FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - The Kentucky Community and Technical College System has been ranked as one of the top community college systems in the nation, according to a study by WalletHub.com, a financial information website.
Their study, released Monday, ranks KCTCS as the ninth-best state system, while Hopkinsville Community College was ranked as the 18th best individual community college in the United States.
WalletHub notes, “University education is out of reach for many Americans, especially those from low-income households. But thanks to community colleges, higher education is more accessible than ever. Compared with public four-year institutions, where tuition and fees cost almost three times as much on average, community colleges offer many savings for students.”
In order to determine the best and worst community-college systems in the U.S., WalletHub says they drew upon an analysis of 2019’s Best and Worst Community Colleges, which was conducted at the individual-school level across a sample of 710 institutions and 19 key metrics.
For the state-by-state analysis, they calculated a weighted average of the scores earned by the community colleges in each state and the number of students enrolled in each school. The state with the highest average corresponds with a rank of No. 1, or the best community-college system. We also took into account only the states that had at least two community colleges present in our sample of the Best & Worst Community Colleges in order to ensure comparability of results.
The top 10 states in their analysis were: Washington, North Dakota, Minnesota, Colorado, Arkansas, Maryland, New York, Wyoming, Kentucky and Tennessee.
Data used to create this ranking were collected from the National Center for Education Statistics, CNBC, U.S. Department of Education, Council for Community & Economic Research and College Measures.
WalletHub says some states make community college even more accessible than usual, with “College Promise” programs that give residents “free rides” to community college. New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Tennessee are some of the states that have joined so far. Such initiatives are proving to be more critical than ever, with college tuition increases outpacing inflation and the need for post-secondary training in most jobs protected to grow in the future.