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.
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|
|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.
Best Online Community Colleges in Missouri
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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
Best Community College Programs 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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- Crowder College
- Jefferson College
- Missouri Valley College
- 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
- East Central College
- St. Louis Community College
- 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
- Moberly Area Community College
- North Central Missouri College
- State Fair Community College
- St. Louis Community College
- 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
- Determine your career path, preferred program, and school.
- Fill out and submit the application form related to your specific program.
- Submit your high school or college transcripts and any required standardized test scores.
- Pay the application fee, if any.
- 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
- Complete and submit the FAFSA form when applying to school, to qualify for federal aid.
- Look for state and local aid opportunities, in the form of grants and scholarships that don’t require repayment. Complete their applications as indicated.
- Talk to someone at your college of interest to see if there are opportunities for aid and ask how to apply.
- 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
- Conduct a scholarship search and determine the options and their requirements that are suitable for you.
- Check for residential restrictions and make sure you meet them.
- Submit all the required documents, usually including an application form.
- 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.
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.
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 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
Best Missouri Community Colleges FAQ
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.
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.
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.
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.
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