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.