EDWARDS, Colorado - A recent article by CNNMoney entitled "How does your community college stack up?" ranked Colorado Mountain College in the top 20 out of nearly 800 community colleges around the nation for successful graduation and transfer rates. The list compared colleges with more than 200 full-time freshmen.
CMC garnered the 17th slot nationally and came in first for the state of Colorado. This places the college in the top 2 percent of success rates among all medium-sized public community colleges. The success rate is drawn from each school's federally reported rates of student graduation within three years or transfers to a four-year college.
"This is wonderful news for our students and our stakeholders," Jill Boyle, senior vice president at Colorado Mountain College, said in a statement. "This study illustrates the exceptional quality of the academic programs available at our college."
The article by CNNMoney pointed to the growing trend of students attending community colleges because of affordability.
Keegan Hammond is a prime example. She earned an associate of science degree from CMC and transferred to the Colorado School of Mines with 60 college credits, putting her three to four semesters ahead. In a recent interview with CMC, Hammond estimated that she saved $50,000 in tuition, fees and living expenses by starting at Colorado Mountain College, helping to stave off the substantial debt that some of her classmates will have when they graduate.
"It's going to take them years to pay it off," she said.
In the 2011-12 academic year, Colorado Mountain College's full-time, in-district students paid tuition of less than $2,000 for lower-division courses, and in-state students paid approximately $3,000, compared to the national average of more than $8,000 in tuition that year at a public four-year college.
Meeta Goel, Colorado Mountain College's vice president of institutional effectiveness, said CNNMoney's high ranking of the college was evidence CMC is making a difference in students' lives.
"Every goal counts, whether that is graduating with a degree or transferring to a four-year college," she said. "If we're meeting students' goals, then the college has been successful."