Muskegon Community College has been ranked 27th nationally by Value Colleges in its Top 50 Best Value Community Colleges of 2016 in the United States.
“The mission of Value Colleges is providing prospective students with a practical, thorough guide to the most financially sound investments in higher education degrees,” noted on the organization on its website.
“Value Colleges researches and ranks reputable, accredited college degree programs to find the perfect balance between quality and cost, making it easier for you to see just what you’ll need to put into an education, and just what you can expect to get out of it. We post numbered rankings of colleges and degree programs, showing you the colleges with the lowest tuition, the best return on investment, the best job placement statistics, and the best ratios between all of those factors.”
“We are gratified to be named to the Value Colleges list of national Best Value Community Colleges,” said MCC President Dale K. Nesbary. “We are proud of our efforts to help students succeed and Value Colleges’ findings recognize our efforts in this regard.”
Value Colleges used data from College Measures, a Gates Foundation-supported database, and surveyed the 1,717 Community Colleges in the U.S. that offer two-year associate degrees. They then filtered their results to find schools that met following criteria which they deemed to be most relevant in determining the best value community colleges:
- Average-to-high graduation rates (over 45%)
- Low-to-average cost (under $10k per year)
- Over 1,000 enrolled students, and
- American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) membership.
Their research produced 614 community colleges, all public and with open admission. From that list, Value Colleges selected its Top 50 based on three metrics:
- Graduation/Transfer rate (IPEDS database);
- Mid-level salary for graduates (when applicable/from payscale.com); and
- Actual tuition (IPEDS database)
“These numbers give us a complete impression of how much each community college is worth, from cost to return,” stated Value Colleges, which also provided comments on each of its 50 selected institutions. They offered the following profile of MCC:
Muskegon Community College, in Muskegon, MI, tests the limits of what a community college can do and, in the process, brings its students a quality education that is the envy of many 4-year colleges. Muskegon offers cutting edge science and technology resources, with programs such as the Outdoor Learning Center, a laboratory for alternative energy research and demonstrations, as well as a planetarium and observatory. Muskegon nursing students earn over a 95% first-time pass rate on their NCLEX exams, and 100% LPN pass rate, and a partnership with Western Michigan University, Ferris State University and Grand Valley State University allows students to earn upper-level courses on the Muskegon campus. With all that, Muskegon proves that community college can achieve.
Only two Michigan community colleges were among the Top 50 – Muskegon Community College and Schoolcraft College (6th).
“With university and college enrollments on the decline, and tuition rates going steadily higher and higher, there is a lot of concern in higher education these days that not enough people are getting the education they need to compete in a tight labor market,” noted Value Colleges in releasing its Top 50 list. “Community colleges are a key part of picking up that slack, by providing career and technical training, associate’s degrees, and the opportunity to transfer to 4-year institutions.”
“Today, as much as 45 percent of U.S. undergraduates are enrolled at a community college, and community colleges are even more important for first-generation and minority students: well over half of all African-American, Native American, and Latino students are enrolled in community colleges, according to the American Association of Community Colleges Fact Sheet. Community colleges are central to social mobility, educational access, and entry into professional careers.”
“However, for all their importance, community colleges still tend to get ignored. There are few reliable national rankings of community colleges, and most of those focus on the same kinds of variables that are used to rank four-year institutions – which, frankly, don’t apply to community colleges, which do a very different job. That’s why Value Colleges is here. Our mission at Value Colleges is to run the numbers and find the institutions that will provide the best return on your educational investment – not the ones that spend the most on marketing, but the ones that combine affordability and quality so that graduates can be assured that their hard work and hard-earned money aren’t wasted.”
For a complete list of the Top 50 Best Value Community Colleges in the United States, visit: http://www.valuecolleges.com/rankings/best-community-colleges-2016/