Study evaluated quality of online programs at colleges across the nation, a trusted resource for online degree rankings and higher education planning, has announced the top online degree programs for 2021 based on its assessment of nearly 1,300 colleges and universities in the United States. Among the community colleges to receive recognition was Daytona State College, which was singled out for having the most competitive tuition rates in the country.

Schools were evaluated on five metrics: program strength, student readiness for the workforce, return on investment, overall cost and student engagement. Scores for each category were based on a zero-to-100 scale. To be included in the rankings, colleges were required to be non-profit and accredited while offering degree programs either entirely online or in a hybrid model. The methodology also used an algorithm which collects and analyzes multiple rankings from different sources into one score to easily compare each school.

Nationwide, students save on average $6,570 per year on tuition when they attend a community or state college as opposed to a public four-year university. Daytona State’s tuition, which has not been raised in 11 years, is approximately half that of Florida’s state universities. Students who pursue a degree at DSC can also expect to gain employment much quicker in comparison to candidates without a degree.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs requiring a postsecondary non-degree award will increase by 11.5 percent by 2024, and associate degree jobs will increase by 8.7 percent during the same time frame. Individuals who earn an associate degree earn on average $16,730 more than those whose highest level of education is a high school diploma.

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