Mid-Plains Community College is one of the Top 10 community colleges in the nation. That's according to a new report from SmartAsset, a company that uses financial modeling to provide advice on major financial decisions.
The organization used 2018-19 school year data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) for its report. More than 800 U.S. community colleges were analyzed across three metrics: graduation and transfer rates, student-to-faculty ratio and tuition and fees.
MPCC ranked seventh and was the only Nebraska community college to make the list.
Mid-Plains currently has the highest graduation and transfer rates of any community college in the state. About 70 percent of first-time, degree-seeking students graduate or transfer to another postsecondary institution after MPCC, according to the college's Office of Institutional Research and Planning.
The student-to-faculty ratio at MPCC is 11 to 1, making it an excellent choice for students seeking individualized instruction.
Smart Asset's assessment of cost was based on in-state tuition and fees for students completing two semesters of coursework. MPCC came in at $3,210 for two semesters during the time period studied. The national average for 2018-19 was $3,660, and the average tuition and fees for private nonprofit four-year colleges was $35,830.
"This ranking by SmartAsset validates that we are meeting our mission of providing exceptional learning opportunities for individual student success," said MPCC President Ryan Purdy. "Our board of governors was deliberate in including 'individual' in our mission, and we work hard to provide opportunities that allow our students to achieve their educational goals."
Tad Pfeifer, MPCC's area director of Institutional Effectiveness, said the college provides a first choice experience with the personal attention from faculty afforded by small class sizes and the student support that results in high success rates.
"We have a local constituency that believes in access to higher education, which results in a commitment to keep costs low for those seeking to better themselves, regardless of background," said Pfeifer. "Not only do we have constituency financial support, but we have leaders at every level of the institution working hard to keep operational costs down. I believe that there isn't another college in Nebraska, or maybe even beyond, that makes every dollar stretch and at the same time has a commitment to helping all of our students succeed."
More information about the study can be found at: https://smartasset.com/checking-account/best-community-colleges-in-america-2020.
More information about MPCC and the programs and resources it offers can be found online at www.mpcc.edu.