Mesalands honored in rankings


September 4, 2019

Courtesy photo

Students, faculty and staff mingle in the Commons Area at Mesalands Community College.

Mesalands Community College in Tucumcari recently was named the best community college in New Mexico by WalletHub, and it also outranked all community colleges in four neighboring states.

WalletHub evaluated more than 700 community colleges in the United States on cost and financing, education outcomes and career outcomes. Mesalands ranked 61st in the nation on those metrics.

Mesalands' strongest area was in education outcomes, where it ranked 37th in the nation. With its total score of 61.09, Mesalands ranked higher than any of the other 14 community colleges in New Mexico, with New Mexico Junior College taking up the runner-up spot.

Mesalands' score also was higher than any community college in neighboring Texas, Arizona, Oklahoma and Utah. Only two Colorado schools - Morgan Community College and Aims Community College - ranked higher.

WalletHub ranked State Technical College of Missouri as No. 1 in its evaluations with a total score of 70.09.

Emails requesting comments from Mesalands President John Groebeck weren't returned.

Cost and financing evaluations included the cost of tuition and fees, presence of a free community college education, average amount of grant or scholarship aid received, availability of employment services for students, per-student spending, school spending efficiency and faculty salary.

Education outcomes were evaluated on the college's first-year retention rate, graduation rate, transfer-out rate, credentials per 100 full-time equivalent students, student-to-faculty ratio, share of full-time faculty and special learning opportunities.

Career outcomes assessed the return on educational investment for graduates, student loan default rate, median salary after attending and share of former students earning above the average earnings of a high-school graduate.

WalletHub's data came from the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics and the Council for Community and Economic Research and College Measures.

WalletHub is a personal finance website based in Washington, D.C.


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