FORT WORTH, Texas, March 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Everyone knows the cost of a four-year college education is rising faster than other expenses. What isn't common knowledge yet: a two-year community college associate degree has never been a better route to a four-year college bachelor's degree than it is today.
But which community colleges stand out from the pack?
AcademicInfluence.com ranks the leading two-year community college programs in the United States here:
Criteria for the schools in this ranking include a minimum of 1,000 enrolled students, full accreditation, and exclusively two-year (or associate) degree programs.
The following schools rank among the top 50:
- Anne Arundel Community College
- Baltimore City Community College
- BGSU Firelands
- Bossier Parish Community College
- Bronx Community College
- Brookdale Community College
- Bunker Hill Community College
- Butler Community College
- Cañada College
- Capital Community College
- Central Wyoming College
- Chabot College
- City College of San Francisco
- College of Marin
- Columbia College (California)
- Community College of Beaver County
- County College of Morris
- De Anza College
- Eastern Arizona College
- Eastern Maine Community College
- Fullerton College
- Holyoke Community College
- Kennedy–King College
- LaGuardia Community College
- Lamar Institute of Technology
- Lamar State College–Port Arthur
- Lassen College
- Lewis and Clark Community College
- Los Angeles City College
- Los Angeles Valley College
- Massachusetts Bay Community College
- Merritt College
- Mesa Community College
- Mitchell Community College
- Montgomery College
- Nassau Community College
- North Dakota State College of Science
- Northern Essex Community College
- Northwest Mississippi Community College
- Pulaski Technical College
- Richland Community College
- Roxbury Community College
- Sacramento City College
- Santa Fe Community College
- Scottsdale Community College
- Springfield Technical Community College
- Trinity Valley Community College
- West Kentucky Community and Technical College
- West Valley College
- Western Piedmont Community College
Visit the link above to view the final ranking order, find top schools by state, and see additional schools outside the top 50.
"In rankings on other sites, students typically see only the largest community colleges. We believe we take a smarter and more comprehensive approach," says Dr. Jed Macosko, academic director of AcademicInfluence.com and professor of physics at Wake Forest University.
"We look at how influential the school's faculty is and then factor in the student body size. We call this metric 'Concentrated Influence.' Those community colleges with a strong faculty but comparatively fewer students, schools that might otherwise get lost in the shadows of their larger competitors, now have an opportunity to shine," says Macosko. "Because students often choose to attend a school nearby, this kind of illumination provides a truer view of how influential their neighborhood community college may actually be, regardless of its size."
Students who graduate from a community college often get a head start in the job market, earning a salary that can help defray the costs of transitioning to a more expensive four-year school. And for some, an associate degree may be all they need.
"Two-year or four-year, associate, bachelor's, master's, or even doctorate, AcademicInfluence.com can help you chart a degree path that suits you," says Macosko. "We offer multiple resources to students, from our College Strategist and Desirability Score to our Custom College Rankings and helpful college-related articles. Visit our site and get the help you need, whatever your next educational step might be."
AcademicInfluence.com generates rankings through its unique InfluenceRanking Engine, which scans the web and maps the impact of a school's thought leadership across a variety of disciplines. For details on this high-tech ranking system, see the AcademicInfluence.com About page.
AcademicInfluence.com is the preeminent technology-driven rankings site dedicated to students, researchers, and inquirers from high school through college and beyond, offering resources that connect learners to leaders. AcademicInfluence.com is a part of the EducationAccess group, a family of sites dedicated to lifelong learning and personal growth, including Influence Networks, InfluencePublishers.com (nonfiction publishing and publishers of Bright Notes), IntelligentEducation.com (instructional video library), AlexandriaLibrary.com (free, online library and reader), and soon, Success Portraits (personalized strengths inventory for college and career).
Jed Macosko, Ph.D.