Rend Lake College made WalletHub’s best community colleges ranking for the second year in a row, topping all other Illinois colleges and landing in seventh overall in the nation. WalletHub, a financial website, based the rankings on a dozen key factors ranging from cost and finances to educational and career outcomes.
The ranking, published this week, compared 821 community colleges in the nation and graded them on a 100-point scale.
RLC landed in 18th overall for educational outcomes, which includes first-year retention rate, graduation rate, transfer-out rate, student-faculty ratio, and credentials (degrees and certificates) awarded per 100 full-time equivalency students.
RLC also placed 20th overall in career outcomes, which includes student-loan default rate and return on educational investment, or the ratio of starting salary for graduates compared to the cost of education.
President Terry Wilkerson said he’s pleased to find RLC on the list for the second year in a row. Last year, RLC ranked 366th nationally and ninth in Illinois.
“I am extremely proud of the hard work and commitment from Rend Lake College’s faculty, staff, and students, that put us in WalletHub’s top 10 this year,” said Wilkerson. “It’s honoring to be acknowledged on this list, specifically for our educational and career outcomes, which prove RLC is a great place to start working on a higher education degree or certificate. We will continue to do all we can to support our students and graduates as the first step to success.”
Other Southern Illinois colleges on the WalletHub list include Olney Central, Kaskaskia, Lincoln Trail, Lake Land, Shawnee Community, Southeastern Illinois, Frontier Community, John A. Logan, and Southwestern Illinois.
According to WalletHub, the information and data included in the ranking was gathered from the National Center for Education Statistics, Council for Community and Economic Research, and College Measures.