11 Wisconsin schools dominate list of America’s top 100 community colleges

Fox Valley Technical College

By Christina Lorey

February 20, 2024

With the college costs climbing and student debt remaining a hot debate, public perception of four-year colleges is starting to shift. Now, 33% of all undergraduate students are choosing to attend public, two-year schools.

But how do Wisconsin’s two-year schools compare to the rest of the country? Using data from Niche’s Best Community Colleges in America list, ranking website Stacker compiled a list of the top 100 community colleges and–to our pleasant surprise–Wisconsin dominated.

Here’s where 11 Badger State schools ranked…

#2. Northwood Technical College

Rice Lake

Students: 924

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 5:1

Graduation Rate: 72%

Tuition: $10,000

Median Salary Six Years After Graduation: $32,500

Employment Rate Two Years After Graduation: 90%

What Reviews Said: “Students of Northwood Technical College have plenty of opportunities for getting involved on campus, with clubs and organizations from Student Senate to the National Association of Home Builders.”

#3. Fox Valley Technical College

Appleton

Students: 1,800

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 11:1

Graduation Rate: 57%

Tuition: $11,000

Median Salary Six Years After Graduation: $36,000

Employment Rate Two Years After Graduation: 90%

What Reviews Said: “Fox Valley Technical College opened a state-of-the-art public safety training center in 2012, which even has a Boeing 727 donated by FedEx. The college also features a National Criminal Justice Training Center.”

#4. Moraine Park Technical College

Fond Du Lac

Students: 750

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 8:1

Graduation Rate: 73%

Tuition: $9,000

Median Salary Six Years After Graduation: $35,000

Employment Rate Two Years After Graduation: 89%

What Reviews Said: “The Fond Du Lac campus of Moraine Park Technical College has been a part of the community since 1912. While the initial curriculum focused on drawing and cooking, students can now choose from over 100 different programs.”

#13. Lakeshore Technical College

Cleveland (yes–there’s one in Wisconsin!)

Students: 500

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 10:1

Graduation Rate: 52%

Tuition: $8,500

Median Salary Six Years After Graduation: $35,000

Employment Rate Two Years After Graduation: 90%

What Reviews Said: “Local high school students interested in culinary arts can pair up with college students studying the subject at Lakeshore Technical College. The ‘shadow a chef’ program serves as a learning opportunity both for high schoolers considering this career and students learning valuable leadership skills.”

#18. Western Technical College

La Crosse

Students: 1,600

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 9:1

Graduation Rate: 67%

Tuition: $9,000

Median Salary Six Years After Graduation: $35,000

Employment Rate Two Years After Graduation: 90%

What Reviews Said: “Western Technical College – Wisconsin is dedicated to sustainability, and has instituted energy-saving initiatives to combat global warming.”

#23. Waukesha County Technical College

Pewaukee

Students: 1,700

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 10:1

Graduation Rate: 43%

Tuition: $10,000

Median Salary Six Years After Graduation: $36,000

Employment Rate Two Years After Graduation: 89%

What Reviews Said: “Students interested in all walks of life have reason to pursue degrees at Waukesha County Technical College. Alumni include fashion designer Keri Craig-Lee, legislator Paul Farrow, and mixed martial art fighter Ben Rothwell.”

#32. Nicolet Area Technical College

Rhinelander

Students: 260

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 9:1

Graduation Rate: 68%

Tuition: $7,500

Median Salary Six Years After Graduation: $30,000

Employment Rate Two Years After Graduation: 87%

What Reviews Said: “Theater lovers will be excited to check out the Nicolet Players Theatre Troupe. The group has put on more than 183 productions in the college theater since its inception.”

#42. Southwest Wisconsin Technical College

Fennimore

Students: 675

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14:1

Graduation Rate: 56%

Tuition: $10,000

Median Salary Six Years After Graduation: $33,000

Employment Rate Two Years After Graduation: 90%

What Reviews Said: “While the focus of the school was once primarily agricultural, Southwest Wisconsin Technical College has since expanded its offerings and is now more holistic, offering courses in health and science.”

#63. Northcentral Technical College

Wausau

Students: 1,200

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 15:1

Graduation Rate: 39%

Tuition: $10,000

Median Salary Six Years After Graduation: $36,000

Employment Rate Two Years After Graduation: 89%

What Reviews Said: “Northcentral Technical College makes every effort to make students feel they are at a real home away from home, getting a full college experience. The college offers robust dorm life and campus life programs, including a disc golf course for students who want to connect over sports.”

#65. Northeast Wisconsin Technical College

Green Bay

Students: 2,400

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 15:1

Graduation Rate: 46%

Tuition: $10,200

Median Salary Six Years After Graduation: $36,000

Employment Rate Two Years After Graduation: 89%

What Reviews Said: “Northeast Wisconsin Technical College has transfer agreements with roughly 40 other universities. It is also the only college in Wisconsin to offer boat patrol and dive classes.”

#69. Chippewa Valley Technical College

Eau Claire

Students: 2,000

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 13:1

Graduation Rate: 52%

Tuition: $10,000

Median Salary Six Years After Graduation: $38,000

Employment Rate Two Years After Graduation: 92%

What Reviews Said: “Chippewa Valley Technical College is extremely vocation-oriented, offering 120 degree tracks and more than a dozen apprenticeship programs. With 12 campus locations, CVTC is easy for students to attend.”

Author

  • Christina Lorey

    Christina is an Edward R. Murrow-winning journalist and former producer, reporter, and anchor for TV stations in Madison and Moline. When she’s not writing or asking questions, you can find her volunteering with Girls on the Run, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and various mental health organizations.

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