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Best Community Colleges in Missouri: Admission Requirements, Transfer Options, and Online Degrees

Oluwaniyi Raji - July 03, 2022


Missouri is home to several prestigious educational institutions in the midwestern region of the United States. Any one of the many accredited community colleges in the state is a good choice for pursuing your education. This article includes a ranking of the best community colleges in Missouri to help you narrow down your search.

For those looking to enroll in a virtual program, we’ve also included a list of the best online community colleges in Missouri. In addition, we’ve looked into the schools that offer specific in-demand programs, such as the best community colleges for nursing in Missouri. We’ll tell you what it takes to gain admission into these schools and provide tips for paying for your education.

How Many Community Colleges Are in Missouri?

There are 12 community colleges in Missouri , according to the Missouri Community College Association. These colleges are scattered throughout the state and offer a wide range of programs and degrees in various popular fields of study. Moreover, the colleges are open to students within and outside the state.

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How Many Community College Districts Are in Missouri?

There are 12 community college districts in Missouri. Community colleges in Missouri are funded partially by local property taxes. This is one reason why these schools cater their education to meet the specific needs of their communities and offer open enrollment.

What Is the Biggest Community College in Missouri?

The biggest community college in Missouri is St. Louis Community College. The school has over 15,000 students from different parts of the world pursuing online and in-person programs. SLCC has served more than 1.3 million students since its founding in 1962.

What Are the Best Community Colleges in Missouri?

Ranking Community College Graduation Rate Student-to-Faculty Ratio
1 North Central Missouri College 50% 19:1
2 Mineral Area College 43% 18:1
3 East Central College 40% 15:1
4 Crowder College 37% 13:1
5 Jefferson College 36% 16:1
6 State Fair Community College 35% 18:1
7 Ozarks Technical Community College 33% 15:1
8 Three Rivers College 29% 19:1
9 St. Charles Community College 24% 20:1
10 St. Louis Community College 21% 19:1

The Best Community Colleges in Missouri: Explained

The best community colleges in Missouri are among the schools with great academic excellence in the United States. They provide two-year education programs with affordable annual tuition. Students can also transfer to larger universities to complete their undergraduate education. Let’s look at their details below.

1

North Central Missouri College

Grad Rate: 50%

North Central Missouri College is a top player in offering quality community college education. This public two-year college in Trenton, Missouri, offers both online and hybrid programs. The Higher Learning Commission accredits the school.

North Central Missouri College Overview

  • Tuition and Fees: $142/credit hour (in district), $208/credit hour (in state), and $245/credit hour (other US residents and international)
  • Student Population: 1,591 (all undergraduate)
  • Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 94%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 19:1
  • Minimum GPA Requirement: None

Best North Central Missouri College Programs

  • Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice . This is a two-year online program for people who want a job investigating crimes and working with security agencies. Upon completing the program, students will know how to evaluate crimes and proffer solutions.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Fire Science. The fire science degree program prepares students to become professional firefighters. Within two years of study, students learn how to respond to emergencies, drive firefighting trucks, and navigate a fire scene.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Behavioral Health Support. This associate degree program provides students with the skills and experience for supporting other practitioners in a healthcare setting. Students learn to manage patients and prepare themselves for a high career success rate in jobs in correctional centers and other human services agencies.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Business Management. As a student pursuing this business degree, you'll complete 15 credits of general education courses and 46 to 58 credit hours of specialized coursework. The program is also available online.
  • Accounting certificate. This online certificate program offers one of the fastest ways to launch your accounting career. Upon completion, you can seek immediate employment as an accounting clerk while acquiring an Associate or Bachelor's Degree in Accounting or related fields.

2

Mineral Area College

Grad Rate: 43%

Mineral Area College is a two-year college located in Park Hills, Missouri. Founded in 1922 to train local teachers, the college now offers associate degrees and certificates in a wide range of in-demand fields. It also offers distance learning, as well as night and weekend courses, to accommodate its students’ busy schedules.

Mineral Area College Overview

  • Tuition: $126/credit hour (in district), $171/credit hour (in state), $223/credit hour (out of state), and $235/credit hour (international)
  • Student Population: 2,410 (all undergraduate)
  • Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 93%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 18:1
  • Minimum GPA Requirement: None

Best Mineral Area College Programs

  • Associate of Applied Science in Child Development. In this program, you will gain the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in a career working with children. Courses include Early Childhood Health and Safety, Emerging Language and Literacy, and Organization and Management of Early Childhood Programs.
  • Associate of Science in Nursing. The Associate of Science in Nursing program at Mineral Area College prepares you to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses. Requirements for this degree include 16 credit hours of prerequisites, 11 credit hours of general education courses, and 45 nursing credit hours.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Business Management: Administrative Office Specialist. Learn about the fundamentals of business management, economics, accounting, and marketing in this associate degree program that requires 64 to 67 credit hours.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Computer Networking. This associate degree program will help you build a solid foundation in computer networking and software development fundamentals. Of the 62 to 66 credits required, 44 must be in the major.

3

East Central College

Grad Rate: 40%

East Central College is a two-year school that prides itself on its ability to offer a high-quality yet affordable educational experience. It offers certificates, associate degrees, and dual enrollment opportunities on its campuses in Union, Rolla, and Washington, Missouri.

East Central College Overview

  • Tuition: $115/credit hour (in district), $161/credit hour (out of district), $235/credit hour (out of state), and $241/credit hour (international students)
  • Student Population: 2,593 (all undergraduate)
  • Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 95%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 15:1
  • Minimum GPA Requirement: None

Best East Central College Programs

  • Associate of Applied Science in Business . The business degree program at East Central College prepares students for a wide range of careers in business. Students also develop soft skills in areas like communication, ethics, and social responsibility. You can earn a certificate of achievement, an associate of arts, or an associate of applied science in this major.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Nursing. This pathway provides students with a strong foundation in general health sciences and nursing practices. Upon completing the program, you're eligible to take the professional nursing exam to become a registered nurse .
  • Associate of Applied Science in Accounting. This program equips students with practical skills required for entry-level accounting positions. You will learn about fundamental accounting principles and book-keeping. You can also transfer to a four-year university or land a good-paying entry-level job upon completion.
  • Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice. This associate degree program provides the necessary preliminary knowledge and skills to thrive in the industry. You can work in tech, security, or information technology agencies. Courses are also easily transferable to a four-year university.
  • Associate of Science in Engineering. The AS in Engineering program at East Central College prepares students to be proficient in various engineering disciplines, such as mechanical, electrical, and chemical engineering. You can also choose an elective pathway in any engineering field, which is transferable to a four-year university.

4

Crowder College

Grad Rate: 37%

With one of the most affordable tuition rates in Missouri, Crowder College is ideal for resident and non-resident students. It is accredited by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Coordinating Board of Higher Education, and the Higher Learning Commission.

Crowder College Overview

  • Tuition: $99/credit hour (in district), $166/credit hour (out of district), and $229/credit hour (international students)
  • Student Population: 4,194 (all undergraduate)
  • Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 94%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 13:1
  • Minimum GPA Requirement: None

Best Crowder College Programs

  • Associate of Arts in Business Administration . This program provides general core studies and specific business-related courses to help students gain the necessary information to thrive in any kind of business. It is also optimal for anyone looking to transfer to a four-year university to complete their Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration or a related field.
  • Associate of Science in Pre-Engineering. Crowder's pre-engineering program is a result of synergy with the Missouri University of Science and Technology. The program trains students in general engineering, but it is not transferable to other engineering schools. Nonetheless, you can be confident of learning with a robust curriculum.
  • Associate of Arts in Social Work. This degree program requires the completion of 64 credit hours. It provides foundation courses for students who want to transition to a bachelor's degree program in social work or a related field. You can also check out some top companies hiring social workers for job openings after completing your program.
  • Associate of Arts in Journalism and Public Relations. In this Associate of Arts program, students learn about mass media such as magazines, television, and the internet. There are internship placements if you would like to work immediately after graduating instead of transferring to a four-year degree.
  • Associate of Arts in Psychology. You will learn about human behavior and gain skills applicable in different industries through this psychology program. Course topics include general psychology as well as autism spectrum disorders, abnormal psychology, and lifespan development.

5

Jefferson College

Grad Rate: 36%

Jefferson College delivers exceptional value in research and general academics. Its resident and non-resident students enjoy some of Missouri's lowest tuition and fee rates and can choose from numerous in-demand associate degree and technical certificate programs.

Jefferson College Overview

  • Tuition: $118/credit hour (in district); $177/credit hour (in state); $236/credit hour (out of state)
  • Student Population: 3,740 (all undergraduate)
  • Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 90%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 16:1
  • Minimum GPA Requirement: None

Best Jefferson College Programs

  • Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Technology . The goal of this program is to prepare students for entry-level automotive positions or advanced automotive degrees. Earn your associate degree before moving on to any accredited school in partnership with Jefferson College for your bachelor's and master's degrees .
  • Associate in Business Administration. Jefferson College offers two degree options for this program, an Associate of Arts and an Associate of Applied Science. There is also a certificate available.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Computer Information Systems. If you're looking to pursue a career in computer and information systems, this program provides two options that might be of interest: the computer support option and the criminal justice cyber security option.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Nursing. Jefferson College offers a bi-level nursing program for students who want to become nurses. All students are admitted as practical nursing students, and some go on to become registered nurses. There are also day and evening programs, so you can select a path that best suits your schedule.
  • Associate in Accounting. The accounting program at Jefferson College prepares graduates to work in a variety of accounting positions, including tax accountant, management accountant, public accountant, or internal auditor. At the end of your program, you can also go on to acquire your bachelor's degree.

6

State Fair Community College

Grad Rate: 35%

This public community college in Sedalia, Missouri, offers a relatively small class size to bring students closer to their instructors. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and has an open admission policy. On-campus benefits include the opportunity to participate in any of the school's 22 student clubs and organizations.

State Fair Community College Overview

  • Tuition: $121/credit hour (in district), $183/credit hour (Missouri residents), and $247/credit hour (non-Missouri residents)
  • Student Population: 3,928 (all undergraduate)
  • Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 92%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 18:1
  • Minimum GPA Requirement: None

Best State Fair Community Colleges Programs

  • Associate of Applied Science in Nursing . This is a top-rated program approved by the Missouri State Board of Nursing. Students gain hands-on experience via the school’s state-of-the-art technology. The Associate of Applied Science requires 60.5 credits, while the one-year professional certificate requires 55.5 credits.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Business Management. You can kickstart your career in business management with this program which takes about 24 months to complete. The program provides you with knowledge of business models and practices and is available online or in person.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Digital Media Communications. This is one of the most sought-after programs at SFCC. It equips you with the knowledge and skills to join the communications and entertainment industry. There are dozens of careers in this field that you can explore with an associate degree before acquiring your bachelor's degree.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice. This program offers you a direct route to a promising career in law enforcement. Some of the numerous entry-level security-based jobs you will qualify for include police and corrections officers. You can opt for an Associate of Arts or Associate of Applied Science degree.
  • Associate of Science in Engineering. In this 67-credit-hour program, you'll learn about the basic principles of engineering as well as the practices and peculiarities of different engineering disciplines. Upon graduating, you can get an entry-level engineering job or further your education at a four-year university.

7

Ozarks Technical Community College

Grad Rate: 33%

Ozarks Technical Community College is a public two-year college located in Springfield, Missouri. Pursue your desired program at OTCC in person or online. The school offers certificates and associate degrees through specialized and general education programs.

Ozarks Technical Community College Overview

  • Tuition: $122/credit hour (in-district students Tier I); $125/credit hour (in-district students Tier II); $136/credit hour (in-district students Tier III); $171/credit hour (out-of-district students Tier I); $176/credit hour (out-of-district students Tier II); $187/credit hour (out-of-district students Tier III); $219/credit hour (out-of-state students Tier I); $223/credit hour (out-of-state students Tier II); $236/credit hour (out-of-state students Tier III)
  • Student Population: 11,237 (all undergraduate)
  • Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 95%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 15:1
  • Minimum GPA Requirement: None

Best Ozarks Technical Community College Programs

  • Associate of Applied Science in Automation and Robotics . Ozarks Technical employs state-of-the-art facilities to train students in mechatronics, fluid power systems, and industrial robotics. Students learn to develop and maintain automated systems and must complete 63 credit hours to earn this Associate of Applied Science degree.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Business and Marketing. This program provides you with the foundational skills needed to thrive in business and marketing. You can also major in retailing or consumer psychology.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity. The Associate of Applied Science program prepares you for entry-level positions in IT-based firms. You will learn data communication, Cisco networking, firewall essentials, and the basics of cyber operations while completing 61 credit units.
  • Associate of Applied Arts in Health Information Technology. Ozarks Technical Community College trains students to become knowledgeable in the latest healthcare and information technology with this program. Students also learn about health administrative laws and how to organize healthcare records and paperwork.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Hospitality Management. This program provides you with the tools necessary to be outstanding in the hospitality industry. Available courses include hospitality accounting, catering and banquets, and room management. You can work in hotels, restaurants, travel agencies, or lodging companies when you graduate.

8

Three Rivers College

Grad Rate: 29%

Three Rivers College is a public two-year community college that offers numerous associate degree and certificate programs online and in person at its main campus in Poplar Bluff. It also offers affordable education for local, out-of-state, and international students.

Three Rivers College Overview

  • Tuition: $102/credit hour (in district); $143/credit hour (out of district)
  • Student Population: 2,759 (all undergraduate)
  • Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 94%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 19:1
  • Minimum GPA Requirement: None

Best Three Rivers College Programs

  • Associate of Applied Science in Nursing . This program prepares students for licensure examinations in nursing. Students complete both general education courses and nursing-specific courses. The program location is on the Poplar Bluff main campus.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Business Management. This two-year intensified degree program focuses on helping students develop relevant managerial skills for diverse workforces. An internship is provided to ensure you gain real-world experience applying business principles before graduating.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Fire Science. The program trains you to become a proficient firefighter within two years of study. Your associate degree can also serve as a transfer degree for your bachelor's program at a four-year university.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Construction Engineering Technology. If you are interested in civil engineering or environmental engineering, this program serves as a foundation to jumpstart your career. You'll learn about computer-aided drafting, surveying, construction management, and other related fields.
  • Associate of Applied Science - Paramedic. The paramedic program at TRC combines online classes and hands-on training. Students learn how to manage emergencies and provide a supportive environment at hospitals and other places where their services are needed. There is also a clinical internship available to ensure you get the best education possible.

9

St. Charles Community College

Grad Rate: 24%

Located in Cottleville, Missouri, St. Charles Community College is a public two-year college offering associate degrees and certificates in a wide range of fields. The school was founded in 1986 and is situated in a suburb of St. Charles, Missouri.

St. Charles Community College Overview

  • Tuition: $106/credit hour (in state); $216/credit hour (out of state)
  • Student Population: 6,014 (all undergraduate)
  • Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 81%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 20:1
  • Minimum GPA Requirement: None

Best St. Charles Community College Programs

  • Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration . This is a 61-credit program that provides students with basic business administration and management knowledge. Students can choose their desired pathway, such as marketing, finance, or accounting.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Information Technology. The information technology program cuts across different career paths. Graduates can work toward becoming computer system analysts or network architects. You must complete 62 or 63 credits to receive this associate degree.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Cyber Security. Some courses available through this associate degree program include digital forensics, Linux administration, and ethical hacking. The program equips you to thrive in the competitive tech industry.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Law Enforcement. This program is for those who want to work in law enforcement or other agencies related to maintaining law and order. You must complete 60 to 62 credits to be eligible for graduation.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Graphic Design. Skill up your creativity with the graphic design program at St. Charles Community College. This program helps you gain mastery in editing and print production.

10

St. Louis Community College

Grad Rate: 21%

St. Louis Community College is a public two-year college located in Bridgeton, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. Founded in 1962, the school has served over 1.3 million students and reports that 50 percent of the city of St. Louis’ population is attending the school or has attended the school.

St. Louis Community College Overview

  • Tuition: $122/credit hour (in district); $61/credit hour (in district aged 60 yrs+); $171/credit hour (in state); $233/credit hour (out of state); $243/credit hour (international)
  • Student Population: 15,206 (all undergraduate)
  • Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 86%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 19:1
  • Minimum GPA Requirement: None

Best St. Louis Community College Programs

  • Associate of Applied Science in Accounting . The Associate of Applied Science in Accounting is a two-year program that provides students with knowledge of accounting practices, auditing, and financial responsibility. Use your degree to get an entry-level job or pursue an advanced degree.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Nursing. This degree program prepares students to become registered nurses. The program is approved by the Missouri State Board of Nursing and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity. In this 60-credit program, you will learn Python, Unix/Linux, digital forensics, and other relevant topics needed to become a professional in the field of cyber security. You can gain an entry-level job with the government or in a private firm with this associate degree.
  • Associate in Science in Engineering Science. This program allows you to take foundational courses in engineering and then continue your studies in any specialized engineering area at a four-year university. STLCC partners with many four-year universities, making credit transfer easier.
  • Associate in Applied Science in Hospitality Management. STLCC provides a robust curriculum for students pursuing hospitality management. The coursework introduces students to different hospitality segments, including event planning, food and nutrition, travel and tourism, and hostels.

Best Online Community Colleges in Missouri

  1. Mineral Area College. MAC Online is the online school for Mineral Area College. The school’s high graduation rate is indicative of its top-quality education programs, which are available at affordable tuition rates via its online and on-campus programs. With 59 online programs in business alone, you are sure to find the distance education you’re looking for with MAC Online.
  2. North Central Missouri College. Despite being a relatively small institution, North Central Missouri College offers many convenient options for busy students. You can pursue an online Associate Degree in Nursing, Fire Science, Criminal Justice, or Business. All online students also have access to scholarships, online tutoring, and a virtual bookstore for better academic performance.
  3. St. Louis Community College. Students can pursue various associate degree and certificate programs online at STLCC. Some of its in-demand online programs are in accounting, business administration, and criminal justice. The school’s online students can access free Microsoft resources for better learning experiences.

Best Online Associate Degrees

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Other Missouri Community College Rankings

In addition to the overall best community colleges in Missouri, some make it particularly easy for you to transfer to a four-year school. There are also those that offer bachelor’s degrees so transferring is not necessary. Below we list the best of both types as well as the best community colleges in Missouri for nursing, a field that’s growing quickly across the US.

Best Community Colleges in Missouri for Transfer

  1. St. Louis Community College. It is not always easy transferring from a community college to a four-year institution. SLCC provides guidance and partners with local schools like Missouri State University and Maryville University to make transferring easier.
  2. Ozarks Technical Community College. You can complete your associate degree at OTCC and easily move on to an accredited four-year university. A few that OTCC partners with are Missouri State University, Grantham University, Aspen University, and Kansas Wesleyan University.
  3. Jefferson College. At Jefferson College, students enjoy transfer support services that enable them to continue their education at a four-year university. Those popular with Jefferson graduates include the University of Central Missouri, Logan University, Missouri State University, Murray State University, and the University of Kansas.

Best Community Colleges for Nursing in Missouri

  1. St. Louis Community College. The two-year nursing degree program at St. Louis Community College trains students to become registered nurses. Plus, the program costs $19,000 , which SLCC boasts is just 20 percent of the cost of similar programs in St. Louis.
  2. North Central Missouri College. NCMC offers versatility through its nursing program with three options for associate degrees. You can choose to pursue your degree online or at the Maryville or Trenton campuses.
  3. State Fair Community College. The affordable bi-level nursing degree program makes SFCC a good choice for prospective nursing students. The first degree, year one, prepares you to become a licensed practical nurse. You can complete the second year to prepare to become a registered nurse.

Best Missouri Community Colleges That Offer Bachelor’s Degrees

  1. Cox College. With a track record of high-quality education, Cox College offers two professional undergraduate degrees for students, a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing and a Bachelor’s Degree in Diagnostic Imaging.
  2. Cottey College. A women’s college, Cottey College offers a wide range of bachelor’s degree programs. Some of these programs are in business administration, criminology, psychology, and organizational leadership. The school also offers capstone projects to give students hands-on experience before graduation.

Best Associate Degrees

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Best Community College Programs in Missouri

Four students seated in a classroom with books open on their desks
Get a solid education in the most in-demand fields from the best community colleges in Missouri.

The best community colleges in Missouri are committed to meeting the educational and vocational demands of their local communities. Popular jobs in the state include nurses, business professionals, and accountants, and the schools’ educational offerings reflect this.

In this section we’ll take a look at Missouri’s most popular fields of study and how to gain admission into the best community college programs. We’ll also explore the salaries and job outlook for jobs in these fields.

Nursing

At least six of the best community colleges in Missouri offer nursing programs. These programs include professional certificates and associate degrees, with some extending their options to a bachelor’s degree. The schools also make transferring credits to a four-year university easy for their graduates for those who want to advance their nursing education further.

Business Administration and Management

Like nursing, business administration and management is also a popular offering of Missouri community colleges. Graduates of these certificate and degree programs can choose from a wide range of career paths, including human resources manager, office administrator, entrepreneur, business development consultant, and more.

Criminal Justice

The need for criminal justice professionals, including police officers and security guards, is high across Missouri and the rest of the US. Missouri community colleges offer many options for this field of study, through both online and in-person programs. Detectives and criminal investigators are higher-paying careers you can pursue in this field.

Accounting

The need for accountants in Missouri is high, and it is a good-paying job. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are more than 30,000 accounting jobs in Missouri , with an average salary of over $70,000. You can earn an accounting certificate or an associate degree in this field from Missouri’s community colleges and have the option to transfer to a four-year university to pursue further studies.

Environmental Sciences

With scientists warning of the dangers of global warming, the need for environmental science professionals is on the rise. The best community colleges in Missouri offer several options for those interested in this field, including Crowder College’s physical sciences degree and St. Louis Community College’s engineering science degree.

Missouri Community College Admission Requirements

The admission requirements to attend a community college in Missouri include proof of a high school diploma or its equivalent, standardized test scores, and sometimes previous certifications. You will also need to submit a FAFSA form if you want to pursue federal student aid. Admission requirements may vary according to each school.

Missouri Community College GPA Requirements

Missouri community colleges provide open access enrollment for students, meaning that they accept students regardless of their level of college readiness. That being said, most high schools in the US require a 2.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale to graduate from high school, and high school graduation or its equivalent is required for college admission.

There are exceptions to the open-access admissions policy. An example is the nursing science program at St. Louis Community College, which requires a minimum GPA of 2.5 for admission due to the popularity of the program and high number of applicants.

Residency Requirements for Community Colleges in Missouri

Most community colleges in Missouri define residency based on how long a student or their legal guardian has lived in the state. Residents must have lived in Missouri for a year prior to the start of classes. To be regarded as a resident student, you also must intend to make Missouri your base for an indefinite period.

Establishing residency in Missouri can save students quite a bit on tuition. For example, St. Louis Community College out-of-state students pay $233 per credit hour, international students pay $243 per credit hour, and district resident students pay $122 per credit hour. Missouri residents are also eligible for in-state scholarships and other funding.

Missouri Community College Age Requirements

You have to be at least 17 years old to pursue a degree from community colleges in Missouri in most cases. However, many schools allow younger students to attend classes, just not as degree-seeking students. Age requirements may vary according to each school and specific program.

Missouri Community College Admission Requirements: A Summary

  • High school diploma or its equivalent
  • At least 17 years old
  • Standardized test scores (ACT/SAT)
  • Previous certifications, if any
  • Proof of residency, if applicable

Why Study in Missouri?

There are many reasons to consider studying in Missouri. Three key factors that make the state beneficial to your educational and career journey are its high quality of education, low cost of living, and diverse culture.

High-Quality Education

Missouri offers excellent educational opportunities for prospective college students. One indicator of a good education is a school’s graduation rate. Though less than 20 percent of community college students graduate with a degree or certificate, according to a recent Forbes article, all 10 of the schools included on our best community colleges in Missouri list have a higher graduation rate.

Cost of Living

Affordability is one of the numerous things you’ll enjoy in Missouri. US News & World Report recently ranked Missouri the fifth most affordable state in the United States, behind only Ohio, Oklahoma, Michigan, and Iowa. Rankings were based on things like housing costs and other expenses of daily living.

Culture

Missouri has a diverse, rich culture, cutting through the midwestern and southern regions of the US. It has popular tourist attractions, including a restaurant inside a cave, and a large lakes region. Known as “the City of Fountains,” Kansas City, Missouri, offers award-winning barbecue, free world-famous art museums, and a variety of sports and other entertainment venues.

Missouri Employment Outlook for Community College Students

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reveals that the unemployment rate in Missouri is on the decline , with a decrease of 1.4 percent between May 2021 and May 2022. This shows that the employment outlook for community college students in Missouri is strong.

5 In-Demand Missouri Jobs

You can get entry-level jobs in Missouri with your community college degree and work your way up to higher salaries and positions, or continue on with your education at a four-year university for better job opportunities. This section highlights the most in-demand jobs in Missouri and their average salaries and anticipated job growth rates.

1

Nurse Practitioner

Average Salary: $123,780

Nurse practitioners treat patients with different ailments independently or with a team. They work hand-in-hand with other healthcare personnel like doctors to ensure quality healthcare service delivery. Missouri community colleges provide the education you need to become a practical or registered nurse.

  • Average Salary in Missouri: $103,490
  • Employment in Missouri: 6,940
  • Overall Job Growth: 45%
  • Best Missouri Community College Program: Nursing

2

Environmental Science and Protection Technician

Average Salary: $47,370

The primary duties of an environmental science and protection technician are to carry out tests, investigate sources of pollution, and monitor environmental practices that affect humankind. They also often work under environmental scientists, engineers, and specialists. Being a promising career path, you might consider earning a bachelor's degree in a field related to environmental science.

  • Average Salary in Missouri: $49,660
  • Employment in Missouri: 580
  • Overall Job Growth: 11%
  • Best Missouri Community College Program: Environmental Sciences

3

Administrative Services Manager

Average Salary: $99,290

As an administrative services manager, you will plan, coordinate, and direct activities within an organization to ensure smooth workflows. To remain competitive, you need to acquire a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration or any related field. Missouri community colleges also provide certificate programs to help advance your career.

  • Average Salary in Missouri: $107,440
  • Employment in Missouri: 2,780
  • Overall Job Growth: 9%
  • Best Missouri Community College Program: Business Management and Administration

4

Detective and Criminal Investigator

Average Salary: $59,380

Detectives and criminal investigators conduct investigations into different criminal cases, especially those that involve violations of federal, state, or local laws. You can increase your average earnings and professional outlook by pursuing an advanced degree in criminal investigations or related fields.

  • Average Salary in Missouri: $72,010
  • Employment in Missouri: 1,840
  • Overall Job Growth: 13%
  • Best Missouri Community College Program: Criminal Justice

5

Accountant

Average Salary: $77,250

Your job responsibilities as an accountant include analyzing accounting records and preparing financial statements and budgets. To advance in the industry, you have to complete your bachelor's degree. You can also earn a practicing license and become a certified public accountant .

  • Average Salary in Missouri: $72,120
  • Employment in Missouri: 30,010
  • Overall Job Growth: 7%
  • Best Missouri Community College Program: Accounting

What Community Colleges in Missouri Have Dorms?

There are some community colleges in Missouri with dorms for on-campus students. The benefits of living in a dorm include security, a community of like-minded people, Internet connection, and access to basic amenities. However, you may not have complete privacy, and your roommate or neighbors could be loud or cause other difficulties.

Missouri Community Colleges With Dorms

  1. Crowder College
  2. Jefferson College
  3. Missouri Valley College
  4. Westminster College

What Community Colleges Offer Winter Intersession in Missouri?

Winter intersession occurs between the fall and spring semesters, and could last for four to five weeks. Many students prefer colleges with this option because it allows them to complete more credit hours in a shorter time frame. Others like it because they can then take fewer credit hours during the rest of the year, in case they need to work or attend to other responsibilities.

Missouri Community Colleges With Winter Intersession

  1. East Central College
  2. St. Louis Community College
  3. Westminster College

What Community Colleges in Missouri Have Summer Classes?

Summer classes are a popular offering at community colleges. Most of the best community colleges in Missouri allow students to take courses during the summer, which, like the winter intersession, can help students graduate sooner, or spread out their credit hours over a greater time frame.

Missouri Community Colleges With Summer Classes

  1. Moberly Area Community Colle g e
  2. North Central Missouri College
  3. State Fair Community College
  4. St. Louis Community College
  5. Westminster College

How to Apply to Community College in Missouri

You can apply to a community college in Missouri by following the application process outlined on the school’s website. Some common application steps include completing an online or physical application form and submitting your high school transcripts and standardized test scores.

Missouri Community College Application Steps

  1. Determine your career path, preferred program, and school.
  2. Fill out and submit the application form related to your specific program.
  3. Submit your high school or college transcripts and any required standardized test scores.
  4. Pay the application fee, if any.
  5. Apply for financial aid by submitting your FAFSA form.

Cost of Community Colleges in Missouri

Community colleges in Missouri cost about $3,545 for in-state students per year and $6,797 for out-of-state students, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. This number represents the tuition and associated fees. The schools in this article charge between $100 and $250 per credit for resident and non-resident students. However, the exact cost depends on the college.

Are Community Colleges Ever Free in Missouri?

Yes, community colleges are sometimes free in Missouri. You might be able to attend a two-year school for free if you receive a Federal Pell Grant or some other need-based program, or a scholarship. The state also offers different tuition aid programs, such as Access Missouri, to help students attend community colleges or technical schools and graduate debt-free.

Which Community Colleges Are Free in Missouri?

The College of the Ozarks in Missouri offers a free-tuition option for all full-time students. They must work 15 hours per week and two 40-hour weeks during school to meet the tuition waiver requirement. All credits from their work program, any aid they receive, and the C of O Tuition Assurance Scholarship combine to cover the cost of tuition.

Who Qualifies for Free Community College in Missouri?

Some state programs qualify students for free community college in Missouri, including the A+, Access Missouri, and Bright Flight financial aid programs. Any recipient of these programs can attend a community college in Missouri for free. There are also opportunities for federal aid that covers tuition. All full-time students at the College of the Ozarks qualify for free tuition too.

How to Apply for Free Community College in Missouri

  1. Complete and submit the FAFSA form when applying to school, to qualify for federal aid.
  2. Look for state and local aid opportunities, in the form of grants and scholarships that don’t require repayment. Complete their applications as indicated.
  3. Talk to someone at your college of interest to see if there are opportunities for aid and ask how to apply.
  4. Research scholarships related to your particular field of study or current activities and complete the relevant applications.

Scholarships for Community Colleges in Missouri

Community college scholarships offer a great opportunity to obtain your education without acquiring student debt. They are available from the schools themselves as well as from private and government organizations. Follow all instructions according to the scholarship program you are applying for and wait for further details from the scholarship governing body.

How to Get a Scholarship for Community Colleges in Missouri

  1. Conduct a scholarship search and determine the options and their requirements that are suitable for you.
  2. Check for residential restrictions and make sure you meet them.
  3. Submit all the required documents, usually including an application form.
  4. If you need help, call the admissions office of your school and ask for financial aid help.

Missouri Community College Scholarships List

  • A+ Scholarship | Amount: $189 per credit hour. This is one of the best scholarship programs in Missouri. It covers tuition and common fees for two years at any community or technical college in the state. However, the program covers only the remaining fees after students have exhausted other financial options, such as federal aid and loans. This helps the state government utilize funds and ensure more students benefit from the program. Resident and non-resident students can apply.
  • Access Missouri Financial Assistance | Amount: $1,300 per year. Like most scholarship programs in the state, Access Missouri is a need-based program for increasing students’ access to their school of choice. Your financial status is determined by your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) available on your FAFSA profile. To be eligible for consideration, you must be a US citizen and a Missouri resident, a full-time undergraduate in a Missouri school, and have an EFC not above $12,000. Also, your program must not be related to any religious studies.
  • Bright Flight Financial Program | Amount: $1,000 – $3,000 (one time). This merit-based scholarship program encourages high-performing students to attend accredited Missouri colleges. However, your award amount depends on your ACT or SAT scores and the available funds allocated for the program. You must be a US citizen and pursue a program not affiliated with theology and divinity in a recognized Missouri college to qualify for the scholarship. You must also apply within the stipulated time frame to avoid missing out on the opportunity.

Other Missouri Community College Financial Aid Options

Missouri community college financial aid opportunities are numerous. They are also beneficial to both resident and non-resident students, giving each student a chance to acquire a debt-free education. It’s in your best interest to explore these options and reduce or eliminate your financial burden.

Federal Grants

The US Department of Education provides several community college federal grants , such as the Federal Pell Grant, to help prospective students with education costs. To qualify for federal grants, you must fulfill all eligibility requirements and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year you attend college.

Missouri Grants

In conjunction with the US government, the Missouri government has provided over $13 million in grants for different sectors, including education. Citizens of Missouri are eligible for these grants as long as they meet the application requirements.

Student Loans

Student loans are borrowed funds designed to help students fulfill the financial requirements of their degree. They can cover tuition, accommodation, books and supplies, and general living expenses. There are different types of student loans, so be sure to research to find the best one for you.

College and University Scholarships

This form of financial aid doesn’t require repayment. Check your school’s website for any scholarships it offers, or inquire with the admissions office. Scholarships can be based on financial need or on the specific field you’re pursuing, on your past academic performance, or on other indicators of your future success.

Kids’ Chance of Missouri

Kids’ Chance of Missouri is a nonprofit group that focuses on providing educational scholarships to children of injured or deceased workers in Missouri. The loss of a salary earner can disrupt many activities in a home. Kids’ Chance of Missouri provides easier access to education for these children.

Private Grants and Scholarships

Private organizations, businesses, and individuals also award grants and scholarships. They’re mostly merit-based and sometimes cover the full cost of your program. This type of financial aid is not usually limited to residents.

The Best Financial Aid for Your Situation

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What Are the Financial Aid Requirements for Community Colleges in Missouri?

The financial aid requirements for community colleges in Missouri are US citizenship and Missouri residency, completion of FAFSA, and enrollment in a Missouri community college. In addition, you must be at least 17 years old before applying for any type of financial aid in the state. These requirements are applicable to both public and private community colleges.

Missouri Financial Aid Requirements: Overview

  • US citizen and Missouri resident
  • High school graduate (or the equivalent)
  • Enrolled in a Missouri college
  • Completed FAFSA form
  • At least 17 years old

Should You Attend Community College in Missouri?

Yes, you should attend a community college in Missouri to have a top educational experience. Completing your two-year education in Missouri is affordable and convenient. Plus, you will meet like-minded people that can contribute to your career and personal growth. Missouri offers a low cost of living and a rich cultural experience as well.

Missouri Community College Rankings: Methodology

Our ranking of Missouri community colleges is based mainly on graduation rate. If graduation rate statistics were not available, we used data on student-to-faculty ratios to rank the remaining schools. These figures, sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), best reflect a student’s chances of getting the education and help they need to succeed.

Best Accelerated Degrees

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Best Missouri Community Colleges FAQ

How are Missouri community colleges funded?

Community colleges in Missouri are funded through diverse sources, such as tuition, local property taxes, state allocations, and private donations. However, each revenue source varies according to each college’s budget and needs. This means that the revenue for College A won’t be the same as College B because of the difference in structure and mode of operation.

What is the main religion in Missouri?

The main religion in Missouri is Protestantism, with Baptists making up the largest denomination, followed by Methodists and Presbyterians. The state also has a large Catholic population with small groups of Jewish and Muslim populations.

What state board is in charge of higher education in Missouri?

The Missouri Department of Higher Education (MDHE) oversees the administrative responsibilities of the state system of higher education. The state’s higher ed is also supported by the Missouri Community College Association, which specializes in workforce development and ensures community colleges in the state receive adequate attention and support.

How long does it take to study in a community college in Missouri?

It takes about two years to complete your college education at any community college in Missouri. This is because community colleges mainly offer associate and certificate programs. Nonetheless, the exact duration depends on your particular program curriculum.

About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.

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Oluwaniyi Raji

About the author: Raji is an expert content writer who specializes in B2B business sales writing and blog writing. Outside of his writing career, he is interested in learning how to code and develop websites. Raji holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Lagos.

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