Skip to Main Content

Top 10 community colleges in the US

Charlotte Technical Center in Port Charlotte, Fla. | Photo courtesy of Charlotte Technical Center
Bankrate Logo

Why you can trust Bankrate

While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for .

President Barack Obama recently announced a plan to develop a college ratings system to help students make informed decisions about where they can get the best college education deal. Coincidentally, Bankrate undertook the task of ranking two-year community colleges and technical centers around the country to see where students can get the best, affordable start in their college careers.

Community colleges serve nearly half of all U.S. undergraduate students and play a crucial role in both workforce development and as a springboard to a four-year education. But few are recognized for just how far they go to serve students.

Using data from the National Center for Education Statistics, we ranked more than 900 public two-year institutions to determine the best and brightest schools. Our rankings were based on six criteria: graduation rate; student retention rate; the student-faculty ratio; the school’s in-state tuition and fees; the percentage of full-time first-time undergraduates receiving financial aid; and the average amount of grant aid they received from federal, state and private sources combined. The data cover full-time freshman students who entered college in fall 2008.

Our survey did not include private institutions, schools that did not report information on all six criteria to the National Center for Education Statistics or schools with fewer than 100 full-time students.

Following are the top 10 community colleges in the country based on Bankrate’s criteria.