America's best community colleges are in these states: See how California ranked

Students walk around campus at East Los Angeles College on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022 in Los Angeles, CA. (Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Here's a list where California actually ranked dead last - and it may surprise you. 

When it comes to the best community college systems in the U.S., apparently California fell short, according to a new study by WalletHub. 

The personal finance website released its state-by-state ranking of the Best & Worst Community-College Systems, as well as its 2023 list of Best & Worst Community Colleges.

New Mexico ranked first, followed by Connecticut, Maryland, Oregon, and Minnesota to round out the top five.


To get the results, analysts compared more than 50 community colleges across 19 key indicators of cost and quality. Additionally, the data set ranges included the cost of in-state situation and fees to student-faculty ratio to graduation rate. 

These are the states with the best community-college systems: 

  1. New Mexico
  2. Connecticut 
  3. Maryland
  4. Oregon
  5. Minnesota 
  6. Washington 
  7. Wyoming 
  8. South Dakota 
  9. Colorado 
  10. Wisconsin
  11. North Dakota 
  12. Iowa 
  13. Michigan 
  14. Kansas
  15. Tennessee
  16. Hawaii
  17. Nebraska
  18. New York 
  19. Massachusetts 
  20. California 

To read the full report, tap or click here.