Linn State does well in new national rankings

This month, rated Linn State Technical College as the sixth-best community college in the nation, out of more than 900 public two-year schools evaluated.

And that was just the latest in a series of honors the state-owned, two-year college has earned in the last two years. ranked Linn State seventh for “Best Community Colleges,” and 16th for “Safest Community Colleges.”

Washington Monthly ranked the school 11th nationally among community colleges in 2013.

CNN Money ranked Linn State 39th nationally, out of around 2,400 two-year schools. also looked at about 2,400 two-year colleges, and ranked Linn State 44th.

And The Aspen Institute has said, for the last two years, that Linn State is in the top 10 percent nationally of all two-year colleges.

Administrators have assembled all the honors in a brochure called “Education That Works,” and included copies of articles reporting the various rankings.

For example,, which provides rate research and information to the banking industry, noted Linn State focuses on giving students “practical experience.” said it surveyed community colleges because they “serve nearly half of all U.S. undergraduate students and play a crucial role in both workforce development and as a springboard to a four-year education.”

About Linn State, the agency said: “The reason this school boasts a 95 percent job-placement rate is because it goes to significant lengths to develop close ties with area businesses and industry leaders.”

CNN Money noted “there is so little standardized information out there,” and said its survey was intended to help students “(figure) out which school will give you the best chance of transferring to a four-year college or university.” noted its rankings, and many others, are “statistical and based on U.S. government surveys and reports, provided by the schools themselves.”

Different surveys base their rankings on information from the government data. said its surveys are different because it doesn’t include peer evaluations and surveys from other schools. said its rankings were based “on a comparison of several studies and ratings of community colleges, each with their own selection criteria.”

Of the six surveys included in the brochure, Linn State administrators noted all six included “retention rate” as one of the criteria they used.

Five of the six — all but — also included a school’s graduation rate.

Among the other criteria used in one or more of the surveys were student-faculty ratio, in-state tuition and fees, ACT and SAT scores, faculty salaries, student debt, percent of financial aid, student default rates, learning outcomes and support for learners.


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