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Arizona school near top of list of America’s best community colleges

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PHOENIX — An Arizona school has inched higher on a list of the nation’s best community colleges, putting it second overall.

Financial website WalletHub put Cochise College — which has three campuses in southern Arizona — at No. 2 out of more than 700 schools on this year’s list, up two spots from last year.

To determine the rankings, the website used weighted scores based on three categories — cost, education outcomes and career outcomes.

Cochise fared very well in the career outcomes category. It came in second in the category, primarily thanks to its nation-leading return on investment score.

“You’re making more than double of what you actually spent on college,” WalletHub spokeswoman Jill Gonzalez said.

Cochise also recorded the third-lowest default rate on student loans.

Other Arizona schools also received a nod on the list.

Tohono O’Odham Community College in Sells had the lowest tuition cost in the nation, while both Mohave and Scottsdale community colleges finished in the top 50 on the overall list.

“[Scottsdale] has a really high transfer out rate, so we’re seeing that a lot of people are going on to four-year programs after being at Scottsdale for one or two years,” Gonzales said.

However, not every Arizona school on the list received a positive mention. Rio Salado Community College’s per pupil spending and graduation rates were among the lowest in the country.

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