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2021 Best Value Nursing Associate's Degree Schools

Identifying Quality Schools at More Affordable Prices

870 Colleges
$4,239 Avg Tuition & Fees*
$54,473 Avg Salary

Finding the Best Nursing Associate's Degree School for You

Nursing is the most popular major in the United States with 305,309 degrees and certificates handed out in 2018-2019.

It's not easy to decide which nursing program to enroll in when you have so many options available. With more and more schools offering online options, you could even register for a great program on the other side of the country. On top of that, there are a considerable number of trade schools that offer fast-track entry to many fields.

Along with in-depth profiles of schools and the programs they offer, Nursing Degree Search has created the Best Value Nursing Associate's Degree Schools to help you in your search for the best school for you. Our analysis looked at 870 schools in the United States to see which associate's degree programs offered the best value experiences for nursing students with the aim of identifying those quality schools that are more affordable than some of their counterparts.

Our ranking of value is based on the quality of a program as defined in our per sticker price dollar. More specifically, we discount our quality score by the published tuition and fees charged by a school. This gives the cost per unit of quality for each college. The value is determined by how much quality your dollar buys.

In our regional and nationwide rankings, out-of-state tution and fees are used in our calculations. Average in-state tuition and fees are used for our statewide rankings.

2021 Best Value Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools in the United States

The following schools top our list of the Best Value Nursing Associate's Degree Colleges.

Top 25 Best Schools for Affordable Quality for an Associate's in Nursing

Our analysis found New Mexico Junior College to be the best value school for nursing students who want to pursue a associate’s degree in the United States. Located in the town of Hobbs, New Mexico Junior College is a public school with a small student population.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at New Mexico Junior College are $1,968 a year.

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You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around you if you attend Alvin Community College. The school came in at #2 on this year’s Best Value Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools list. Alvin is a medium-sized public school located in the suburb of Alvin.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at Alvin are $3,938 a year. While working on their Associate's Degree, nursing majors at Alvin accumulate an average of around $8,375 in student debt. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $73, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

Alvin excels when it comes to quality. It’s ranked in the top 10% of all schools on our Best Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools list.

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A rank of #3 on this year’s list means Southeast Community College Area is a great value for nursing students working on their associate’s degree. Southeast Community College is a moderately-sized public school located in the city of Lincoln.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at Southeast Community College are $3,096 a year. Nursing majors at Southeast Community College take out an average of $23,869 in student loans while working on their Associate's Degree. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $215.

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#4

College of the Mainland

Texas City, TX

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around you if you attend College of the Mainland. The school came in at #4 on this year’s Best Value Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools list. Located in the medium-sized suburb of Texas City, COM is a public school with a small student population.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at COM are $3,873 a year. Nursing majors at COM take out an average of $10,354 in student loans while working on their Associate's Degree. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $90.

On top of its placing in our value ranking, COM also did well on our Best Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools list. It’s in the top 15% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

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You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around you if you attend University of Arkansas Community College - Batesville. The school came in at #5 on this year’s Best Value Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools list. UACCB is a small public school located in the remote town of Batesville.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at UACCB are $3,438 a year. Nursing majors at UACCB take out an average of $14,353 in student loans while working on their Associate's Degree. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $116.

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Neosho County Community College ranked #6 on this year’s Best Value Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools list. Located in the remote town of Chanute, Neosho County Community College is a public school with a small student population.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at Neosho County Community College are $3,904 per year. The average amount in student loans that nursing majors at Neosho County Community College take out while working on their Associate's Degree is $13,511. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $125.

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Clovis Community College did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for nursing students to get a associate’s degree. It came in at #7 on the list. Located in the remote town of Clovis, Clovis Community College is a public college with a small student population.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at Clovis Community College are $2,984 per year.

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#8

Amarillo College

Amarillo, TX

With a ranking of #8, Amarillo College did quite well on this year’s best value schools for nursing students working on their associate’s degree. Located in the midsize city of Amarillo, Amarillo College is a public school with a medium-sized student population.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at Amarillo College are $4,704 a year. The average amount in student loans that nursing majors at Amarillo College take out while working on their Associate's Degree is $18,122. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $161, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

As a testament to the quality of education it offers, Amarillo College also is in the top 10% of our Best Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools ranking.

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#9

Victoria College

Victoria, TX

Victoria College came in at #9 in this year’s edition of the Best Value Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools ranking. Located in the city of Victoria, Victoria College is a public college with a small student population.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at Victoria College are $4,392 a year. The average amount in student loans that nursing majors at Victoria College take out while working on their Associate's Degree is $13,413. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $123.

In addition to its great value ranking, Victoria College is in the top 20% of all schools on our Best Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools list.

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Pratt Community College landed the #10 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best value associate’s degree nursing programs. Pratt Community College is a small public school located in the rural area of Pratt.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at Pratt Community College are $4,168 a year. After completing their Associate's Degree, nursing graduates from Pratt Community College carry an average student debtload of $10,463.

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#11

Lee College

Baytown, TX

Lee College landed the #11 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best value associate’s degree nursing programs. Lee College is a moderately-sized public school located in the small city of Baytown.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at Lee College are $4,302 a year. After completing their Associate's Degree, nursing graduates from Lee College carry an average student debtload of $13,833. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $118, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#12

Southeast Technical Institute

Sioux Falls, SD

Southeast Technical Institute came in at #12 in this year’s edition of the Best Value Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools ranking. Located in the rural area of Sioux Falls, Southeast Technical Institute is a public school with a small student population.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at Southeast Technical Institute are $6,448 per year. Nursing majors at Southeast Technical Institute take out an average of $15,214 in student loans while working on their Associate's Degree. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $146.

As a testament to the quality of education it offers, Southeast Technical Institute also is in the top 5% of our Best Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools ranking.

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Lake Area Technical Institute ranked #13 on this year’s Best Value Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools list. LATI is a small public school located in the town of Watertown.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at LATI are $5,514 a year.

LATI excels when it comes to quality. It’s ranked in the top 10% of all schools on our Best Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools list.

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#14

South Plains College

Levelland, TX

South Plains College did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for nursing students to get a associate’s degree. It came in at #14 on the list. South Plains College is a moderately-sized public school located in the town of Levelland.

South Plains College undergraduate students pay an average of $4,088 in tuition and fees each year. The average amount in student loans that nursing majors at South Plains College take out while working on their Associate's Degree is $18,819. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $196.

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#15

Lower Columbia College

Longview, WA

With a ranking of #15, Lower Columbia College did quite well on this year’s best value schools for nursing students working on their associate’s degree. Located in the small city of Longview, LCC is a public college with a small student population.

LCC undergraduate students pay an average of $4,398 in tuition and fees each year. Nursing majors at LCC take out an average of $15,530 in student loans while working on their Associate's Degree. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $125.

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#16

Lake Region State College

Devils Lake, ND

With a ranking of #16, Lake Region State College did quite well on this year’s best value schools for nursing students working on their associate’s degree. Lake Region State College is a small public school located in the remote town of Devils Lake.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at Lake Region State College are $4,655 per year. Nursing majors at Lake Region State College take out an average of $17,590 in student loans while working on their Associate's Degree. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $154.

As a testament to the quality of education it offers, Lake Region State College also is in the top 20% of our Best Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools ranking.

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#17

Central Community College

Grand Island, NE

Central Community College came in at #17 in this year’s edition of the Best Value Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools ranking. Located in the city of Grand Island, Central Community College is a public school with a medium-sized student population.

Central Community College undergraduate students pay an average of $4,500 in tuition and fees each year. After completing their Associate's Degree, nursing graduates from Central Community College carry an average student debtload of $10,863. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $99.

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#18

Lone Star College System

The Woodlands, TX

Lone Star College System landed the #18 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best value associate’s degree nursing programs. Located in the city of The Woodlands, North Harris Montgomery is a public college with a fairly large student population.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at North Harris Montgomery are $5,564 per year. Nursing majors at North Harris Montgomery take out an average of $14,318 in student loans while working on their Associate's Degree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $117, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

As a testament to the quality of education it offers, North Harris Montgomery also is in the top 10% of our Best Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools ranking.

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San Jacinto Community College came in at #19 in this year’s edition of the Best Value Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools ranking. San Jacinto College is a very large public school located in the suburb of Pasadena.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at San Jacinto College are $5,040 a year. Nursing majors at San Jacinto College take out an average of $15,583 in student loans while working on their Associate's Degree. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $130.

In addition to its great value ranking, San Jacinto College is in the top 15% of all schools on our Best Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools list.

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#20

North Hennepin Community College

Brooklyn Park, MN

North Hennepin Community College landed the #20 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best value associate’s degree nursing programs. Located in the large suburb of Brooklyn Park, North Hennepin Community College is a public school with a medium-sized student population.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at North Hennepin Community College are $4,566 a year. Nursing majors at North Hennepin Community College take out an average of $19,939 in student loans while working on their Associate's Degree. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $168, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#21

Highline College

Des Moines, WA

Highline College landed the #21 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best value associate’s degree nursing programs. Located in the large suburb of Des Moines, Highline is a public school with a moderately-sized student population.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at Highline are $4,576 a year. On average, nursing graduates from Highline take out $9,928 in student loans while working on their Associate's Degree. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $83, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#22

Meridian Community College

Meridian, MS

With a ranking of #22, Meridian Community College did quite well on this year’s best value schools for nursing students working on their associate’s degree. MCC is a small public school located in the town of Meridian.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at MCC are $4,258 per year. While working on their Associate's Degree, nursing majors at MCC accumulate an average of around $9,410 in student debt. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $90.

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#23

Garden City Community College

Garden City, KS

With a ranking of #23, Garden City Community College did quite well on this year’s best value schools for nursing students working on their associate’s degree. Located in the remote town of Garden City, Garden City Community College is a public college with a small student population.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at Garden City Community College are $3,874 a year. The average amount in student loans that nursing majors at Garden City Community College take out while working on their Associate's Degree is $16,999. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $152, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#24

Clarendon College

Clarendon, TX

With a ranking of #24, Clarendon College did quite well on this year’s best value schools for nursing students working on their associate’s degree. Located in the rural area of Clarendon, Clarendon College is a public school with a small student population.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at Clarendon College are $4,008 a year. Nursing majors at Clarendon College take out an average of $17,245 in student loans while working on their Associate's Degree. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $145.

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#25

Highland Community College

Highland, KS

Highland Community College came in at #25 in this year’s edition of the Best Value Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools ranking. Located in the rural area of Highland, Highland Community College is a public school with a small student population.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at Highland Community College are $3,711 per year. While working on their Associate's Degree, nursing majors at Highland Community College accumulate an average of around $14,447 in student debt. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $109.

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Rest of the Top 50 Best Value Nursing Associate's Degree Schools

#26

Wenatchee Valley College

Wenatchee, WA
#27

Galveston College

Galveston, TX
#28

Hutchinson Community College

Hutchinson, KS
#31

Camden County College

Blackwood, NJ
#34

Anoka-Ramsey Community College

Coon Rapids, MN
#35

Tyler Junior College

Tyler, TX
#39

Weatherford College

Weatherford, TX
#40

Mid-Plains Community College

North Platte, NE
#46

Yakima Valley College

Yakima, WA
#47

Brazosport College

Lake Jackson, TX
#48

Odessa College

Odessa, TX
#50

Del Mar College

Corpus Christi, TX

Remaining Award Winners

This list shows the remainder of the schools awarded a Best Value Nursing Associate's Degree Schools badge. Showing in this list means the college was ranked in the top 15% of the 870 different United States nursing schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
51 Moraine Park Technical College Fond du Lac, WI
52 Inver Hills Community College Inver Grove Heights, MN
53 Bellingham Technical College Bellingham, WA
54 Oakland Community College Bloomfield Hills, MI
55 El Centro College Dallas, TX
56 San Juan College Farmington, NM
57 Chippewa Valley Technical College Eau Claire, WI
58 Ridgewater College Willmar, MN
59 University of New Mexico - Gallup Campus Gallup, NM
60 Wayne County Community College District Detroit, MI
61 Rochester Community and Technical College Rochester, MN
61 Minnesota State Community and Technical College Fergus Falls, MN
61 Grayson College Denison, TX
64 University of Arkansas Community College - Morrilton Morrilton, AR
65 Alexandria Technical & Community College Alexandria, MN
66 Schoolcraft College Livonia, MI
67 University of New Mexico - Taos Campus Ranchos de Taos, NM
67 North Dakota State College of Science Wahpeton, ND
69 Central Lakes College - Brainerd Brainerd, MN
70 Genesee Community College Batavia, NY
71 El Paso Community College El Paso, TX
72 Southwest Wisconsin Technical College Fennimore, WI
72 Bismarck State College Bismarck, ND
74 Raritan Valley Community College Branchburg, NJ
75 Shoreline Community College Shoreline, WA
75 Spokane Community College Spokane, WA
75 Minnesota State College Southeast Winona, MN
78 Western Technical College La Crosse, WI
79 Northwest Iowa Community College Sheldon, IA
79 Butte College Oroville, CA
81 Cypress College Cypress, CA
81 Century College - White Bear Lake White Bear Lake, MN
83 Olympic College Bremerton, WA
84 Santa Fe Community College Santa Fe, NM
85 Rogue Community College Grants Pass, OR
86 Santa Rosa Junior College Santa Rosa, CA
87 Howard College Big Spring, TX
88 Seward County Community College Liberal, KS
88 Kansas City Kansas Community College Kansas City, KS
90 South Central College North Mankato, MN
91 Washington State Community College Marietta, OH
92 Normandale Community College Bloomington, MN
93 Fresno City College Fresno, CA
94 Northland Community and Technical College Thief River Falls, MN
95 University of New Mexico - Valencia County Campus Los Lunas, NM
96 Lake Superior College Duluth, MN
97 Houston Community College Houston, TX
98 College of the Canyons Santa Clarita, CA
99 Laredo Community College Laredo, TX
100 Midland College Midland, TX
101 Itawamba Community College Fulton, MS
101 Pierce College-Puyallup Puyallup, WA
103 NorthWest Arkansas Community College Bentonville, AR
104 College of the Sequoias Visalia, CA
105 Umpqua Community College Roseburg, OR
106 Big Bend Community College Moses Lake, WA
106 North Central Kansas Technical College Beloit, KS
108 Texarkana College Texarkana, TX
109 Vernon College Vernon, TX
110 Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Green Bay, WI
111 City College of San Francisco San Francisco, CA
112 Navarro College Corsicana, TX
113 Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College Shell Lake, WI
114 West Hills College-Lemoore Lemoore, CA
114 Antelope Valley College Lancaster, CA
116 Northwest Mississippi Community College Senatobia, MS
117 North Arkansas College Harrison, AR
117 Crowder College Neosho, MO
119 Yuba College Marysville, CA
120 Baptist Health College - Little Rock Little Rock, AR
121 Gwinnett Technical College Lawrenceville, GA
122 Temple College Temple, TX
123 Walla Walla Community College Walla Walla, WA
124 Gateway Technical College Kenosha, WI
125 West Georgia Technical College Waco, GA
126 Southern Maine Community College South Portland, ME
127 Hibbing Community College Hibbing, MN
127 Milwaukee Area Technical College Milwaukee, WI
127 Fox Valley Technical College Appleton, WI
130 Waukesha County Technical College Pewaukee, WI

Additional Noteworthy Schools

These are some additional schools worth mentioning that are also great but just didn't quite make the cut to earn our top Best Value Nursing Associate's Degree Schools award.

Rank College Location
131 Santa Fe College Gainesville, FL
132 South Arkansas Community College El Dorado, AR
133 Southeastern Community College West Burlington, IA
134 Prince George’s Community College Largo, MD
135 Moorpark College Moorpark, CA
135 Holmes Community College Goodman, MS
137 Minneapolis Community and Technical College Minneapolis, MN
138 Rasmussen College - Minnesota St. Cloud, MN
139 Rasmussen College - Florida Ocala, FL
140 College of Eastern Idaho Idaho Falls, ID
141 Columbia Basin College Pasco, WA
142 Northeast Iowa Community College Calmar, IA
143 Middlesex County College Edison, NJ
144 Ocean County College Toms River, NJ
145 Riverside College of Health Careers Newport News, VA
145 Butler Community College El Dorado, KS
147 East Central Community College Decatur, MS
148 Aiken Technical College Graniteville, SC
148 Black River Technical College Pocahontas, AR
148 Evergreen Valley College San Jose, CA
151 Southwestern Illinois College Belleville, IL
152 Ellsworth Community College Iowa Falls, IA
153 Lakeshore Technical College Cleveland, WI
154 Kilgore College Kilgore, TX
155 Riverside City College Riverside, CA
156 Rowan College at Burlington County Mount Laurel, NJ
157 Saint Louis Community College Saint Louis, MO
158 Mountain View College Dallas, TX
158 Williston State College Williston, ND
160 American River College Sacramento, CA
161 Cuesta College San Luis Obispo, CA
161 Ranger College Ranger, TX
161 North Central Missouri College Trenton, MO
164 Manhattan Area Technical College Manhattan, KS
164 Hinds Community College Raymond, MS
166 Mott Community College Flint, MI
166 New Mexico State University - Dona Ana Las Cruces, NM
168 Colorado Northwestern Community College Rangely, CO
169 San Bernardino Valley College San Bernardino, CA
169 Scottsdale Community College Scottsdale, AZ
171 Pierce College-Fort Steilacoom Lakewood, WA
172 Napa Valley College Napa, CA
173 Rasmussen College - Illinois Rockford, IL
174 College of the Ouachitas Malvern, AR

Nursing by Region

View the Best Value Nursing Associate's Degree Schools for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

Nursing Focus Areas

Major Annual Graduates
Registered Nursing 251,279
Family Practice Nurse/Nursing 15,536
Nursing Administration 9,071
Other Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research and Clinical Nursing 6,319
Nursing Practice 6,250
Nursing Science 4,704
Nurse Anesthetist 2,031
Adult Health Nurse/Nursing 2,012
Nursing Education 1,991
Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse/Nursing 1,266
Public Health/Community Nurse/Nursing 1,022
Critical Care Nursing 643
Clinical Nurse Leader 527
School Nursing 523
Nurse Midwife/Nursing Midwifery 475
Geriatric Nurse/Nursing 464
Clinical Nurse Specialist 428
Perioperative/Operating Room and Surgical Nurse/Nursing 236
Maternal/Child Health and Neonatal Nurse/Nursing 211
Emergency Room/Trauma Nursing 37
Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing 35
Palliative Care Nursing 23

Related Major Annual Graduates
Practical Nursing & Nursing Assistants 93,192

Notes and References

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to Aleksahgabrielle.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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