Study: Arkansas among top 10 states for best community-college systems

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Arkansas ranks among the top ten states in the nation for best community-college systems, according to a new study from the personal finance website WalletHub.

Using data from its list of 2020’s Best & Worst Community Colleges, which was conducted at “the individual-school level across a sample of 698 institutions and 18 key metrics,” the study ranks the Natural State ninth in the country:

Key metrics in the report include:

  • Tuition costs
  • Presence of Free Community-College Education
  • Transfer Rates
  • Student-Loan Defaults

WalletHub’s individual school study ranked Arkansas State University-Mountain Home the No. 2 community college in the United States. Arkansas State University-Beebe, the next state school on the list, checked in at No. 41 nationally.

Schools were evaluated based on three key dimensions, including ” 1) Cost & Financing, 2) Education Outcomes and 3) Career Outcomes.”

The study notes that community colleges are an “especially attractive option” for many families this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to WalletHub, during the 2019 to 2020 academic year, tuition and fees for full-time, in-state enrollment at a public two-year college averaged $3,730 per year versus $10,440 at a public four-year institution and $36,880 at a four-year private school.

Many general-education credits earned at a community college can also transfer to an in-state public four-year university, potentially saving the student money.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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