Pamlico Community College ranked No. 1

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Campus tops list released by SmartAsset

GRANTSBORO — Pamlico Community College has been ranked No.1 on SmartAsset’s list of the Best Community Colleges in the United States.

The list, released Aug. 9 by the New York-based personal finance technology company, places PCC in the top spot in the nation based on a review of 2015-16 federal data on 808 community colleges throughout America. PCC received exemplary scores for its graduation/transfer rate. A whopping 84 percent of PCC students either graduate or transfer to another school, compared to the national average of just 40 percent.

Two other all-important criteria are the favorable student-instructor ratio of 9-to-1, and the school’s comparatively low cost and affordability.


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“Originally founded in 1962 as an industrial education center, Pamlico has matured into the best community college in the country,” SmartAsset’s list states. “According to our research, Pamlico has one of the highest graduation and transfer rates in the country with 84 percent of its students either graduating or transferring.”

PCC President Dr. Jim Ross enthusiastically welcomed the honor as a way to recognize not only PCC but also the outstanding community it serves. He said it is very humbling to be recognized as the very best community college when there are so many outstanding community colleges in our region, state and nation and said this award is a direct result of the commitment and hard work by the college’s faculty members and staff.

“This listing reflects the extraordinary faculty and staff we have here at PCC,” he said. “Our instructors and staff members are heroes in what they do, consistently going well above and beyond the call of duty, to help students succeed.”

Ross credited the personalized attention that students receive at Pamlico as a key factor in the college’s exceptionally strong performance.

A.J. Smith, SmartAsset’s vice president of financial education, said this was the fourth year the company had studied community colleges. Information from the National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System from 2015-16 was used to evaluate 808 community colleges, she said.

All community colleges that had data available on student-faculty ratio, graduation/transfer rate and cost were evaluated in the study, with community colleges from all 50 states represented, Smith said.

“This is purely looking at the data, and the data tells that story,” she said.

News of the No. 1 ranking by SmartAsset comes just as registration for the Fall 2017 semester got underway at the Grantsboro-based institution. It also comes on the heels of several other state and national honors PCC has received this past year. PCC was ranked as the third-best community college in the nation on WalletHub’s 2016 list of Best Community Colleges in America, and the college was ranked No. 8 among the Top 50 colleges and universities for Best Online Associate Degree Programs for 2017 by AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org.

The college has been recognized for having one of the highest graduation rates in the country. Pamlico leaders also are proud that its students, who go on to University of North Carolina system institutions, achieved the highest grade point average among transfer students last year. Pamlico Community College also has been awarded a Gold Medal for being a Military Friendly community college, and its Medical Assisting program recently was ranked No. 1 in America by the website rwm.org.

In addition to Pamlico, four other N.C. community colleges were ranked among the Top 10 on SmartAsset’s list of the Best Community Colleges.

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