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 80%

Southwestern Community College – North Carolina has deep ties to its community, proudly producing graduates that support local industry. According to SCC, about 90% of graduates remain in the area and become the driving force that keeps it going.

40. Cañada College

  • Location: Redwood City, California
  • Students: 592
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 18:1
  • Graduation rate: 39%
  • Net price: $6,062
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $31,500
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 82%

To help encourage the financial independence of its students, Cañada College offers financial education center SparkPoint. Here, students can access a food pantry, housing resources, legal advice, and financial responsibility incentive programs.

39. Southwest Mississippi Community College

  • Location: Summit, Mississippi
  • Students: 1,508
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 24:1
  • Graduation rate: 55%
  • Net price: $5,051
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $24,800
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 85%

Southwest Mississippi Community College began as an agricultural high school. A decade later, during the Great Depression, the school started integrating college courses into the curriculum, allowing it to transition into a community college. The school operates a Regional Workforce Training Center to help students integrate into the business community and the workforce.

38. Santa Rosa Junior College

  • Location: Santa Rosa, California
  • Students: 4,917
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 16:1
  • Graduation rate: 40%
  • Net price: $8,844
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $35,700
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 79%

Santa Rosa Junior College serves as a conduit to one of the most prestigious universities in the nation. Many of the college’s students go on to enroll at the nearby University of California, Berkeley, one of the most academically rigorous schools in the country.

37. Ohlone College

  • Location: Fremont, California
  • Students: 3,309
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 23:1
  • Graduation rate: 52%
  • Net price: $13,221
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $38,900
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 82%

Ohlone College gets its name from the local Native American population in the area where it was founded. The school continues to promote ethnic diversity and inclusion among its student population.

36. Holmes Community College

  • Location: Goodman, Mississippi
  • Students: 3,304
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 17:1
  • Graduation rate: 49%
  • Net price: $6,045
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $28,300
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 87%

Holmes Community College has been the starting point for numerous professional athletes. Major League Baseball player Roy Oswalt is an alumnus, as is National Football League player Walter Jones.

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35. Cuesta College

  • Location: San Luis Obispo, California
  • Students: 2,987
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 23:1
  • Graduation rate: 43%
  • Net price: $13,928
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $35,600
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 84%

Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo has had a remarkably diverse graduating class in recent years. In 2019, the college graduated its largest number of students ever, including a 77-year-old, and 14 students with an average 4.0 GPA.

34. University of South Carolina – Lancaster

  • Location: Lancaster, South Carolina
  • Students: 675
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 16:1
  • Graduation rate: 41%
  • Net price: $8,914
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $44,900
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 95%

The University of South Carolina – Lancaster is the oldest of the University of South Carolina’s four regional campuses. It has been serving its community for more than 60 years.

33. Western Iowa Tech Community College

  • Location: Sioux City, Iowa
  • Students: 1,707
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 16:1
  • Graduation rate: 44%
  • Net price: $8,784
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $31,500
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 90%

Students interested in cooking might want to take a look at Western Iowa Tech Community College. The school added a culinary arts program in 2014 and graduated its first class the following year.

32. Nicolet Area Technical College

  • Location: Rhinelander, Wisconsin
  • Students: 259
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 9:1
  • Graduation rate: 68%
  • Net price: $7,414
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $29,900
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 87%

Theater lovers will be excited to check out the Nicolet Players Theatre Troupe. The group has put on more than 183 productions in the college theater since its inception.

31. Roxbury Community College

  • Location: Roxbury Crossing, Massachusetts
  • Students: 335
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 10:1
  • Graduation rate: 81%
  • Net price: $9,797
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $33,600
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 86%

The Reggie Lewis Track at Roxbury Community College has been host to more than 39 world or American records. Students can catch track and field events at the center throughout the year.

30. Pasadena City College

  • Location: Pasadena, California
  • Students: 9,427
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 23:1
  • Graduation rate: 46%
  • Net price: $5,465
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $33,800
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 83%

Pasadena City College is a Hispanic Serving Institution with more than 25% of the student body made up by Latino and Latina students. Its alumni include distinguished individuals such as author Octavia Butler.

29. College of San Mateo

  • Location: San Mateo, California
  • Students: 1,342
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 16:1
  • Graduation rate: 49%
  • Net price: $4,150
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $40,700
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 82%

The College of San Mateo offers more than 150 degree and certificate programs ranging from accounting to digital media. It’s also home to a Firefighter Academy, certified by the California Office of the State Fire Marshal.

28. Alexandria Technical & Community College

  • Location: Alexandria, Minnesota
  • Students: 1,076
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 21:1
  • Graduation rate: 68%
  • Net price: $12,976
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $38,500
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 95%

Options abound for students at Alexandria Technical & Community College. Students say that the opportunities afforded to them on campus in the form of additional certifications and courses expanded their horizons beyond what they knew was possible when they enrolled.

27. Mt. San Antonio College

  • Location: Walnut, California
  • Students: 9,878
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 27:1
  • Graduation rate: 39%
  • Net price: $5,297
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $35,000
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 84%

Mt. San Antonio College is a diverse institution that is both a certified Hispanic Serving Institution and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution. The school offers a variety of support programs for students of all backgrounds.

26. Southern Regional Technical College

  • Location: Thomasville, Georgia
  • Students: 1,191
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 12:1
  • Graduation rate: 39%
  • Net price: $-401
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $No data available
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: No data available

Each semester, Southern Regional Technical College hosts student workshops designed to help them be more successful learners. Topics include time management, financial literacy, and reducing test anxiety, among others.

25. Brazosport College

  • Location: Lake Jackson, Texas
  • Students: 600
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 11:1
  • Graduation rate: 28%
  • Net price: $6,254
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $35,000
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 84%

If you’re interested in a career in welding, you’ll be glad to hear of recent expansions at Brazosport College. The Brazoria County Petrochemical Council donated $1 million to the BCPC Welding Technologies Laboratory, which was built in 2016.

24. Wallace Community College – Dothan

  • Location: Dothan, Alabama
  • Students: 1,215
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 13:1
  • Graduation rate: 35%
  • Net price: $2,699
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $24,700
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 82%

One could be forgiven for thinking Wallace Community College – Dothan was named after the famous former governor of Alabama, George Wallace, but the college was actually named after his father, who had struggled to obtain an education himself and wanted to make it easier for others.

23. Waukesha County Technical College

  • Location: Pewaukee, Wisconsin
  • Students: 1,658
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 10:1
  • Graduation rate: 43%
  • Net price: $9,714
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $35,900
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 89%

Students interested in all walks of life have reason to pursue degrees at Waukesha County Technical College. Alumni include fashion designer Keri Craig-Lee, legislator Paul Farrow, and mixed martial art fighter Ben Rothwell.

22. Allan Hancock College

  • Location: Santa Maria, California
  • Students: 2,938
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 18:1
  • Graduation rate: 36%
  • Net price: $5,520
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $30,400
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 83%

Allan Hancock College has deep ties to its community, with more than 98% of its student population coming from the local area. The school has produced several distinguished alumni, including actress Kathy Bates.

21. City College of San Francisco

  • Location: San Francisco, California
  • Students: 6,737
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 15:1
  • Graduation rate: 40%
  • Net price: $8,648
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $35,100
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 78%

San Francisco residents will be glad to hear that City College of San Francisco offers free college tuition to all city residents. The school offers a variety of grants and scholarships for applicants not from San Francisco as well.

20. Lake Tahoe Community College

  • Location: South Lake Tahoe, California
  • Students: 636
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 15:1
  • Graduation rate: 40%
  • Net price: $8,136
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $25,900
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 79%

If you find yourself drawn to the mountains over the beach, Lake Tahoe Community College might be right for you. At over 6,000 feet above sea level, it is Northern California’s highest-elevation college.

19. North Florida College

  • Location: Madison, Florida
  • Students: 338
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 18:1
  • Graduation rate: 45%
  • Net price: $3,060
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $29,400
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 83%

North Florida College guarantees that students who complete an associate of arts at the school will have the opportunity to enroll in a four-year college and earn a bachelor’s degree, thanks to an agreement with Florida’s 11 state universities.

18. Western Technical College – Wisconsin

  • Location: La Crosse, Wisconsin
  • Students: 1,611
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 9:1
  • Graduation rate: 67%
  • Net price: $9,188
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $34,900
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 90%

Western Technical College – Wisconsin is dedicated to sustainability, and has instituted energy-saving initiatives to combat global warming.

17. Renton Technical College

  • Location: Renton, Washington
  • Students: 1,069
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 16:1
  • Graduation rate: 57%
  • Net price: $7,595
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $38,800
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 81%

Renton Technical College was founded in 1941 as a war production school. In the years since, the school has pivoted its focus to vocational and technical education, preparing students to enter careers in the local community.

16. New Mexico Military Institute

  • Location: Roswell, New Mexico
  • Students: 391
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 5:1
  • Graduation rate: 66%
  • Net price: $7,775
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $39,700
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 94%

Graduates of the New Mexico Military Institute have gone on to land illustrious careers in various sectors. Among the alumni include actor Owen Wilson and football star Roger Staubach.

15. Mitchell Technical College

  • Location: Mitchell, South Dakota
  • Students: 855
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 14:1
  • Graduation rate: 75%
  • Net price: $11,274
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $39,700
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 92%

Mitchell Technical College was the recipient of a $1 million donation in 2014. The contribution was made by a businessman in the state and was the largest donation ever given to a technical college in South Dakota. The school features a robust architectural design and building construction program.

14. Lake Area Technical College

  • Location: Watertown, South Dakota
  • Students: 1,509
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 14:1
  • Graduation rate: 73%
  • Net price: $12,075
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $36,900
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 95%

Lake Area Technical Institute was the first technical institute founded in the state of South Dakota. The school emphasizes that 84% of graduates stay and work in the community.

13. Lakeshore Technical College

  • Location: Cleveland, Wisconsin
  • Students: 530
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 10:1
  • Graduation rate: 52%
  • Net price: $8,495
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $34,500
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 90%

Local high school students interested in culinary arts can pair up with college students studying the subject at Lakeshore Technical College. The “shadow a chef” program serves as a learning opportunity both for high schoolers considering this career and students learning valuable leadership skills.

12. Bellingham Technical College

  • Location: Bellingham, Washington
  • Students: 1,127
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 17:1
  • Graduation rate: 52%
  • Net price: $-1,471
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $43,600
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 81%

Bellingham Technical College is home to all kinds of areas of study, including culinary and pastry arts. Students of this program run the on-campus restaurant Cafe Culinaire, which serves family-style meals to the local community.

11. Collins Career Technical Center

  • Location: Chesapeake, Ohio
  • Students: 293
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 5:1
  • Graduation rate: 72%
  • Net price: $5,385
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $33,500
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 84%

Collins Career Technical Center focuses on career prep and technical skills. The school thrives by helping students prepare for a diverse range of careers, from roles in doctors’ offices to pipeline construction.

10. The Ohio State University – Agricultural Technical Institute

  • Location: Wooster, Ohio
  • Students: 484
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 15:1
  • Graduation rate: 57%
  • Net price: $17,792
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $46,100
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 94%

If you are a participant in 4-H or FFA and looking to continue working with livestock at the college level, you’re in luck. The Ohio State University – Agricultural Technical Institute recently launched a livestock judging team.

9. Craven Community College

  • Location: New Bern, North Carolina
  • Students: 726
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 10:1
  • Graduation rate: 38%
  • Net price: $6,967
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $28,900
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 82%

Craven Community College is one of the few community colleges in the country that houses a radio station—Public Radio East. On air since 1984, the station now boasts more than 50,000 weekly listeners.

8. Atlantic Technical College

  • Location: Coconut Creek, Florida
  • Students: 2,543
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 11:1
  • Graduation rate: 63%
  • Net price: $11,239
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $32,300
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 83%

Atlantic Technical College focuses on education in high-demand fields, offering 35 instructional programs and 17 apprenticeship programs. The school offers career dual enrollment programs for high school students, as well.

7. Southeast Technical College

  • Location: Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  • Students: 1,205
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 10:1
  • Graduation rate: 62%
  • Net price: $14,133
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $38,200
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 94%

When Southeast Technical College was founded in 1968, it offered programs in practical nursing, major appliance repair, and five other in-demand specializations. Now, the school prepares students for more than 65 different career paths.

6. Las Positas College

  • Location: Livermore, California
  • Students: 2,518
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 21:1
  • Graduation rate: 53%
  • Net price: $6,456
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $38,500
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 83%

Students looking to transfer to one of the famed University of California schools like Berkeley or UCLA may wish to consider Las Positas College. The school says it excels at preparing students to transfer to four-year schools within the UC system.

5. Santa Barbara City College

  • Location: Santa Barbara, California
  • Students: 5,400
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 22:1
  • Graduation rate: 49%
  • Net price: $9,147
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $36,800
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 82%

Nature and ocean lovers, in particular, may wish to consider Santa Barbara City College. The campus is situated on 74 acres on top of a bluff, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

4. Moraine Park Technical College

  • Location: Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin
  • Students: 762
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 8:1
  • Graduation rate: 73%
  • Net price: $9,072
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $34,600
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 89%

The Fond Du Lac campus of Moraine Park Technical College has been a part of the community since 1912. While the initial curriculum focused on drawing and cooking, students can now choose from over 100 different programs.

3. Fox Valley Technical College

  • Location: Appleton, Wisconsin
  • Students: 1,825
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 11:1
  • Graduation rate: 57%
  • Net price: $10,804
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $36,100
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 90%

Fox Valley Technical College opened a state-of-the-art public safety training center in 2012, which even has a Boeing 727 donated by FedEx. The college also features a National Criminal Justice Training Center.

2. Northwood Technical College

  • Location: Rice Lake, Wisconsin
  • Students: 924
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 5:1
  • Graduation rate: 72%
  • Net price: $9,803
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $32,500
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 90%

Students of Northwood Technical College have plenty of opportunities for getting involved on campus, with clubs and organizations from Student Senate to the National Association of Home Builders.

1. Foothill College

  • Location: Los Altos Hills, California
  • Students: 4,016
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 26:1
  • Graduation rate: 59%
  • Net price: $8,752
  • Median earnings six years after graduation: $46,500
  • Employment rate two years after graduation: 83%

In 1973, Foothill College became the first community college to offer an associate of arts degree in Japanese when Dr. Michiko Hiramatsu introduced its first Japanese language program. Japanese is now integral to the school’s language course offerings. It also has a Japanese Cultural Center and Bamboo Garden.

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