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September 02, 2017

Pa. found at the bottom of list ranking states with 'best and worst community college systems'

Pennsylvania may not be the best place to enroll in community college, according to one recent report.

WalletHub, a personal finance website, recently released its ranking of the states with the "best and worst community college systems" and the Keystone State was found at No. 44 out of the 44 states included on the list.

The website compiled its state list based on its more extensive ranking of the best and worst individual community colleges across the country. WalletHub considered data from organizations like the National Center for Education Statistics, Council for Community and Economic Research and College Measures to organize its results.

The Community College of Philadelphia was ranked at No. 721 on the list, while Bucks County Community College was found at No. 678 and Montgomery County Community College at No. 706. In total, 728 colleges were included.

WalletHub's rankings of the individual colleges were based on three main categories, including "cost and financing," "education outcomes" and "career opportunities." Each category considered a number of individual factors, including average amount of grant or scholarship aid received, faculty salary, graduation rate, student loan default rate and more.

Danielle Gross, a spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges, criticized the ranking in a statement to PennLive. She noted that WalletHub neglected to include Lehigh-Carbon Community College on its list, but looked at Lackawanna College, a private institution located in Scranton.

“I would want people to take them with a grain of salt and think critically about them," Gross told the publication. "I would tell Pennsylvanians that Pennsylvania community colleges are 100 percent responsive to the communities and students that they serve.”

Check out WalletHub's top 10 states with the best community colleges below or find its complete list here.

1. South Dakota

2. Alaska

3. Washington

4. Florida

5. Wisconsin

6. Mississippi

7. North Dakota

8. Minnesota

9. New York 

10. Montana