Florida Community and State Colleges Among Best In U.S.

An analysis of community college systems across the country concluded that Florida’s is among the best of the best.

Floridians considering the cost-saving benefits community colleges may offer have reason to celebrate. The Sunshine State’s two-year college system was recently named among the very best in the country.

The analysis that found Florida community colleges are among the best of the best was performed by the number crunchers at WalletHub. Analysts looked metrics related to cost and financing, education outcomes and career outcomes to rank state community college systems. A total of 14 key metrics were taken into account to create the ranking that focused on systems across the country.

When the analysts at the website dedicated to all things personal finance completed their study, South Dakota’s community college system ranked the best in the country. Alaska and Washington came in second and third places, respectively. The Sunshine State earned number four standings followed by Wisconsin in rounding out the top five.

Pennsylvania came in 44th-place (last) with South Carolina in 43rd. Delaware, Indiana, Nevada, Rhode Island, Utah and Vermont were not ranked.

Data included in the study was pulled from such sources as the National Center for Education Statistics, the Council for Community and Economic Research and College Measures. More information about the methodology can be found on WalletHub.

To check out the full study, visit WalletHub online.

The website also created a ranking for the best and worst community colleges across the country. The results of that study can be found on WalletHub.

 

Community College Students

University education is out of reach for many Americans, especially those from low-income households. But thanks to community colleges, higher education is more accessible than ever. Compared with public four-year institutions, where tuition and fees cost three times as much on average, community colleges offer an unbeatable value in terms of not just affordability but also quality.

Multiple states and numerous cities across the U.S. have even initiated “College Promise” programs that grant their residents free rides to community college. New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Tennessee are blazing the trail of this college-for-all circuit, while several other states, such as California, Illinois and Oklahoma, have introduced legislation to follow the same path. Such initiatives are proving to be more critical than ever, with public-college costs rising faster than private-college tuition rates and the need for post-secondary training in most jobs seeing steady growth through 2020.

Community colleges will be able to help meet that demand. In 22 states, these schools have expanded their offerings to include four-year baccalaureate programs in high-demand fields. Community-college students are even known to outshine their university peers. In an assessment of learning outcomes over a 10-year period, the Educational Testing Service found that “community college students caught up with and significantly outperformed students from liberal arts colleges … and made significant improvement in critical-thinking skills.”

Drawing on the findings of WalletHub’s analysis of the best and worst individual community colleges in the U.S., we present a state-by-state ranking of community-college systems below. Read on for the results and our detailed methodology.

Overall Rank
(1 = Best)
State Overall Rank
(1 = Best)
State
1 South Dakota 26 Oregon
2 Alaska 27 Massachusetts
3 Washington 28 Kentucky
4 Florida 29 Illinois
5 Wisconsin 30 Maryland
6 Mississippi 31 Idaho
7 North Dakota 32 Colorado
8 Minnesota 33 Virginia
9 New York 34 North Carolina
10 Montana 35 Missouri
11 Hawaii 36 Alabama
12 Wyoming 37 Michigan
13 Arizona 38 Texas
14 Oklahoma 39 West Virginia
15 Tennessee 40 New Jersey
16 California 41 Ohio
17 New Mexico 42 Louisiana
18 Kansas 43 South Carolina
19 Arkansas 44 Pennsylvania
20 Nebraska N/A Delaware
21 Iowa N/A Indiana
22 Georgia N/A Nevada
23 New Hampshire N/A Rhode Island
24 Maine N/A Utah
25 Connecticut N/A Vermont

 

Methodology

In order to determine the best and worst community-college systems in the U.S., we drew upon the results of our analysis of 2017’s Best & Worst Community Colleges, which was conducted at the individual-school level across a sample of 728 institutions and 14 key metrics.

For our state-by-state analysis, we calculated a weighted average of the scores earned by the community colleges in each state and the number of students enrolled in each school. The state with the highest average corresponds with a rank of No. 1, or the best community-college system. We also took into account only the states that had at least two community colleges present in our sample of the Best & Worst Community Colleges in order to ensure comparability of results.

 

Sources: Data used to create this ranking were collected from the National Center for Education Statistics, Council for Community and Economic Research and College Measures.

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Florida Community and State Colleges Among Best In U.S.
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Florida Community and State Colleges Among Best In U.S.
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Floridians considering the cost-saving benefits community colleges may offer have reason to celebrate. The Sunshine State’s two-year college system was recently named among the very best in the country.
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Hernando Connects
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