With the first day of the fall semester around the corner, State Technical College of Missouri has a new reason to brag.
The Linn-based school was recently named 2019's best community college by WalletHub, a personal finance website, out of a ranking of 710 colleges across the country.
The ranking was based on three main categories — career outcomes, education outcomes, and cost and financing. Those were broken down into 19 specific metrics, including cost of in-state tuition, student-faculty ratio, first-year retention rates and graduation rates.
Schools were also ranked by those three main categories. State Tech received fourth for education outcomes, fifth for career outcomes, and 341st for cost and financing. Of a possible total score of 100 points, State Tech received 70.09, making it the best overall school, above second place Arkansas State University at Mountain Home, with 68.61 points.
In 2018, Forbes Magazine ranked State Tech as the third best college in the country, and earlier this year TradeSchoolFuture.com included them in the top 10 automotive training schools in the nation.
"Our outstanding relationships with the companies that hire our students will continue to make State Tech 'The Employer's Choice'," State Tech President Shawn Strong said in a news release. "Those same relationships result in an exceptional 99-percent placement rate and makes the choice to attend State Tech an easy decision."
Spokesman Brandon McElwain credited the school's success to teamwork.
"We're just extremely excited about any time we get a national ranking like this, and it's one of those things where it just goes to show that it truly is a team effort," McElwain said. "It's the faculty, the staff, the administration, our current students, our employees and it's our alumni, all of us working together to make State Tech what it is."
A news release from State Tech also said the school is expecting a record-breaking fall enrollment this semester — a 15 percent increase from Fall 2018, which saw the school breaking previous enrollment records with 1,483 students on their first day of the semester.
Exact numbers for this semester won't be available until next week, when classes begin. McElwain said rankings like this, along with a push for skilled workers in Missouri, are helping to increase enrollment.
"That recognition is finally starting to get out there," McElwain said. "People are starting to realize it, that the premier technical college in the country is right in their backyard."
Classes at State Tech begin Aug. 27.