Missouri’s Best Community Colleges of 2021

The best community colleges provide an effective springboard into higher education, offering students high-quality two-year degree programs in a wide range of disciplines. The top-rated community colleges in Missouri offer a broad selection of associate’s degrees, affordable tuition rates, and strong partnerships with public four-year schools so that students can easily transfer their credits into accredited bachelor’s degree programs.

Missouri’s Best Community Colleges of 2021

Colleges and Universities in Missouri

Tuition costs in Missouri fall below the national average, allowing students access to many affordable options. For example, at Missouri State University, the second largest public school, tuition fees are around $7,000. Students of actor John Goodman’s alma mater can major in fields like religious studies, history, and business, and even have the option of earning an associate degree in arts or a bachelor’s in business at the university’s sister school in China. Missouri also offers more than 40 private schools.

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Tuition and student populations vary greatly among these schools, but students who attend these higher education institutes also have the option to attend classes at other campuses. For example, Saint Louis University, a college with Jesuit roots, has campuses in both St. Louis and Madrid, Spain. Additionally, Missouri offers special loan forgiveness programs for nurses and other health professionals, including dentists, psychiatrists, and primary care physicians, who work in designated, high-need areas.

When you aren’t exploring one of its 6,000 caves, chowing down on some barbecue, or taking in a live jazz performance, Missouri can serve as the perfect place to begin a road trip. The Show Me State is bordered by eight other U.S. states, making it ideal for students love travelling and planning weekend getaways. During the week days, students can continue on their road to success by pursuing their degree at one of Missouri’s 72 higher education institutes.

See where Missouri’s many roads can take you while earning your degree at one this state’s top learning institutions.

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What are Missouri’s Colleges & Universities?

Missouri’s Best Overall


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How do we determine Missouri's best community colleges?

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why, at the undergraduate level, we rank the best colleges and universities based on what we “Concentrated Influence”. Concentrated Influence takes the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers (including faculty and alums) and divides it by the school’s total number of undergraduates.

Using concentrated influence gives small and mid-sized schools an opportunity to shine by taking away the size advantage of larger universities. A small school with proportionately more influential faculty than a large school, whose influence in absolute terms may be bigger, will nonetheless score higher in a concentrated influence ranking. Our approach highlights undergraduate schools that truly rank for excellence, regardless of size.

If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Find out more about our ranking methodology here.

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We’ve identified 12 community colleges in Missouri. The following list shows the best community colleges in the state.

Best Community Colleges in Missouri

  1. #1

    Three Rivers College

    #14227 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    29%

    Student body

    2K

    Poplar Bluff, MO

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    What is Three Rivers College known for?

    Three Rivers College ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #2

    North Central Missouri College

    #9031 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    49%

    Student body

    1K

    Trenton, MO

    View profile

    What is North Central Missouri College known for?

    North Central Missouri College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Nursing
    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
  3. #3

    St. Charles Community College

    #7149 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    29%

    Student body

    4K

    Cottleville, MO

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    What is St. Charles Community College known for?

    St. Charles Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Nursing
    • Computer Science
    • Engineering
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
    • Biology
  4. #4

    East Central College

    #9512 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    38%

    Student body

    2K

    Union, MO

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    What is East Central College known for?

    East Central College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Business
    • Criminal Justice
  5. #5

    State Fair Community College

    #9055 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    33%

    Student body

    3K

    Sedalia, MO

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    What is State Fair Community College known for?

    State Fair Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
    • Chemistry
  6. #6

    Missouri State University–West Plains

    #10445 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    30%

    Student body

    1K

    West Plains, MO

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    What is Missouri State University–West Plains known for?

    Missouri State University–West Plains’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Nursing
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Biology
  7. #7

    Ozarks Technical Community College

    #8399 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    32%

    Student body

    8K

    Springfield, MO

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    What is Ozarks Technical Community College known for?

    Ozarks Technical Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics
    • Criminal Justice
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Psychology
  8. #8

    Moberly Area Community College

    #6649 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    34%

    Student body

    3K

    Moberly, MO

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    What is Moberly Area Community College known for?

    Moberly Area Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

  9. #9

    St. Louis Community College–Forest Park

    #14055 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    18%

    Student body

    12K

    Bridgeton, MO

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    What is St. Louis Community College–Forest Park known for?

    St. Louis Community College–Forest Park’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Psychology
    • Medical
    • Business
    • Communications
    • Nursing
  10. #10

    Crowder College

    #7467 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    35%

    Student body

    3K

    Neosho, MO

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    What is Crowder College known for?

    Crowder College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Nursing
    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  11. #11

    Mineral Area College

    #10252 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    40%

    Student body

    2K

    Park Hills, MO

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    What is Mineral Area College known for?

    Mineral Area College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Business
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

  12. #12

    Jefferson College

    #8519 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    32%

    Student body

    3K

    Hillsboro, MO

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    What is Jefferson College known for?

    Jefferson College ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Criminal Justice
    • Medical
    • Engineering
    • Nursing
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

Resources for College-Bound Students

Photo By: North Central Missouri College