Best Community Colleges in Tennessee 2022

Best Community Colleges in Tennessee 2022

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 Tennessee 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.

Colleges and Universities in Tennessee

About one third of the higher learning institutes in Tennessee are public schools. Students who attend these schools can expect to pay anywhere between $4,000 to $13,000 in tuition and have the option to pursue degrees in fields such as economics, history, nursing, literature, education, and criminal justice. Tennessee’s largest public school, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, boasts some impressive alumni, including Oprah Winfrey, Kurt Vonnegut, and Cormac McCarthy. The private school alumni are equally as notable. For example, author James Patterson and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Muhammad Yunus both attended Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

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Tennessee also offers nearly 30 religiously affiliated schools, the largest being Belmont University in Nashville, located just blocks from the famous Music Row. Here, students can study a wide range of fields including Christian leadership, audio engineering technology, and biophysics. Additionally, Tennessee offers students several loan forgiveness programs. Math and science teachers, minority teachers, and registered nurses interested in becoming teachers or administrators who meet certain requirements may be eligible.

Tennessee is home to mouthwatering barbecues, electrified blues, and the sweeping majesty of the Smoky Mountains National Park. And with access to countless historic sites, unique museums, and lush green spaces, students attending one of the more than 60 colleges and universities in The Volunteer State will have plenty to do and see in their downtime.

Discover more about the top programs and higher education learning opportunities available in Tennessee.


What are Tennessee’s Colleges & Universities?

Tennessee’s Best Overall

Tennessee's Best Community Colleges Badge
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How do we determine Tennessee's best community colleges?

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great! 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 in their fields of study.

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

To rank the influence of schools, we first determine the influence of scholars and professionals based on the number of citations and publications they have had over the past 10 years. In addition to publications and citations, we consider the web links to and from these sources, and the page views of those sources. We then match the influential people to their alma maters and institutions of employment, so that their influence is attributed to those schools. Our machine-learning Influence Ranking algorithm produces a numerical score of academic achievements, merits, and citations across Wikipedia, wikidata, Crossref, Semantic Scholar and an ever-growing body of data. If you are interested in exploring how and why we rank by influence, explore our methodology in more depth.

We’ve identified 13 community colleges in Tennessee. The following list shows the best community colleges and primarily associate degree granting colleges in Tennessee.

Best Community Colleges in Tennessee

  1. Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    25%

    Student body

    6K

    What is Volunteer State Community College known for?

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

    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science
    • Education
    • Engineering

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    28%

    Student body

    7K

    What is Pellissippi State Community College known for?

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

    • Criminal Justice
    • Nursing
    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Medical
  3. Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    21%

    Student body

    5K

    What is Chattanooga State Community College known for?

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

    • Chemistry
    • Criminal Justice
    • Nursing
    • Education
    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Engineering
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #4

    Walters State Community College

    Morristown , TN

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    30%

    Student body

    4K

    What is Walters State Community College known for?

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

    • Criminal Justice
    • Education
    • Nursing
    • Engineering
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #5

    Motlow State Community College

    Tullahoma , TN

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    32%

    Student body

    5K

    What is Motlow State Community College known for?

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

    • Engineering
    • Nursing
    • Education
    • Medical
  6. Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    12%

    Student body

    6K

    What is Southwest Tennessee Community College known for?

    Southwest Tennessee Community College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Nursing
    • Social Work
    • Criminal Justice
    • Education
    • Computer Science
  7. Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    26%

    Student body

    4K

    What is Columbia State Community College known for?

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

    • Nursing
    • Education
    • Computer Science
    • Engineering
    • Criminal Justice
    • Medical
  8. Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    30%

    Student body

    4K

    What is Roane State Community College known for?

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

    • Sociology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Nursing
    • Engineering
    • Education
    • Computer Science
    • Medical
  9. Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    28%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Cleveland State Community College known for?

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

    • Criminal Justice
    • Nursing
    • Political Science
    • Engineering
    • Medical
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    17%

    Student body

    5K

    What is Nashville State Community College known for?

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

    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science
    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Education
    • Engineering
  11. #11

    Northeast State Community College

    Blountville , TN

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    31%

    Student body

    4K

    What is Northeast State Community College known for?

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

    • Criminal Justice
    • Nursing
    • Education
    • Computer Science
    • Medical
  12. Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    24%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Dyersburg State Community College known for?

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

    • Education
    • Nursing
    • Criminal Justice
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  13. Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    20%

    Student body

    3K

    What is Jackson State Community College known for?

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

    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Education
    • Computer Science
2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utiulized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. Chattanooga State Community College
  2. Cleveland State Community College
  3. Volunteer State Community College
  4. Northeast State Community College
  5. Southwest Tennessee Community College
  6. Walters State Community College
  7. Pellissippi State Community College
  8. Roane State Community College
  9. Nashville State Community College
  10. Dyersburg State Community College
  11. Columbia State Community College
  12. Motlow State Community College
  13. Jackson State Community College

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