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NM Community Colleges Score High In WalletHub Survey

NM Community Colleges Score High In WalletHub Survey

In a list of this year's Best and Worst Community Colleges, New Mexico had three in the top 100.

Individual community colleges vary in performance and affordability. To determine where students can receive the best education at the lowest price, WalletHub compared more than 700 community colleges across 14 key indicators of cost and quality.

The data set ranges from the cost of in-state tuition and fees to student-faculty ratio to graduation rate. New Mexico ranked 17 out of 44 in a survey of 2017’s States with the Best and Worst Community-College Systems.

In a list of this year’s Best and Worst Community Colleges, New Mexico had three in the top 100. Mesalands Community College ranked nine out of over 700 community colleges surveyed. The Tucumcari college received an 11 in its “Education Outcomes” rank, but a 53 in terms of cost and financing.

Albuquerque’s Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute ranked 12, with a cost and financing rank of eight, likely due to having the second lowest cost of in-state tuition and fees. It’s “Education Outcomes” rank, however, was 81. “Education Outcomes” are determined by the first-year retention rate, graduation rate, transfer rate, student-faculty ratio and share of full-time faculty.

Eastern New Mexico University-Ruidoso Campus ranked 29, with an “Education Outcomes” rank of 21. The college received much lower scores in cost and financing (216) and career outcomes (149). “Career Outcomes” include the student-loan default rate and the return on educational investment.

Clovis Community College ranked 126, the University of New Mexico-Gallup Campus received a score of 157, and New Mexico Junior College earned 168.

Other New Mexico community college scored were the University of New Mexico-Valencia County Campus (237), New Mexico State University-Alamogordo (315), New Mexico State University-Carlsbad (320), Central New Mexico Community College (324), Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell Campus (349), San Juan College (431), New Mexico State University-Dona Ana (455), University of New Mexico-Los Alamos Campus (502) and Santa Fe Community College (639).

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Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.

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