EMCC ranked first in nation by Affordable Colleges Online

Staff Writer

East Mississippi Community College can now put another accolade under its belt.

On Wednesday, the institution was ranked first in the nation by Affordable Colleges Online. The website is one of the most trusted rankers, with its rankings backed by data collected and analyzed from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System managed by the National Center for Education Statistics. The site surveys more than 7,500 institutions annually, considering factors including tuition costs, count and breadth of online programs, student-teacher ratio, scholarship and grant aid from the institution and the availability of academic, career and job placement services.

EMCC was the only institution to earn a perfect score of 100 points.

Last year, EMCC was ranked seventh on the list.

“It’s an acknowledgement of the good work that we’re doing,” said EMCC President Tom Huebner. “There are organizations that rank the colleges for a variety of reasons, based on the numbers and criteria. This particular organization, I think looks at not only success rates, but cost as well, and when you put those two together, we are an exceptional example of an excellent education at a very affordable cost.”

Huebner explained the importance of reasonably priced education, citing the two- year degree as a gateway to a brighter future.

“We’re a foot in the door for so many.” Huebner said. "We are a confidence builder for so many. People don’t need excuses for why they don’t want to get higher education, and sometimes financial obstacles create excuses.”

EMCC now offers more than 450 online degree programs through the Mississippi Virtual Community College. More information about EMCC’s online offerings can be found at the school’s website.

“For me, it’s just a validation of our hard work, a validation of what we wake up in the morning attempting to accomplish, knowing that the people of the six counties we serve can have a level of confidence about the quality of work taking place in our classrooms, “ Huebner said.

Five other Mississippi Community Colleges made the top 50, including Mississippi Delta Community College ranked 11th, Holmes Community College ranked 12th, Northwest Mississippi Community College ranked 27th, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College ranked 29th and Meridian Community College ranked 48th