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Top 100 Affordable Community Colleges With Impressive Long-Term ROIs

Community colleges are often associated with low tuition, but not many people think of them as the best investment for long-term success. A new report is changing this perception, however. Released by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the workplace, the publication—dubbed A First Try at ROI: Ranking 4,500 Colleges—has unveiled a trove of two-year public colleges that pay off big for graduates decades after receiving their degrees. In this ranking, we feature 100 of these schools and rate them according to their net price, long-term ROIs, and national recognition as top community colleges.

To learn more about community colleges, visit our article that discusses the differences between 2-year and 4-year colleges here.

Rating and Ranking Methodology
Net Price
Net Price Below $5,000: 3 points
Net Price Below $7,500: 2 points
Net Price Below $10,000: 1 point

40-Year ROI
Above $1 million: 5 points
Above $950,000: 4 points
Above $900,000: 3 points
Above $850,000: 2 points
Above $800,000: 1 point

National Recognition as a Top Community College (by Niche)
Top 50 Ranking: 4 points
Top 100 Ranking: 3 points
Top 150 Ranking: 2 points
Top 200+ Ranking: 1 point

Ranking the Most Affordable Community Colleges With High 40-Year ROIs
To develop this ranking, our editors began with an initial pool of 148 two-year community colleges with ROIs at or above $800,000 40 years after graduation, as reported by Georgetown University. We then applied an affordability filter, eliminating those schools with a net price above $10,000. Finally, we applied the rating and ranking methodology above using additional data from College Navigator and Niche.com. In cases of a tie, the more affordable school was awarded the higher ranking.

#100—South Central College

North Mankato, Minnesota

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
40-Year ROI: $845,000
Points: 2
Formerly South Central Technical College, South Central College has expanded its offerings to become a comprehensive two-year community college. The school now offers over 50 degree and certificate programs in areas of study such as Agribusiness, Business Management, Culinary Arts, Geographic Information Systems, and Nursing, for example. South Central College holds accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission to award these degrees and credentials.
Net Price: $9,753

#99—Massasoit Community College

Brockton, Massachusetts

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
40-Year ROI: $818,000
Points: 2
Founded in 1966, Massasoit Community College is now a thriving learning community comprised of approximately 7,000 students. The school offers technical degree programs and associate’s degrees in 17 different fields of study, including liberal arts and sciences, business and management, general studies, and health professions. Standout offerings include those in computer science, engineering, media arts, chemistry, and more. MCC is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education to award these degrees and credentials.
Net Price: $9,139

#98—Community College of Baltimore County

Baltimore, Maryland

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
40-Year ROI: $815,000
Points: 2

The Community College of Baltimore County is a large, three-campus public school that serves over 72,000 students annually. The school offers more than 100 two-year degrees and career certificate programs. Popular areas of study include health professions, marketing, liberal arts and sciences, and general studies. Standout programs include those in women’s studies, legal studies, teacher education, and communication and media studies, for instance. CCBC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award academic credentials at the associate’s level.
Net Price: $8,678

#97—Northern Wyoming Community College District

Sheridan, Wyoming

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
40-Year ROI: $830,000
Points: 2
Northern Wyoming Community College District is comprised of two distinct colleges: Sheridan College and Gillette College. Collectively, these small public colleges serve just over 4,000 students, offering degree and certificate programs in nearly 90 different areas of study. Standout programs include those in Animal Science, Arts Administration, Cyber Security, Engineering Technology, and Exercise Science, for example. Northern Wyoming Community College District holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
Net Price: $8,498

#96—Truckee Meadows Community College

Reno, Nevada

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
40-Year ROI: $801,000
Points: 2
Established in 1971, Truckee Meadows Community College is an affordable two-year public school located in northern Nevada. Enrolling over 10,000 students per year, the school offers a wide range of associate’s degrees and certificate programs across more than 50 areas of study. Some of these include architectural and design studies, computer technologies, construction management, dental assisting, hospitality management, and more. TMCC is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities to award these degrees and credentials.
Net Price: $8,479

#95—Northeast Community College

Norfolk, Nebraska

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
40-Year ROI: $800,000
Points: 2

Northeast Community College is an affordable two-year public school serving the residents of Norfolk, Nebraska and the surrounding areas. Established in 1973, the school now enrolls over 5,000 students annually. These students can choose from degrees and certificates in 26 different areas of study, including popular options in humanities, health professions, agriculture operations, and liberal arts and sciences. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited Northeast Community College to award academic credentials at the associate’s level. It’s been ranked among the 250 best community colleges in America by Niche.com.
Net Price: $8,457

#94—University of New Mexico-Los Alamos

Los Alamos, New Mexico

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 24:1
40-Year ROI: $847,000
Points: 2
UNM-Los Alamos is a small two-year community college affiliated with the University of New Mexico. The school offers over 20 associate’s degree programs as well as six professional certificate programs in eleven different fields, including business, general studies and humanities, liberal arts and sciences, and health professions. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos to award degrees at the associate’s level.
Net Price: $8,075

#93—Portland Community College

Portland, Oregon

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
40-Year ROI: $839,000
Points: 2
Portland Community College is the largest institute of higher learning in the state of Oregon. The school serves almost 75,000 students through four different campuses in the Portland metropolitan area. The school offers an array of degree and certificate programs, including standout options in automotive service, civil engineering technology, environmental studies, dental assisting, and machine manufacturing, for instance. PCC is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities to award academic credentials at the associate’s level.
Net Price: $7,910

#92—University of New Mexico-Taos

Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 23:1
40-Year ROI: $848,000
Points: 2
A small, affordable public college, UNM-Taos is one of the youngest members of the University of New Mexico system. The school offers an impressive range of degree and certificate programs in academic areas such as science and mathematics, social and behavioral sciences, humanities, emergency medical services, and education, for example. The University of New Mexico-Taos is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award these academic credentials.
Net Price: $7,647

#91—Delaware County Community College

Media, Pennsylvania

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
40-Year ROI: $851,000
Points: 3
An affordable two-year public college serving the Philadelphia area, Delaware County Community College was established in 1967. Today, the school enrolls nearly 15,000 students, most of whom pursue associate’s degrees or vocational certificates. Popular areas of study include business and management, humanities and general studies, liberal arts and sciences, and health professions. DCCC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award degrees at the associate’s level.
Net Price: $9,813

#90—Rockland Community College

Suffern, New York

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 21:1
40-Year ROI: $869,000
Points: 3
Established in 1959, Rockland Community College is part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system. The school offers over 50 degree programs in 17 different fields. Its most popular options include those in business, the humanities, law enforcement, and homeland security, for instance. Rockland Community College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award academic credentials at the associate’s level.
Net Price: $9,763

#89—Iowa Central Community College

Fort Dodge, Iowa

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
40-Year ROI: $849,000
Points: 3
A small two-year public college, Iowa Central Community College has been providing affordable associate’s degree and diploma programs since 1966. The school offers numerous two-year transfer programs in academic disciplines such as accounting, biology, criminal justice, and pharmacy, for instance. Other popular areas of study include liberal arts and sciences, health professions, and mechanic and repair technologies. Iowa Central is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award degrees at the associate’s level. Niche.com has placed it among the 250 best community colleges in the country.
Net Price: $9,576

#88—Hibbing Community College

Hibbing, Minnesota

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
40-Year ROI: $831,000
Points: 3
Hibbing Community College is a small two-year public college affiliated with the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. Enrolling less than 2,000 students, the school offers an impressive number of degree and certificate programs in areas of study such as health science, trade and industry, law enforcement, geography, and more. HCC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award associate’s degrees. Niche.com has ranked it among the top 250 community colleges in the United States.
Net Price: $9,431

#87—Des Moines Area Community College

Ankeny, Iowa

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
40-Year ROI: $802,000
Points: 3
Des Moines Area Community College is a large two-year public school serving the residents of Central Iowa. Established in 1968, the school currently enrolls approximately 23,000 students. These students can choose from more than 200 different degree, diploma, and certificate programs across 17 distinct areas of study. Examples include offerings in agribusiness, civil engineering technology, fitness management, and supply chain management. DMACC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award these degrees and credentials. Niche.com has ranked it among the top 350 community colleges in the United States.
Net Price: $9,239

#86—Kirkwood Community College

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
40-Year ROI: $831,000
Points: 3
Established in 1966, Kirkwood Community College is a prominent two-year public college serving the Cedar Rapids area. The school enrolls nearly 15,000 students, offering more than 120 degree and certificate programs. AS and AA programs include those in journalism, political science, sociology, agriculture, and engineering, for example. Certificate offerings span fields like fire science, project management, web development, and more. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to offer these academic credentials. Niche.com has ranked it among the 250 best community colleges in America.
Net Price: $9,226

#85—Dakota College at Bottineau

Bottineau, North Dakota

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
40-Year ROI: $898,000
Points: 3
Founded as a forestry school, Dakota College at Bottineau is a small rural college in Bottineau, North Dakota. Today, the school still offers degree programs in horticulture and agriculture, but it also offers a wide range of transfer and career and technical programs in computer technology, education, business, health professions, and more. Dakota College at Bottineau is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award credentials at the associate’s degree level.
Net Price: $9,107

#84—Bergen Community College

Paramus, New Jersey

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
40-Year ROI: $876,000
Points: 3
Bergen Community College is a large, suburban two-year college located in Paramus, New Jersey. The college was established in 1965, and today, it serves almost 17,000 undergraduate and continuing education students. Degrees and certificates are awarded in 17 different areas of study, with popular options including management, liberal arts and sciences, health professions, and general studies. The school is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award academic degrees at the associate’s level.
Net Price: $8,755

#83—LaGuardia Community College

Long Island City, New York

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 24:1
40-Year ROI: $809,000
Points: 3
LaGuardia Community College is the third largest community college in the City University of New York (CUNY) system with an enrollment of nearly 20,000 students. Academic offerings include degree and certificate programs in over 20 areas of study such as liberal arts and sciences, humanities, marketing, and health professions. Standout offerings include those in healthcare management, computer programming, engineering science, and industrial design, for example. The school is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award credentials at the associate’s level. Niche.com has ranked it among the 400 best community colleges in the U.S.
Net Price: $8,621

#82—Montgomery County Community College

Blue Bell, Pennsylvania

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
40-Year ROI: $863,000
Points: 3
Montgomery County Community College is an affordable and comprehensive two-year public college located in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. The school offers over 100 degrees and certificate programs across 24 different fields of study, including popular options in health professions, management, marketing, liberal arts and sciences, and general studies. The school is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award academic credentials at the associate’s degree level.
Net Price: $8,525

#81—Scottsdale Community College

Scottsdale, Arizona

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
40-Year ROI: $849,000
Points: 3

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Established in 1970, Scottsdale Community College is a member of the Maricopa Community College District. Today, the school enrolls approximately 10,000 students and offers more than 160 degree and certificate programs. Standout areas of study include entrepreneurialism, visual and performing arts, computer and information technology, and culture and society. SCC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award academic credentials at the associate’s level. It’s been ranked among the 200 best community colleges in America by Niche.com.
Net Price: $8,489

#80—Community College of Beaver County

Monaca, Pennsylvania

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
40-Year ROI: $807,000
Points: 3
Community College of Beaver County is an affordable two-year public school serving Beaver County, Pennsylvania. The school offers transfer programs and career and technical degrees and certificates across 24 fields of study such as business, health sciences, aviation sciences, and industrial technology. Specific programs include those in emergency medical service, practical nursing, aerospace management, natural science, media communication, and more. CCBC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award these credentials. Niche.com has ranked the school among the 400 best community colleges in America.
Net Price: $8,350

#79—Hudson Valley Community College

Troy, New York

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
40-Year ROI: $859,000
Points: 3
Established in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College is part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system. The school offers more than 80 different academic and vocational programs in fields such as business, health sciences, liberal arts and sciences, and engineering and industrial technologies. Standout programs include those in criminal justice, marketing, cybersecurity, and paramedic studies. HVCC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award credentials at the associate’s level.
Net Price: $8,298

#78—Middlesex County College

Edison, New Jersey

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 23:1
40-Year ROI: $866,000
Points: 3
Established in 1964, Middlesex County College serves approximately 13,000 students throughout Middlesex County, New Jersey as well as the surrounding areas. The school currently offers 74 two-year degrees and 16 certificate programs. Its most popular fields of study include marketing, general studies, liberal arts and sciences, and health professions, for instance. Middlesex County College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award associate’s degrees.
Net Price: $8,236

#77—Mesa Community College

Mesa, Arizona

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 22:1
40-Year ROI: $844,000
Points: 3
Established in 1965, Mesa Community College is the largest school in the Maricopa County Community College district. MCC enrolls well over 20,000 students and offers more than 200 degree and certificate programs. Standout programs include those in Justice Studies, African American Studies, Construction Management, Insurance Studies, and more. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited Mesa Community College to award a wide range of academic degrees at the associate’s level. Niche.com has ranked it among the top 300 community colleges in the United States.
Net Price: $7,949

#76—University of Akron Wayne College

Orrville, Ohio

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
40-Year ROI: $855,000
Points: 3
Wayne College is part of the University of Akron and is considered a feeder college for the university. As such, it provides two-year general education programs for students who intend to transfer to a bachelor’s degree program. Non-credit options are also available. The University of Akron Wayne College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award degrees at the associate’s level.
Net Price: $7,897

#75—Honolulu Community College

Honolulu, Hawaii

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
40-Year ROI: $830,000
Points: 3
Established in 1920, Honolulu Community College is part of the University of Hawaii system. Enrolling approximately 4,000 students per semester, the small public college offers degree and technical programs in 14 different areas including liberal arts, information and computer science, construction, and more. HCC is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges to award academic degrees at the associate’s level. It’s been ranked among the top 350 community colleges in the United States by Niche.com.
Net Price: $7,897

#74—North Shore Community College

Danvers, Massachusetts

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
40-Year ROI: $822,000
Points: 3
Established in 1965, North Shore Community College now enrolls nearly 11,000 students in Danvers, Massachusetts and the surrounding areas. The school offers 75 different academic degrees and vocational and technical certificates, including those in education, human services, emergency response, information technology and computer science, and transportation, for example. NSCC is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Niche has ranked it among the top 200 community colleges in the United States.
Net Price: $7,768

#73—College of Southern Maryland

La Plata, Maryland

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
40-Year ROI: $847,000
Points: 3
The College of Southern Maryland has been serving the counties of Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s, Maryland for over sixty years. The school offers over 100 different programs of study, including associate’s degree programs and technical and vocational certificates. Areas of study include education and public service, arts and humanities, business and information systems, and STEM, for example. The College of Southern Maryland is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to offer degrees at the associate’s level.
Net Price: $7,376

#72—Quinsigamond Community College

Worcester, Massachusetts

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
40-Year ROI: $823,000
Points: 3

Quinsigamond Community College has been serving the Central Massachusetts area for over 50 years now. Today, the school enrolls over 13,000 students and offers more than 120 degree and certificate programs. This includes offerings in business administration, hospitality and recreation management, computer information systems, engineering, and practical nursing, for instance. QCC has been accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education to award credentials at the associate’s level.
Net Price: $7,254

#71—Odessa College

Odessa, Texas

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 22:1
40-Year ROI: $829,000
Points: 3
Established in 1946, Odessa College serves the areas of Ector County, Texas and the Permian Basin. With an annual enrollment of over 6,000 students, the school offers degree and certificate programs in nearly 25 different fields like business and management, humanities, health professions, and liberal arts and sciences. Standout programs include those in kinesiology, fire technology, vocational nursing, entrepreneurship, occupational safety, and more. Odessa College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award academic degrees at the associate’s level.
Net Price: $7,180

#70—Los Medanos College

Pittsburgh, California

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 24:1
40-Year ROI: $806,000
Points: 3
Established in 1974, Los Medanos College is the youngest school in the Contra Costa Community College District. The school enrolls nearly 10,000 students per year and offers degree and certificate programs in 23 different areas of study. Some of these include graphic communications, small business management and operations, electrical technology, and kinesiology, for example. LMC is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges to awards these degrees and credentials.
Net Price: $6,798

#69—Warren County Community College

Washington, New Jersey

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
40-Year ROI: $805,000
Points: 3
One of the newer two-year public schools in our ranking, Warren County Community College was established in 1981. Despite being small in terms of enrollment, the school is a comprehensive community college, offering numerous associate’s degrees, transfer degrees, and vocational and technical certificates. Areas of study include small business management, pre-law, criminal justice, computer information services, and more. WCCC is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools to award academic degrees at the associate’s level.
Net Price: $6,740

#68—Mercer County Community College

West Windsor, New Jersey

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
40-Year ROI: $812,000
Points: 3
Established in 1966, Mercer County Community College serves over 13,000 students per year across its two campuses in West Windsor and Trenton, New Jersey. These students can choose from over 75 different associate’s degree options in fields such as computer science, civil engineering technology, game programming, exercise science, and more. Numerous certificate programs are also available. MCCC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award these degrees and credentials.
Net Price: $6,611

#67—Chabot College

Hayward, California

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 26:1
40-Year ROI: $816,000
Points: 3
Established in 1961, Chabot College is the oldest college in the Chabot-Las Positas Community College District. The school offers more than 100 academic degrees and technical certificates in areas such as applied technology, language arts, business, and social sciences, for instance. Standout offerings include programs in advanced manufacturing technology, biology, dental hygiene, geographic information systems, and more. Chabot College is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges to award degrees at the associate’s level.
Net Price: $6,531

#66—Naugatuck Valley Community College

Waterbury, Connecticut

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
40-Year ROI: $830,000
Points: 3
Naugatuck Valley Community College was established in 1962 and is part of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system. Enrolling over 7,000 students per semester, the school offers an array of degree and certificate programs in areas of study such as aviation science, communication, criminal justice, and digital arts technology, for instance. NVCC is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education to award two-year degrees at the associate’s level.
Net Price: $5,319

#65—Columbia-Greene Community College

Hudson, New York

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
40-Year ROI: $819,000
Points: 3
Part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system, Columbia-Greene Community College was established in 1966. The school offers nearly 40 academic degrees and technical certificate programs in academic fields such as nursing, social and behavioral sciences, technology, and humanities. Standout programs include those in digital forensics, construction technology, human services, and environmental studies, for instance. C-GCC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award two-year degrees.
Net Price: $5,202

#64—Dodge City Community College

Dodge City, Kansas

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
40-Year ROI: $801,000
Points: 3
Established in 1935, Dodge City Community College is a small, affordable two-year public school located in Dodge City, Kansas. Enrolling under 2,000 students annually, the school offers an impressive number of degree and certificate programs across nearly 30 different areas of study. Some of these disciplines include humanities, math and sciences, fine arts, social sciences, and more. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited DCCC to award academic degrees at the associate’s level.
Net Price: $5,113

#63—Williston State College

Williston, North Dakota

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 25:1
40-Year ROI: $922,000
Points: 4
Part of the North Dakota University system, Williston State College offers Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degree programs designed for students who intend to transfer to a bachelor’s degree program upon graduation. Popular options include associate’s degree programs in general studies, management health professions, and liberal arts and sciences. Williston State is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to offer these two-year credentials.
Net Price: $9,774

#62—Lake Region State College

Devils Lake, North Dakota

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
40-Year ROI: $846,000
Points: 4
Lake Region State College is an affordable public junior college affiliated with the North Dakota University System. The school was officially established in 1941 and has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1973. The school offers a select number of degree, certificate, and diploma programs in fields of study such as information technology, early childhood education, fitness training, and wind energy technology, for instance. Niche.com has ranked Lake Region State among the top 150 community colleges in the U.S.
Net Price: $9,410

#61—St. Cloud Technical & Community College

Saint Cloud, Minnesota

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 23:1
40-Year ROI: $925,000
Points: 4
A public community college founded in 1948, St. Cloud Technical and Community College is part of the Minnesota State Colleges and University system. The school offers Associate of Science, Associate of Arts, and Associate of Applied Science degrees in over 90 areas of study. Popular areas of study include humanities, marketing, general studies, health professions, and liberal arts, for instance. St. Cloud Tech is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award these associate’s degrees.
Net Price: $8,941

#60—Prince George’s Community College

Largo, Maryland

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
40-Year ROI: $917,000
Points: 4

Prince George’s Community College has been offering affordable associate’s degrees since 1958. Today, it offers academic degrees and professional certificates in 20 different disciplines. Popular options include business, liberal arts and sciences, marketing, and health professions, for instance. The school also offers stand-alone professional development classes in fields such as public safety, nursing, culinary arts, and more. PGCC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award academic credentials at the associate’s level.
Net Price: $8,793

#59—County College of Morris

Randolph, New Jersey

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
40-Year ROI: $895,000
Points: 4
County College of Morris is a large suburban college located in Randolph, New Jersey. The school boasts one of the highest graduation rates among the state’s county colleges. CCM offers dozens of two-year degree programs, transfer programs, and professional certificates in areas of study such as education, environmental science, digital technology, finance, and more. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education has accredited the school to offer these numerous credentials. It’s been ranked among the 300 best community colleges in the United States by Niche.com.
Net Price: $8,468

#58—Pierce College-Puyallup

Lakewood, Washington

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
40-Year ROI: $852,000
Points: 4
Established in 1967, Pierce College-Puyallup is an affordable community college serving the Pierce County, Washington area. The school offers a wide range of two-year degrees as well as career and technical certificates in areas such as communication, humanities, social and behavioral sciences, public services, and more. Among the school’s most popular offerings include those in the liberal arts and sciences, marketing, general studies, and health professions. Pierce College-Puyallup is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Higher Education to award degrees at the associate’s level. Niche.com has placed it among the 350 best community colleges in the nation.
Net Price: $8,370

#57—South Plains College

Levelland, Texas

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 25:1
40-Year ROI: $821,000
Points: 4
An affordable and comprehensive two-year community college, South Plains College enrolls nearly 10,000 students across 14 different counties in the greater South Plains area of Texas. The school offers nearly 120 academic degree programs in fields of study like social sciences, communications, engineering, industrial technology, and more. Vocational and technical certificates are also available. South Plains College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. It’s been ranked among the 150 best community colleges in the nation by Niche.com.
Net Price: $8,260

#56—Arapahoe College

Littleton, Colorado

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 23:1
40-Year ROI: $904,000
Points: 4
As the first community college in the Denver, Colorado area, Arapahoe College has enjoyed accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission since 1970. Students can take advantage of over 70 different degree programs in 16 different academic disciplines and occupational fields. This includes those in popular areas of study such as health professions, visual and performing arts, general studies, and liberal arts, for example.
Net Price: $7,610

#55—Big Bend Community College

Moses Lake, Washington

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
40-Year ROI: $803,000
Points: 4
Established in 1962, Big Bend Community College is an affordable two-year public school located in Washington’s Columbia Basin. The school has a comprehensive set of degree and certificate programs, spanning 12 different academic disciplines. Sample offerings include those in criminal justice, economics, political science, and homeland security, for instance. BBCC is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities to award degrees at the associate’s level. Niche.com has ranked the school among the top 400 community colleges in the country.
Net Price: $7,421

#54—Salt Lake Community College

Salt Lake City, Utah

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
40-Year ROI: $882,000
Points: 4
salt-lake-community-collegeSalt Lake Community College is the second largest community college in the state of Utah. The school offers primarily transfer degrees in eight different academic disciplines, including humanities, health sciences, business, and social and behavioral sciences, for instance. Popular areas of study include management, general studies, and marketing. SLCC is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities to award degrees at the associate’s level.
Net Price: $7,378

#53—Tunxis Community College

Farmington, Connecticut

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
40-Year ROI: $809,000
Points: 4
Located in Farmington, Connecticut, Tunxis Community College is a two-year public college affiliated with the Connecticut Community College system. The school offers an array of associate’s degree and certificate programs spanning 20 different fields of study such as business, humanities, homeland security, and law enforcement, for example. Specific offerings include programs in communications studies, human services, social work studies, and technology studies. Tunxis College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. It’s been ranked among the 300 best community colleges in the country by Niche.com.
Net Price: $7,333

#52—Bunker Hill Community College

Boston, Massachusetts

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 25:1
40-Year ROI: $826,000
Points: 4

Serving the Greater Boston area, Bunker Hill Community College is the largest two-year public college in the state of Massachusetts. The school enrolls over 13,000 students and offers flexible learning options for students interested in transfer degrees, two-year degrees, and certificate programs. Areas of study include biomedical engineering, computer forensics, energy and sustainability management, human services, and more. BHCC is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education to award associate’s degrees. It’s been ranked among the top 350 community colleges in the nation by Niche.com.
Net Price: $7,232

#51—Frederick Community College

Frederick, Maryland

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
40-Year ROI: $842,000
Points: 4
Established in 1957, Frederick Community College is a small, yet comprehensive two-year public college accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The school offers over 85 certificate and degree programs in more than 20 areas of study such as information technology, public safety, hospitality, healthcare, and education. Niche.com has ranked the school among the 200 best community colleges in the United States.
Net Price: $6,866

#50—CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College

New York, New York

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 26:1
40-Year ROI: $829,000
Points: 4
A member of the City University of New York (CUNY) system, the Borough of Manhattan Community College was established in 1963. The school enrolls approximately 27,000 students, offering numerous associate’s degrees and vocational certificates in 20 different academic disciplines and career fields. Popular options include those in business, law enforcement, homeland security, and firefighting. BMCC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award degrees at the associate’s level. Niche.com has ranked it among the 350 best community colleges in the nation.
Net Price: $6,835

#49—Manchester Community College

Manchester, Connecticut

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
40-Year ROI: $820,000
Points: 4
Established in 1963, Manchester Community College is the one of the oldest community colleges in the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system and the largest in the state with enrollment numbers over 15,000. The school offers a wide range of degree and certificate programs in more than 40 areas of study, including anthropology, computer networking, economics, global studies, and health careers, for instance. MCC is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education to award associate’s degrees. Niche.com has ranked it among the 250 best community colleges in America.
Net Price: $6,666

#48—Laramie County Community College

Cheyenne, Wyoming

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
40-Year ROI: $821,000
Points: 4

Established in 1968, Laramie County Community College now has two campuses: one in Laramie and one in Cheyenne. As a comprehensive community college, the school offers almost 80 two-year degrees and nearly 30 technical and vocational certificate programs. Popular areas of study include business, education, marketing, and health professions, for instance. LCCC holds institutional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. It’s been ranked among the top 300 community colleges in the U.S. by Niche.com.
Net Price: $6,650

#47—Victoria College

Victoria, Texas

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
40-Year ROI: $832,000
Points: 4
Victoria College has been serving the Victoria, Texas area for nearly 100 years. A small public college, VC enrolls almost 4,000 students per semester. The school offers numerous degree and certificate programs in popular areas of study such as engineering, engineering technologies, health professions, and interdisciplinary studies, for example. Victoria College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award academic credentials at the associate’s level. Niche.com has ranked it among the 350 best community colleges in the nation.
Net Price: $6,360

#46—Tarrant County College District

Fort Worth, Texas

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 22:1
40-Year ROI: $815,000
Points: 4
Tarrant County College District is one of the largest community colleges in the state of Texas. With an enrollment of over 50,000 students, the school offers degree and certificate programs in over 20 fields of study across five campuses. Standout programs include those in anesthesia technology, child development, construction management technology, and fire protection technology, for instance. TCCD is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award two-year degrees. Niche.com has ranked it among the top 400 community colleges in the United States.
Net Price: $5,912

#45—University of New Mexico-Gallup

Gallup, New Mexico

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 27:1
40-Year ROI: $852,000
Points: 4
UNM- Gallup is a branch campus of the University of New Mexico. The school offers a wide variety of degrees and certificate programs in areas such as business and applied technologies, health and human services, social sciences, education, workforce development, and more. The most popular offerings are those in the health professions, general studies, business and management, and liberal arts and sciences. The University of New Mexico-Gallup is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award academic credentials at the associate’s level.
Net Price: $5,490

#44—Collin College

McKinney, Texas

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 24:1
40-Year ROI: $893,000
Points: 4
In operation since 1985, Collin College is an affordable community college located northeast of Dallas, Texas. The school offers a wide variety of two-year degree programs as well as professional certificates in areas of study such as accounting, business management, civil engineering, education, health professions, and more. Collin College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award degrees at the associate’s level.
Net Price: $5,471

#43—Suffolk County Community College

Selden, New York

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 22:1
40-Year ROI: $886,000
Points: 4
Part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system, Suffolk County Community College is an affordable suburban community college established in 1959. The school offers a wide variety of transfer and career programs as well as professional certificates. These include two-year degree plans in popular areas of study such as business, health professions, marketing, and general studies, for example. SCCC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award academic credentials at the associate’s level.
Net Price: $5,125

#42—North Central Texas College

Gainesville, Texas

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 22:1
40-Year ROI: $801,000
Points: 4
Established in 1924, North Central Texas College is an affordable community college serving three counties near Gainesville, Texas. The school enrolls over 10,000 students annually and offers degree and certificate programs across 11 different fields of study. Some of these include teacher education, computer science, performing and visual arts, and agriculture, for instance. NCTC is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award academic credentials at the associate’s level.
Net Price: $4,955

#41—Middlesex Community College

Middletown, Connecticut

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
40-Year ROI: $820,000
Points: 4
Middlesex Community College is one of the largest two-year public schools in the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system. Established in 1966, the school now offers more than 70 degree and certificate programs in over 25 fields of study such as manufacturing and applied technology, health careers, STEM, business and hospitality, and creative arts, for example. MxCC is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education to award academic degrees at the associate’s level.
Net Price: $4,752

#40—SUNY Orange County Community College

Middletown, New York

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
40-Year ROI: $826,000
Points: 4
Orange County Community College is part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system. The school serves over 6,000 students across two campuses. Degree and certificate programs are offered in 14 distinct areas of study, including liberal arts and sciences, humanities, business, and health professions, for instance. Standout programs include those in Early Childhood Education, Radiologic Technology, Exercise Studies, and Architectural Technology among others. SUNY Orange is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award AS and AA degrees.
Net Price: $4,448

#39—Middlesex Community College

Bedford, Massachusetts

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
40-Year ROI: $846,000
Points: 4

Established in 1970, Middlesex Community College is an affordable two-year public school with campuses in Bedford and Lowell, Massachusetts. The school currently enrolls over 12,000 students and offers more than 70 distinct degree and certificate programs. Popular areas of study include humanities, business, health professions, and liberal arts and sciences. The school is accredited by the Northwest Commission of Higher Education to award academic credentials at the associate’s degree level.
Net Price: $4,250

#38—Austin Community College District

Austin, Texas

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 21:1
40-Year ROI: $836,000
Points: 4
Austin Community College District is a large public college serving numerous communities in the Central Texas area. The school enrolls over 70,000 students and offers more than 100 different programs of study in areas like tourism, public services, health sciences, digital media, computer science, and more. Austin Community College District is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award academic degrees at the associate’s level.
Net Price: $4,194

#37—Ventura College

Ventura, California

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 30:1
40-Year ROI: $806,000
Points: 4
One of the most affordable two-year public colleges in the nation, Ventura College is part of the Ventura County Community College District. Established in 1925, the school now enrolls over 13,000 students per year. These students can choose from over 30 different associate’s degree programs and more than 60 certificates and diplomas in career and technical areas. Areas of study include biological sciences, athletics, communication studies, criminal justice, global and international studies, and more. Ventura College is accredited by the WASC Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges to award degrees and credentials at the associate’s level.
Net Price: $3,312

#36—Northern Virginia Community College

Annandale, Virginia

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 25:1
40-Year ROI: $977,000
Points: 5

As the largest public institution of higher education in Virginia and the second largest community college in the United States, Northern Virginia Community College has a student population of over 75,000. The school offers dozens of associate’s degrees and certificate programs in popular areas of study such as marketing, computer and information sciences, management, humanities, and more. NOVA is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award academic degrees at the associate’s level.
Net Price: $9,124

#35—San Diego Miramar College

San Diego, California

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 29:1
40-Year ROI: $908,000
Points: 5
Established in 1969, San Diego Miramar College is part of both the San Diego Community College District and the California Community Colleges System. The school offers over 150 two-year associate’s degrees and professional certificates in 27 different disciplines. This includes popular options in biomedical sciences, law enforcement, business, and homeland security. The school is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges’ Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. Niche has ranked the school among the top 250 community colleges in the United States.
Net Price: $8,058

#34—Miles Community College

Miles City, Montana

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 11:1
40-Year ROI: $852,000
Points: 5
Founded in 1939, Miles Community College is a small affordable public college offering two-year associate’s degrees as well as technical and vocational certificates. The school’s most popular areas of study include agriculture, health professions, humanities, and liberal arts and sciences. Standout options include those in Entrepreneurship, Graphic Design, Accounting, and Allied Health. Miles Community College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities to award credentials at the associate’s level. It’s been ranked among the top 150 community colleges in the United States by Niche.com.
Net Price: $7,739

#33—SUNY-Westchester Community College

Valhalla, New York

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
40-Year ROI: $890,000
Points: 5
Sponsored by the State University of New York (SUNY), Westchester Community College is a large public community college that’s been in operation since 1946. The school offers a range of two-year degree programs, including Associate of Arts (AA), Associate of Science (AS), and Associate of Applied Science (AAS) programs in popular areas like marketing, homeland security, law enforcement, and liberal arts and sciences, for instance. Westchester Community College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award these degrees and credentials. It’s been ranked among the 400 best community colleges in the nation by Niche.com.
Net Price: $7,472

#32—Alvin Community College

Alvin, Texas

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 12:1
40-Year ROI: $873,000
Points: 5
Alvin Community College was established in 1948 as Alvin Junior College. Today, ACC enrolls over 5,000 students and awards two-year associate’s degrees as well as professional certifications. These programs of study span 20 different academic disciplines and career pathways. The school’s most popular offerings include those in health professions, science technologies, liberal arts and sciences, and general studies. Alvin Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate’s degrees. It’s been ranked among the top 300 community colleges in the nation by Niche.com.
Net Price: $7,223

#31—Diablo Valley College

Pleasant Valley, California

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 26:1
40-Year ROI: $879,000
Points: 5
Established in 1949, Diablo Valley College is part of the Contra Costa Community College District and is considered one of the state’s leading transfer colleges. The school offers two-year degrees in over 30 different disciplines, including popular areas of study like marketing, health professions, social sciences, business, and more. DVC is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Niche has ranked the school among the top 250 best community colleges in the United States.
Net Price: $6,810

#30—Raritan Valley Community College

Branchburg, New Jersey

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
40-Year ROI: $887,000
Points: 5
Established in 1965, Raritan Valley Community College is a rural public college located in Branchburg, New Jersey. The school offers nearly 100 academic degrees and professional certificates in 20 different areas of study such as humanities, multidisciplinary studies, marketing, and management, for instance. Raritan Valley Community College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award academic degrees at the associate’s level. It’s been ranked among the 250 best community colleges in America by Niche.com.
Net Price: $6,704

#29—College of the Canyons

Santa Clarita, California

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 26:1
40-Year ROI: $910,000
Points: 5
Established in 1969, College of the Canyons is part of the Santa Clarita Community College system and is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The school offers two-year degrees and professional certificates in nearly 30 different academic and occupational fields. This includes popular areas of study such as psychology, marketing, social sciences, and management, for instance. Credit for life experience is available to eligible students.
Net Price: $6,504

#28—Casper College

Casper, Wyoming

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
40-Year ROI: $841,000
Points: 5
Established in 1945, Casper College was Wisconsin’s first junior college. The school offers over 50 two-year degree programs and more than 30 career and vocational certificates in major areas of study such as business and industry, social and behavioral sciences, health science, and fine arts and humanities. Standout programs include Addiction Studies, Construction Technology, Web Design, and Engineering, for instance. Casper College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award degrees at the associate’s level. It’s been ranked among the 150 best community colleges in the country by Niche.com.
Net Price: $6,438

#27—Queensborough Community College

Bayside, New York

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 21:1
40-Year ROI: $861,000
Points: 5
Established in 1959, Queensborough Community College is part of the City University of New York system. Known for its transfer programs, the school offers over 40 different associate’s degrees as well as vocational certificates. Popular areas of study include business, health professions, general studies, and liberal arts and sciences. CUNY- Queensborough is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award two-year degrees. Niche.com has ranked it among the 250 best community colleges in the nation.
Net Price: $6,389

#26—College of Du Page

Glen Ellyn, Illinois

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 21:1
40-Year ROI: $862,000
Points: 5
College of Du Page is not only an affordable public community college; it’s also the second largest college for undergraduates in the state of Illinois. The school offers seven degrees in over 150 areas of study as well as technical and vocational certificate programs. Popular areas of study include interdisciplinary studies, health professions, liberal arts and sciences, and general studies. College of Du Page is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award degrees at the associate’s level. It’s been ranked among the top 250 community colleges in the nation by Niche.com.
Net Price: $5,724

#25—Triton College

River Grove, Illinois

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
40-Year ROI: $803,000
Points: 5
Established in 1964, Triton College is an affordable two-year public school located near Chicago, Illinois. Enrolling approximately 12,000 students per year, the school offers numerous associate’s degrees, general education programs, and technical and professional certificates. Areas of study include automotive technology, construction technology, fire science, culinary arts, and more. Triton College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to offer these academic credentials. It’s been ranked among the top 400 community colleges in America by Niche.com.
Net Price: $4,960

#24—North Lake College

Irving, Texas

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 27:1
40-Year ROI: $881,000
Points: 5
Established in 1977, North Lake College is one of the newest colleges in the Dallas County Community College District. The school offers over two dozen degree and certificate programs in areas of study such as nursing, business administration, computer information technology, construction management, real estate, and more. North Lake College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award academic credentials at the associate’s level.
Net Price: $4,823

#23—Carroll Community College

Westminster, Maryland

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
40-Year ROI: $807,000
Points: 5
Established in 1976, Carroll Community College is a rural two-year public college serving just over 3,000 students annually. The school offers degree and certificate programs in 12 different areas of study such as business, creative arts, health and exercise science, social sciences, and education, for instance. Specific offerings include Entertainment Technology, Creative Writing, International Business, Biotechnology, and more. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education has accredited Carroll Community College to award these degrees and credentials. Niche.com has ranked it among the 200 best community colleges in America.
Net Price: $4,660

#22—Nassau Community College

Garden City, New York

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
40-Year ROI: $900,000
Points: 5
Founded in 1959, Nassau Community College is the largest single-campus community college in New York. The school offers 62 different degree programs and 20 professional certificates. Popular options for students include degree plans in management, marketing, humanities, health professions, and liberal arts and sciences. NCC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award academic credentials at the associate’s level. It also maintains a National Junior College affiliation.
Net Price: $4,436

#21—Richland College

Dallas, Texas

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 28:1
40-Year ROI: $806,000
Points: 5
With enrollment numbers of over 20,000, Richland College is the largest school in the Dallas County Community College District. As a comprehensive two-year public school, the college offers a variety of associate’s degrees and transfer programs as well as career and technical certificates. Areas of study include engineering technology, accounting, multimedia technology, sociology, mathematics, and more. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited the college to award these degrees and credentials. Niche.com has ranked Richland College among the top 350 community colleges in the nation.
Net Price: $4,098

#20—Lamar Institute of Technology

Beaumont, Texas

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
40-Year ROI: $841,000
Points: 6
Lamar Institute of Technology joined the Texas State University System in 1995. A comprehensive public technical school, the institute offers over 30 two-year degree programs and nearly as many career and vocational certificates. Standout areas of study include Accounting Technology, Welding, Sonography, and Computer Information Systems, for example. LIT is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award degrees at the associate’s level. It’s been ranked among the top 100 community colleges in America by Niche.
Net Price: $7,034

#19—Bucks County Community College

Newton, Pennsylvania

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
40-Year ROI: $901,000
Points: 6

Established in 1964, Bucks County Community College offers a wide range of two-year degrees and certificate programs through three different campuses as well as an online program. Offerings span 24 different academic disciplines and vocational fields. Popular areas of study include general studies, health professions, liberal arts and sciences, and business. Bucks County is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award degrees at the associate’s level. It’s been ranked among the top 300 community colleges in America by Niche.com.
Net Price: $6,908

#18—Kingsborough Community College

Brooklyn, New York

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 22:1
40-Year ROI: $814,000
Points: 6
Part of the City University of New York (CUNY) system, Kingsborough Community College serves the Brooklyn, New York area, enrolling approximately 15,000 students each year. The school offers associate’s degree and technical certificates in nearly 20 different areas of study such as business, humanities, and health professions, for instance. Standout programs include those in fashion design, computer information systems, gender studies, global and environmental studies, and more. KBCC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award these academic credentials. Niche.com has named it one of the 100 best community colleges in America.
Net Price: $6,905

#17—Brookhaven College

Farmers Branch, Texas

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 21:1
40-Year ROI: $885,000
Points: 6
Founded in 1978, Brookhaven College is the youngest member of the seven-college Dallas County Community College District. The school offers 17 different academic degree programs and 56 professional certificates. Popular areas of study include business, marketing, humanities, and health professions, for instance. Brookhaven College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award academic credentials at the associate’s level. Niche.com has ranked it among the 150 best community colleges in the United States.
Net Price: $6,097

#16—Wharton County Junior College

Wharton, Texas

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
40-Year ROI: $877,000
Points: 6
Wharton County Junior College is a comprehensive two-year community college offering a wide range of transfer degrees as well as vocational programs and certificates. Popular areas of study include science technologies, health professions, humanities, and general studies. Other standout offerings include those in paralegal studies, dental hygiene, criminal justice, and kinesiology. WCJC is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Niche.com has ranked the school among the 250 best community colleges in the United States.
Net Price: $4,392

#15—San Jacinto Community College

Pasadena, Texas

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
40-Year ROI: $881,000
Points: 7
Established in 1961, San Jacinto Community College is a two-year public college serving the Greater Houston area. The school offers more than 200 degree and certificate programs in a variety of fields such as arts and humanities, business, manufacturing and transportation, education, health sciences, and more. SJCC is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award credentials at the associate’s level. Niche.com has ranked the school among the 15 best community colleges in the country.
Net Price: $8,790

#14—Southeast Community College

Lincoln, Nebraska

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 12:1
40-Year ROI: $870,000
Points: 7
Southeast Community College Area is a large public community college system serving Lincoln, Nebraska and the surrounding areas. The school enrolls nearly 10,000 students through three main campuses. It offers two-year degree programs and vocational certificates in 15 different fields, including popular offerings in marketing, health professions, liberal arts and sciences, and general studies. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited SCC to award academic credentials at the associate’s level. Niche.com has ranked the school among the 30 best community colleges in the U.S.
Net Price: $8,281

#13—Lone Star College System

The Woodlands, Texas

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 21:1
40-Year ROI: $855,000
Points: 7
lone-star-college-systemLone Star College System carries the distinction of being the fastest growing community college in the U.S. Its total enrollment is fast approaching 90,000 students. The school offers a range of academic degree programs in areas of study such as health sciences, manufacturing, education, social and behavioral sciences, and more. Popular options for Lone Star students include liberal arts and sciences, business, health professions, and humanities. The Lone Star College System holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Niche.com has ranked it among the top 100 community colleges in America.
Net Price: $7,350

#12—Las Positas College

Livermore, California

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 25:1
40-Year ROI: $907,000
Points: 7
Las Positas College is a two-year urban college accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The school offers nearly 45 occupational and transfer associate’s degrees and as many professional certificate programs. Popular options include psychology, liberal arts, general studies, and marketing, for example. It’s been ranked among the top 150 community colleges in the United States by Niche.com.
Net Price: $5,863

#11—Mt. San Antonio College

Walnut, California

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 24:1
40-Year ROI: $823,000
Points: 7
Mt. San Antonio College is one of the largest community colleges in our ranking as well as one of the most affordable. The school serves nearly 30,000 students in the Southern California area and offers over 250 degree and certificate programs. Areas of study include Kinesiology & Wellness, Livestock Management, Agri-Technology, Child Development, and more. The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the WASC has accredited the school to award degrees at the associate’s level. Niche.com has ranked it among the top 100 community colleges in the United States.
Net Price: $4,484

#10—Moorpark College

Moorpark, California

Website1
Student to Faculty Ratio: 33:1
40-Year ROI: $911,000
Points: 7
Established in 1967, Moorpark College is part of the California Community College System. The school offers degree programs, certificates, and classes in over 70 different disciplines. Popular areas of study include general studies, humanities, social sciences, and multidisciplinary studies. The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) has accredited the school to offer academic degrees at the associate’s level. Niche.com has ranked it among the 200 best community colleges in the country.
Net Price: $3,483

#9—Montgomery College

Rockville, Maryland

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
40-Year ROI: $944,000
Points: 8
Montgomery College is a large public community college, enrolling over 50,000 students on campus and online. The school offers a wide range of associate’s degrees in subject areas such as business and hospitality, computer and information science, design and graphics, emergency preparedness and fire services, and nursing and health sciences. Some of the school’s most popular degree programs include those in liberal arts, humanities, business, and health professions, for instance. Montgomery College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award these academic credentials. Niche has ranked the school among the nation’s 50 best community colleges.
Net Price: $8,748

#8—Kapiolani Community College

Honolulu, Hawaii

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
40-Year ROI: $882,000
Points: 8
Part of the University of Hawaii system, Kapiolani Community College was established in 1946. Today, it offers more than two dozen two-year degrees and professional certificate programs. Popular fields of study include health professions, marketing, general studies, and liberal arts and sciences, for instance. The school is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). It’s been ranked among the 25 best community colleges in America by Niche.com.
Net Price: $6,905

#7—Oakton Community College

Des Plaines, Illinois

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
40-Year ROI: $894,000
Points: 8
Established in 1969, Oakton Community College is an affordable public community college located near Chicago. The school offers professional certificate and two-year degree programs in 80 different areas of study. Popular areas of study include liberal arts and sciences, law enforcement, firefighting, homeland security, and health professions. Oakton Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award these credentials. Niche.com has ranked the school among the 50 best community colleges in the country.
Net Price: $6,883

#6—Northwest Vista College

San Antonio, Texas

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 27:1
40-Year ROI: $817,000
Points: 8
Established in 1995, Northwest Vista College is one of the youngest community colleges in our ranking. The school is a member of the Alamo Colleges District and enrolls over 17,000 students per year. Academic offerings include both degree and certificate options in fields such as New Media Communications, Peace and Conflict Studies, Philosophy, Education, and more. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited Northwest Vista to award two-year degrees. Niche.com has ranked it among the 25 best community colleges in the nation.
Net Price: $4,565

#5—State Technical College of Missouri

Linn, Missouri

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 12:1
40-Year ROI: $960,000
Points: 9
State Technical College of Missouri offers more than 35 two-year technical degrees. Program offerings include unique options in nuclear technology, aviation maintenance, electrical distribution systems, and electric power generation technology among others. Other popular options include programs in construction, mechanic and repair technologies, and health professions. The Higher Learning College of Missouri has accredited the school to offer these associate’s degrees. Niche has ranked it among the 30 best community colleges in America.
Net Price: $7,611

#4—De Anza College

Cupertino, California

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 29:1
40-Year ROI: $983,000
Points: 9
A well-known two-year public school in Cupertino, California, De Anza College offers over 70 associate’s degrees and nearly 100 professional certificates. Popular programs include those in business, social sciences, multidisciplinary studies, and management. It is a popular choice for students who plan to eventually transfer to a four-year university to complete a bachelor’s degree. De Anza College is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges to award these academic credentials. Niche has ranked it among the top 60 community colleges in the United States.
Net Price: $5,905

#3—Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
40-Year ROI: $1,057,000
Points: 9
Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology is the only state-sponsored two-year technical school in Pennsylvania. The school offers 22 different technical degrees, including popular options in mechanical repair, construction, and precision production. The school is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award associate’s degrees. Niche has ranked it among America’s best community colleges.
Net Price: $5,742

#2—University of South Carolina-Lancaster

Lancaster, South Carolina

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
40-Year ROI: $1,065,000
Points: 10
The University of South Carolina-Lancaster was established in 1959, making it the oldest regional college in the USC system. The school offers both general Associate in Science and Associate in Arts degree programs as well as associate’s in business, nursing, and criminal justice. All programs require 60 credit hours of study. For students desiring a bachelor’s credential, USC-Lancaster offers easy transfer to its four-year parent university in Columbia, South Carolina. USC-Lancaster is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award these degrees. Niche has identified the school as the second best community college in America.
Net Price: $8,516

#1—New Mexico Military Institute

Roswell, New Mexico

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
40-Year ROI: $956,000
Points: 10
Dubbed “the West Point of the West,” New Mexico Military Institute is the only state-sponsored military college in the Western U.S. It enrolls cadets at both the high school and junior college levels. The school offers associate’s degrees in four academic divisions: Social Science and Leadership, Business, and Criminal Justice; Mathematics and Sciences; Humanities; and Health and Physical Education. The vast majority of NMMI’s graduates transfer to a four-year university after completing their degree. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited the school to offer degrees at the associate’s level. It’s been ranked among the nation’s top 5 community colleges by Niche.com.
Net Price: $6,954

Frequently-Asked Questions About Community Colleges

If you’re considering community college, it’s normal to have some questions. Below, our editors address some of the most common questions we receive about two-year public colleges. The information provided here is general in nature, however. To learn specific information about a particular community school or program, you’ll need to reach out to an admissions counselor at the college you’re interested in attending.

Q: How much does community college cost?

A: The cost of community college varies depending on which school you choose to attend. The American Association of Community Colleges reports the average cost of a two-year public school to be approximately $3,300 per year.

Q: Is community college easier?

A: There is a stereotype that attending community college is easier than attending a four-year university. This isn’t always the case, however. Some community college courses and programs are quite rigorous. Even so, it is likely that you’ll receive more individual instruction and attention from professors at a two-year school versus a university.

Q: What kinds of programs are offered by community colleges?

A: Typically, community colleges offer various types of associate’s degrees as well as career and technical certificates and diplomas. Many also offer individual courses on both a credit and non-credit basis. Some community colleges even offer a limited number of bachelor’s degree programs.

Q: Can I transfer from a community college to a four-year university?

A: Yes. Some community colleges are more transfer-friendly than others, though, so do your due diligence before choosing a two-year college if you wish to transfer in the future.

Q: Is it easy to get into a community college?

A: It is true that most community colleges have lower admissions standards than four-year universities. Still, you will need a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted to a two-year public school.

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