Co-Lin Top 50 Best Online Community Colleges for Financial Aid Assistance

Co-Lin is one of four Mississippi Community Colleges named in the Top 50 Best Online Community Colleges for Financial Aid Assistance by Co-Lin ranked 34th in the nation.

For this Top 50 ranking, each two-year community college and comparable technical college located within the United States offering a selection of online academic programs for distance-learners was eligible for consideration. They ranked each community college based on the following criteria:

  • 1/3: Student Financial Aid Rates;
  • 1/3: Freshman Retention Rates and;
  • 1/3: Graduation Rates

After scoring each school based on these criteria, the schools were compared against each other to determine their final placement in the Top 50 ranking. To gather the information, each of the school’s websites were utilized whenever possible to obtain their overall Student Financial Aid Rates, their Freshman Retention Rates, and their total Graduation Rates. In cases where the information was unavailable on a school’s website, the databases of two expansive sites, U.S. News and World Report  and The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), were used to obtain the required information.

Each school was then scored based on a straightforward and logical formula, adding the school’s weighted three scores together (Student Financial Aid Rate percentage, Freshman Retention Rate percentage and their Graduation Rate percentage). The total, out of a possible 300 percent, was used to determine each school’s placement within this Top 50 ranking.

  • Student Financial Aid Rate helps to showcase how easy it is to obtain financial assistance from the community college. The types of financial aid that are available through each community college (including academic, merit, external, and athletic scholarships, loans, discounts, and payment assistance options among others) and the types of cost (and in what amounts) that the various forms of financial aid assists with varies from school-to-school and the eligibility for funding varies from student-to-student. However, this rate still serves as a fairly useful and accurate indicator of how much overall financial assistance each student can expect to receive from a particular community college;
  • Freshman Retention Rate is a reliable indicator that the students who are enrolled in an academic program at a particular community college are overall content with the quality and the type of monetary assistance and educational instruction that they are receiving from a school’s faculty members;
  • Graduation Rate is a further indicator of how satisfied the attending students are with the quality of the education that they are receiving. The amount of students that decide to stick with a school for the entirety of their academic career can easily be viewed as a strong indicator that the community college in question is more than capable of providing their students with a comprehensive and quality education.

Looking sharply at these three ranking criteria will help serve students in their search to find a high-quality community college or technical school and will also help them find one that will allow them to obtain their academic degree or professional/vocational certification online without the cost of education being a financial burden.