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In a study that surveyed hundreds of community colleges across the U.S., Itawamba Community College ranked 25 in best community colleges, according to a recent study from financial website WalletHub.

The 2019’s Best & Worst Community Colleges list was released Monday and looked at 710 community colleges which are part of the American Association of Community Colleges. According to the website of the American Association of Community Colleges, more than 1,200 institutions representing more than 12 million students are a part, and WalletHub acknowledged that they chose to look at a sample size rather than all member schools due to data limitations.

WalletHub focused on community colleges because of their affordability:

“Community colleges offer students the ability to get higher education without having as much financial strain. During the 2018 to 2019 academic year, tuition and fees for full-time, in-state enrollment at a public two-year college averaged $3,660 per year versus $10,320 at a public four-year institution and $35,830 at a four-year private school.”

Community colleges were ranked according to three dimensions: cost and financing, education outcomes and career outcomes. ICC earned an overall score of 63.09 out of 100 and ranked 159 in cost and financing, 75 in education outcomes and 156 in career outcomes.

To compare, another regional Mississippi college, Northeast Mississippi Community College, ranked 305 on the list with a total score of 54.25 out of 100 points and ranking of 271 in cost and financing, 557 in education outcomes and 269 in career outcomes.

The importance of community colleges for workforce training was something current GOP gubernatorial candidate Tate Reeves outlined in a workforce development plan proposing $75 million be invested in community colleges. In a previous Daily Journal article, Reeves commented on working out plans for how the $75 million would be spent to modernize workforce training facilities.

“We have more work to do on exactly what that will look like. We will work with our community college partners to ensure that we’re meeting the demands that they have, and that is something that we will try very hard to work with them over the next six months,” Reeves said in a July 24 press conference at the Belden Conference Center of Itawamba Community College.

The study included the rankings for 12 total Mississippi schools, listed in order by highest to lowest community college ranking in Mississippi: Itawamba Community College, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Pearl River Community College, Meridian Community College, East Mississippi Community College, East Central Community College, Hinds Community College, Northeast Mississippi Community College, Jones County Junior College, Holmes Community College, Coahoma Community College and Mississippi Delta Community College.

danny.mcarthur@journalinc.com Twitter: @Danny_McArthur_

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