SmartAsset ranks Carteret third in 2021 Best Community Colleges report

Carteret Community College marked third in the nation in SmartAsset’s Best Community Colleges in America report for 2021, released July 12. (Cheryl Burke photo)

MOREHEAD CITY — Carteret Community College ranks third in the nation in a report that measures community colleges on graduation and transfer rates, student-to-faculty ratio and the cost of in-state tuition and rates.

SmartAsset, a personal finance technology company headquartered in New York, released The Best Community Colleges in America report for 2021 on July 12. The report is based on data from the 2019-20 academic year.

This is the ninth year the group has issued the report, and Carteret ranked fourth in the nation last year.

Two other North Carolina Community Colleges scored higher than CCC in 2021. Brunswick Community College in Bolivia ranked first, with Pamlico Community College in Grantsboro taking second.

Of the findings, CCC President Dr. Tracy Mancini said Tuesday, “We are thrilled for this good press and acknowledgment of the dedication of our faculty and staff. Their work to keep a student-centered focus in all we do has paid off.”

According to the data, CCC ranked first in the nation for the best student-to-faculty ratio, with five students to a faculty member. The college tied in this category with the University of Pittsburgh-Titusville in Titusville, Pa., and River Valley Community College in Claremont, NH.

Carteret’s graduation and transfer rate was 66%, the 49th highest of the 820 community colleges in the study.

As for tuition and fees, Carteret ranked 160th, with a two-semester tuition and fee bill totaling $2,547.

As for North Carolina community colleges out-ranking CCC, Brunswick Community College has the fifth highest graduation and transfer rate at 82%. It ranks 22nd for student-to-faculty ratio, at 10 to one. The college ranks 156th in the lowest tuition and fees rate for two semesters, at $2,532.

No. 2-ranked Pamlico Community College has the 15th highest graduation and transfer rate, with 76% of students either graduating or transferring to a four-year university. The college ranks 13th for its student-to-faculty ratio, at nine students to one faculty member. Pamlico ranks 106th out of 820 community colleges for cost of tuition and fees for two semesters, at $1,867.

According to the report, North Carolina community colleges continue to dominate, holding the top six spots and eight of the top 10. All of them rank within approximately the top 10% for low student-faculty ratio and high graduation and transfer rate, and they rank within the top 25% of the study for relatively low cost of tuition.


Contact Cheryl Burke at 252-726-7081, ext. 255; email; or follow on Twitter @cherylccnt.

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