By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Wyoming is ranked as the state with the best community college system in the nation in a recent study.
Personal finance site WalletHub ranked Wyoming as having the best community college system and ranked Casper College and the Northern Wyoming Community College District (which consists of Sheridan and Gillette colleges) in the top 10 of the best community colleges in the country.
The latter came in at number five, while the former was ranked number 10.
The worst-ranking states included Mississippi (40) and Ohio (41). Ten states, including Utah and Florida, didn’t have enough information to be included in the ranking.
For the state-by-state analysis, WalletHub calculated a weighted average of the scores earned by the community colleges in each state and the number of students enrolled in each school.
For the schools analysis, WalletHub evaluated them based on three factors: cost and financing, education outcomes and career outcomes.
In the schools comparison, Central Wyoming College also ranked high due to its low student default rate.
Of Wyoming’s seven community colleges, Northern Wyoming Community College District ranked highest, while Eastern Wyoming College ranked lowest.
“Free college means more people overall will likely seek out advanced training/learning that will benefit them in the labor market,” Arizona State University professor Molly Ott told WalletHub. “But also, other advantages arise from eliminating tuition, even among those who would’ve gone to college regardless.”
Editor’s note: This story has been updated at 9:20 a.m. Tuesday. The story originally identified Northern Wyoming Community College System as “Northwest Wyoming Community College System.”