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OCC Ranked Top Community College in Illinois

USA Today College has named Olney Central College the number one community college in Illinois.

OCC placed near the top in almost every category used to rank the 48 schools in the Illinois Community College System. Colleges were scored on a 10-point scale based on the percentage of students enrolled in distance education, cost of attendance, student-to-faculty ratio, average retention rate for full- and part-time students, graduation rate, transfer rate to a senior institution and a flexibility score derived from National Center for Education Statistics data.

OCC took spots in the top 5 for graduation rate and affordability of tuition and fees, and its overall cost of attendance was low enough to place among the top 3 in that category as well. OCC’s student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1 was the second lowest in the state in 2014.

OCC’s strong aid package also was cited in the rankings. Not only does OCC offer one of the lowest overall cost totals in the state, but its average net price — total attendance cost minus federal, state and institutional financial aid — was the third-lowest on the list. OCC students had out-of-pocket costs just over $1,000 for the year in 2013, according to Department of Education data, despite a pre-aid cost of tuition, fees, books and supplies closer to $4,000.

“It is nice to have validated the quality of work of our faculty and staff,” said OCC President Rodney Ranes. “I’ve known OCC was a good school since I was a student here. To get recognized on a state and national level regarding the success of our students at OCC and within the Illinois Eastern Community Colleges District is very satisfying. It has been a difficult year given there has been no state budget. However, it is also good for students and staff to celebrate the recognition of the hard work everyone does at OCC.”

Earlier this year, OCC was recognized as an Aspen Prize Top 150 U.S. Community College.

Another IECC school, Lincoln Trail College in Robinson, also made USA Today College’s top 10 list as the number two community college in Illinois.

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