Best Colleges in Missouri

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The higher education landscape in Missouri is comprised of 25 private colleges, 13 public colleges, 14 two-year colleges and more than 150 for-profit and private career schools. Students from near and far elect to complete their degrees in Missouri, thanks in part to an expansive range of educational offerings. Currently, the state has nearly 450,000 postsecondary students enrolled, with more than half attending public two- or four-year institutions. It’s clear Missouri has a significant draw when it comes to delivering college-level courses, but how do prospective students pick the best school for their needs? Using our sophisticated data analysis, we have applied our rigorous methodology to the latest education data to rank the best colleges in Missouri, including the top four-year and two-year schools.

Whether seeking a small private liberal arts college or a large public research institution, the “Show Me State” offers a wide range of choices when it comes to schools granting baccalaureate degrees. Though four-year institutions are pricier than their two-year counterparts, the state is known for being generous when it comes to assistance. For the 2012-2013 academic year, public and private institutions awarding undergraduate degrees provided $3,378,839,680 in financial aid. While the average for student debt among graduating seniors sits at $33,000, Missouri graduates average far less. As of 2014, 63% of students left school with educational loans, averaging $24,957.

Students at these institutions run the gamut when it comes to interests and aspirations; the current top five degree areas include business, education, health, social sciences and engineering.

Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Location Description
1Washington University in St Louis 5/5N/ASaint Louis, MO

Washington University in St. Louis is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, a Commission of the North Central Association. With 25 Nobel Laureates affiliated with its faculty and an 8:1 student to faculty ratio, this school offers students wide-ranging and excellent educational opportunities.

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2College of the Ozarks 3/5N/APoint Lookout, MO

Full-time students at College of the Ozarks do not have to pay tuition. Instead, they work at campus jobs and earn the opportunity to graduate from college debt free. The school does not participate in any loan programs. Accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, C of O has 83 full-time faculty and offers Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees.

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3Truman State University 2/5N/AKirksville, MO

Truman State University is a public liberal arts and sciences institution and offers 48 undergraduate majors, 58 minors, eight graduate programs and two graduate certificate programs. National publications consistently recognize Truman for academic excellence and educational value. Ninety percent of students reporting said they were either employed or in graduate within six months of graduating.

With 240 student organizations and 20 varsity teams in the NCAA Division II, Truman students have access to a well-rounded college experience. Truman is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.

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4Webster University 4/5N/ASaint Louis, MO

Webster University emphasizes a globalized curriculum. It offers study abroad opportunities in 14 different countries, on four different continents. In addition to NCAA Division III sports, Webster University fields chess and forensics teams. Webster offers multiple bachelor's and master's degree programs. Doctoral degrees are available in the George Herbert Walker School of Business and Technology and the School of Education.

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5William Jewell College 5/5N/ALiberty, MO

Located just 14 miles from Kansas City, William Jewell College is a liberal arts college inspired by Christian ideals. Jewell has approximately 1,060 full-time students and an 11:1 student faculty ratio. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, academic programs include more than 40 undergraduate degree majors, dual-degree options, pre-professional study, and graduate programs. The Oxbridge Honors program offers selected students the opportunity to study in Oxford, England.

Students at Jewell also enjoy access to a wide range of non-academic activities, including 70 student organizations and 20 men's and women's sports teams, competing at the NCAA Division II level in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.

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6Missouri University of Science and Technology 2/5N/ARolla, MO

One of the first technological institutions established west of the Mississippi, Missouri University of Science and Technology puts an emphasis on student research. Missouri S&T offers 97 degree programs, including 18 undergraduate programs in computing and engineering, multiple liberal arts options, and an experiential learning requirement.

Missouri S&T offers students access to more than 200 student organizations, intramural and NCAA Division II sports, and more than 100 live performances at the Leach Theatre each year. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

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7Saint Louis University 5/5N/ASaint Louis, MO

Saint Louis University, one of the leading colleges in Missouri, is affiliated with the Jesuit tradition and welcomes individuals of all faiths. More than 8,200 undergraduates are enrolled in more than 90 undergraduate degree programs. Business administration, nursing, biology, exercise science, and psychology are the most popular undergraduate majors. SLU has nearly 100 graduate programs and 4,600 graduate students.

SLU, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, has a vibrant campus life. Ninety-two percent of freshmen live on campus, and the school competes in 18 NCAA Division I sports. It prepares students for ongoing success, with 92% of graduates saying they were satisfied with their careers or graduate studies.

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8Rockhurst University 5/5N/AKansas City, MO

Rockhurst University has received national recognition from the Carnegie Foundation for its community engagement activities. Undergraduate programs range from accounting to women's studies. Rockhurst also offers seven pre-professional programs and graduate programs in occupational therapy, physical therapy, education, and speech pathology.

Rockhurst calls itself Kansas City's Jesuit university, with approximately 3,000 students. It is an independent, non-profit Jesuit university with a 50% Catholic student body. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and a member of the North Central Association.

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9University of Missouri – Columbia 2/5N/AColumbia, MO

The University of Missouri-Columbia, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, is the largest of all Missouri colleges. More than 35,000 students attend the University of Missouri-Columbia, and it offers more than 300 degree programs through 18 colleges and schools, in addition to a medical school, veterinary medicine college, and law school. More than 40% of the degrees awarded in 2015 were in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and health.

Known by the nickname "Mizzou," this school was the first public university founded west of the Mississippi. The main campus is a 1,262 acre botanic garden and many university buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places.

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10Evangel University 4/5N/ASpringfield, MO

The motto of Evangel University is "Boldly Christian, Unquestionably Academic." Located in Springfield, Missouri, Evangel University is accredited by the HIgher Learning Commission and affiliated with the Assemblies of God. More than 2,200 undergraduate and graduate students are enrolled in more than 100 academic programs at Evangel. Students have ready access to faculty, with 100 full-time faculty teaching in 10 academic departments, and a teacher:student ratio of 1:15.

Evangel has an active campus life, with more than 40 student organizations, NAIA Division I Athletics, multiple campus traditions, like student-produced variety shows each spring and fall, six residence halls, and married student housing.

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11Maryville University of Saint Louis 4/5N/ASaint Louis, MO

Maryville University offers more than 90 undergraduate, 17 masters, and five doctoral degree programs. One-on-one faculty advising promotes timely graduation, and approximately 92% of students receive financial aid. Maryville supports a vibrant community on its 130-acre campus, 20 minutes from downtown St. Louis. More than 80 student organizations explore interests from the social to the spiritual. The campus dining facility is the first in the area to be recognized for sustainable restaurant management practices.

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12University of Missouri – Kansas City 2/5N/AKansas City, MO

The University of Missouri-Kansas City offers more than 50 majors/programs in more than 120 academic areas. The UMKC Medical School offers a six-year combined bachelor's/M.D. program. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, of the 16,160 students at UMKC, 53% are undergraduates, 35% are graduate students, 16% are dual-enrolled high school students, and 1,600 live on-campus.

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13University of Missouri – St Louis 2/5N/ASaint Louis, MO

With more than 17,000 students, the University of Missouri - St Louis (UMSL) is one of the larger colleges in Missouri. UMSL is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and its diverse student body pursues an invigorating blend of academic and non-academic activities. The majority of undergraduates (42.5%) are enrolled in the College of Letters and Science, with the College of Business coming in second at 24%.

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14Missouri State University 2/5N/ASpringfield, MO

Home to roughly 24,000 students, Missouri State University is the second largest Missouri college. Its size is reflected in its wide range of programs; more than 85 undergraduate majors and 45 graduate programs. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, MSU draws students from 50 states and 85 countries. Freshmen had an average high school GPA of 3.59.

Campus activities are just as diverse. MSU has 25 fraternities and sororities, 300 student organizations, and 20 intramural sports. It fields 17 NCAA Division I teams, which have made 52 NCAA championship appearances.

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15Fontbonne University 4/5N/ASaint Louis, MO

Fontbonne University is a private, nonprofit, coeducational Catholic liberal arts institution. One of the leading Missouri colleges, Fontbonne University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. While its core curriculum, "Culture and the Common Good," emphasizes a global perspective, history, social justice and diversity., Fontbonne offers 43 undergraduate majors and 17 graduate programs.The school has a rolling admission deadline.

The Fontbonne campus is a close-knit community, located in suburban St. Louis. Sixty-five percent of full-time freshman live on campus in the school's three residence halls. Campus activities include leadership programs, men's and women's teams in NCAA Division III competition, and a blacklight intramural volleyball tournament.

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16William Woods University 4/5N/AFulton, MO

William Woods University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission recognized nationally for its high quality and affordable programs. Its signature undergraduate programs include a four-year American Sign Language interpreting program and a criminal justice degree with an emphasis in homeland security. The school's graduate programs include an MBA in entrepreneurial leadership, two education specialist degrees, nine different master's programs in education, and a doctorate in educational leadership.

New full-time students at William Woods are eligible for the LEAD (Leading, Educating, Achieving, Developing) Program, which offers financial support to help students get involved in university life.

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17Lindenwood University 3/5N/ASaint Charles, MO

Lindenwood University is an independent liberal arts institution, with a historic relationship with the Presbyterian Church. The school has a 500-acre campus in Saint Charles and numerous off-site locations. Enrollment stands at 9,357, which includes full and part-time undergraduate and graduate students.

The school offers 100 undergraduate degree programs, 54 graduate programs, and five doctoral programs. The most popular majors are business administration, criminal justice, exercise science, psychology, and elementary education. In addition, roughly one out of every three Lindenwood University students takes part in intercollegiate athletics.

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18Westminster College – Missouri 4/5N/AFulton, MO

Westminster College offers only undergraduate degrees, and it guarantees students that if they do not graduate in four years, the school will cover the tuition and fees for any additional required course work. Thirty-five majors and 12 pre-professional programs are available.

Westminster provides students with a dynamic developmental experience in a tight-knit community. Almost all (94%) of students live on campus, enlivened by 50 student groups, and 83% of 2014's freshman returned for their sophomore year. Ninety-nine percent of students receive financial aid of some sort.

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19Northwest Missouri State University 2/5N/AMaryville, MO

Northwest Missouri State University is a four-year state assisted university. Its academic and athletic teams have won 28 national championships since 2009. More than 70% of Northwest's 6,593 students are active participants in the school's 150 student groups.

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Northwest operates on the trimester system and offers 127 undergraduate majors, 18 pre-professional programs, 40 graduate programs, five graduate certificate programs, and a cooperative doctorate in educational leadership with the University of Missouri-Columbia. Laptops and textbooks are included in the cost of tuition.

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20Stephens College 4/5N/AColumbia, MO

Stephens College is the second oldest women's college in the U.S. With four schools (Design, Interdisciplinary Studies, Health Sciences, and Performing Arts), Stephens offers 21 undergraduate majors and five coeducational master's and certificate programs.

Located in Columbia, Stephens offers students a multi-faceted college experience. It has a 10:1 student faculty ratio, eight NAIA athletic teams, and a pet-friendly campus. Ninety-eight percent of students receive financial aid.

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21University of Central Missouri 2/5N/AWarrensburg, MO

The University of Central Missouri (UCM) emphasizes engaged learning, a culture of service, and an international perspective. Accredited through the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. UCM has a strong, collaborative relationship with nearby Whiteman Air Force Base. Its academic offerings are varied, with 486 full-time faculty, UCM offers 148 undergraduate degree programs, 10 pre-professional programs, 27 areas of teacher certification, and 37 graduate programs.

Life on UCM's 1,560-acre campus is just as vibrant. The school's 14,000 students enjoy access to 13 residence halls, 22 Greek organizations, 67 intramural and sport clubs, and more than 200 student organizations.

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22Hannibal-LaGrange University 3/5N/AHannibal, MO

Hannibal-LaGrange University (HLGU) is a four-year Christian university affiliated with the Missouri Baptist Convention (Southern Baptist). HLGU offers bachelor's degrees in 34 different majors, along with associate degrees in pre-professional programs. Most classes have fewer than 20 students for more individualized student support and attention.

At HLGU, 93% of students receive some financial aid. HLGU has several student organizations, including the New Edition, a Christian theater troupe. Students, faculty, and staff all have the opportunity to participate in missions in the United States and abroad.

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23Avila University 4/5N/AKansas City, MO

Avila University, a Catholic University sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, is a values-based liberal arts institution, open to students of all religious backgrounds. Avila has more than 60 undergraduate majors and concentrations and six graduate degree programs.

With a student body of 1,842 and a 12:1 student faculty ratio, students at Avila enjoy ready access to faculty. Avila also offers students a well-rounded campus experience, with sports teams participating in the NAIA and Heart of America conferences, and cultural opportunities, like the Goppert Theatre, Thornhill Art Gallery, and University Singers.

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24Southeast Missouri State University 2/5N/ACape Girardeau, MO

Southeast Missouri State University has more than 200 study areas, including one of only two nationally accredited journalism and mass communication programs in Missouri. Southeast's River campus is the only Missouri campus dedicated solely to art, dance, music,and theatre. Other popular majors include health studies, cybersecurity, visual and performing arts, entrepreneurship, education, and agribusiness. Internships, clinicals, and opportunities for hands-on experience are emphasized in all programs.

Southeast students enjoy many non-academic activities, including intramural and club sports and 180 student organizations. On average, they put in a combined total of 80,000 community service hours each year.

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25Missouri Baptist University 4/5N/ASaint Louis, MO

Missouri Baptist University is an evangelical, Christian, liberal arts institution emphasizing study and service. With its first class of students graduating in 1973, MBU is one of the newer colleges in Missouri. In addition to its main campus, MBU operates regional learning centers throughout eastern Missouri and Illinois.

With 71 different undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs, MBU offers a wide range of programs designed to help students pursue success and live their faith. Due to help from admissions and financial aid staff, the average student only pays half the cost of tuition.

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More than 140,000 students in Missouri currently attend the state’s 55 public and private two-year institutions. The top five associate degrees handed out in the state are in areas of arts and humanities, health, education, business and public services.

With the rapidly rising cost of higher education, gaining an associate degree before transitioning into a four-year program can be an excellent money saving measure. Community College Review reports the average cost for public community college is $7,890 per year for in-state students, while a public four-year institution costs an average of $15,022 for the 2012-2013 academic year. Though the majority of students attending two-year institutions in Missouri are in-state, these institutions also attract those from farther away. With the state’s cost of living set at 91.1% of the national average, this adds up to even further savings.

Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Location Description
1State Technical College of Missouri 2/5N/ALinn, MO

The State Technical College of Missouri is the Missouri's first and only public higher education institution with a statewide mission devoted solely to technical education at the associate degree level. In addition to more than 35 technical programs, the college offers customized and contract training to Missouri business and industry.
State Tech's unique programs include a nationally recognized program in nuclear technology, Missouri's only powersports technology program operating one of the state's best-equipped shops, and a one-of-a-kind aviation maintenance program. A public airport is also built onto the campus.

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2Southeast Health College of Nursing and Health Sciences 3/5N/ACape Girardeau, MO

As shortages of qualified workers in health care fields have developed in the region, the Southeast Health College of Nursing & Health Sciences has added programs to meet the demand. In addition to associate degree programs in nursing and radiography, the college offers one-year certificate programs in medical technology/clinical laboratory science and surgical technology.

The AAS in nursing can be earned in two years, either on a traditional weekday schedule or with evening and weekend classes. Licensed practical nurses may choose an accelerated program. Students have hands-on learning opportunities at Southeast Hospital, a regional medical center.

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3Cottey College 3/5N/ANevada, MO

About 350 women from 40 states and more than 25 countries attend Cottey, the only nonsectarian college in the nation owned and supported by women. The college offers AA, AS and AFA degrees, including specialties in music, art, dance and theater.

Cottey emphasizes leadership development through a voluntary four-level certification program that connects students with women leaders on campus and in the community. The college also pays for an international trip during Spring Break. Prominent alumni include Fulbright scholar Courtney Jones, Oscar-nominated film editor Carol Littleton ("E.T."), best-selling author Marilyn Harris Springer, and former U.S. Treasurer Francine Irving Neff.

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4Ranken Technical College 3/5N/ASaint Louis, MO

Ranken Technical College takes a hands-on approach to education, with students spending at least three hours in a lab or shop setting -- an average of 15 hours a week -- for each hour of classroom instruction. Ranken provides training in automotive, construction, electrical, information, and manufacturing technology.

Its manufacturing training facility is one of the largest in the area. In its unique high performance racing program, students learn to design and build any type of high performance engine. Ranken may grant credit for prior work experience, employer training programs, community service, travel, and military training.

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5Texas County Technical College 3/5N/AHouston, MO

Texas County Technical College, a non-profit institution, offers an AS degree in nursing or medical administrative assistant and a certificate in practical nursing. The nursing degree is an accelerated program designed for Missouri licensed practical nurses who want to pursue a career as a registered nurse.

New students are accepted each summer semester. For the practical nursing certificate (LPN), students begin each fall semester. Both programs take three semesters. The medical administrative assistant degree takes five semesters, with new students accepted every semester. It teaches administrative and medical office skills for employment in a medical facility or general business office.

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6North Central Missouri College 1/5N/ATrenton, MO

North Central Missouri College is widening its reach, adding classes in Maryville, Chillicothe, and Bethany. The college has added a 138-acre farm campus and formed partnerships with business and industry to expand learning opportunities.

NCMC offers an AA in teaching to provide the foundation for a four-year degree, and an AAS to prepare for employment in a specific occupational area, as well as certificates taking a year or less. The AAS programs range widely, from diagnostic medical sonography and criminal justice to industrial and energy systems.

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7East Central College 1/5N/AUnion, MO

East Central College, the primary provider of higher education in the area west of St. Louis County, was created and is locally supported by residents of the college district. The college offers more than 20 AA degrees in fields such as journalism, chemistry, history, business administration, and studio art.

Almost 25 AAS degrees and a dozen certificate programs are available. The culinary arts program is one of the premier cooking schools in the St. Louis area. A major source of scholarships is the ECC Foundation -- formed 40 years ago, when few community colleges had foundations.

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7Mineral Area College 1/5N/APark Hills, MO

Mineral Area College is a comprehensive community college offering both two-year transfer degrees (AA) and two-year completion degrees (AS and AAS). Most of the 35 career and technical education programs include related work or clinical experience, and those students must take a one-credit course in job search skills.

Web-based courses and telecourses, with flexible schedules, are quickly gaining popularity at the college. Interactive television courses are also available. The college's Law Enforcement Academy trains law enforcement agencies and students interested in a police career. The college also operates a Fire and Rescue Academy. The college provides study abroad opportunities open to all students.

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9Jefferson College 1/5N/AHillsboro, MO

Jefferson offers credit programs leading to four associate degrees and numerous career and technical certificates. Students may prepare for transfer to a four-year institution or move into an immediate career.

A special curriculum for excellent students who want challenging, interesting, or unusual courses can lead to an honors diploma or certificate. Another specially designed curriculum is the global studies program for students interested in foreign language development, world cultural geography, global issues, and study abroad. Other options for students include hundreds of online courses, hybrid courses (onsite and online), evening and Saturday classes, and eight-week accelerated formats.

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10St Charles Community College 1/5N/ACottleville, MO

St. Charles prides itself on versatility, serving high school seniors and senior citizens, athletes and veterans, transferring students and those seeking professional development. The college offers associate degrees and certificate programs in the arts, business, sciences, and career-technical fields; workforce training; personal and professional development; and cultural, recreational, and entertainment opportunities.

SCC allied health students consistently exceed national pass rates for licensure, frequently with 100% passing. The campus has won architectural awards for its innovative "educational village" design, with five miles of walking trails. Notably, the school's roller hockey club team has won 12 national championships.

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11Crowder College 1/5N/ANeosho, MO

Serving nine counties, Crowder College has expanded with full-service locations in Webb City, Cassville, Nevada, and Jane, each offering up to 10 degrees. Students often take classes at more than one Crowder site. The school offers more than 80 degree programs and certificates, including the standout alternative energy program, with options including solar, wind, and energy-efficient building.

Crowder is Missouri's designated renewable energy education center, and the first solar car to go coast-to-coast was built there. Another highlight is the Crowder Sentry, named the best community college newspaper in the state. The school's Board of Trustees eliminated out-of-state tuition.

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12State Fair Community College 1/5N/ASedalia, MO

State Fair Community College offers more than 65 degree and certificate programs, and frequently adds new programs as the need arises. The most recent additions are diagnostic medical sonography, computed tomography and phlebotomy, and certificates for nurse assistant and medical technician.

About 5,000 students take courses for credit at SFCC, including almost 2,200 online students. Several degrees and certificates can be earned entirely online. In some programs that offer an AAS, such as automotive technology, students hoping to land a job quickly can obtain a skill certificate with as few as 15 credit hours.

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13Wentworth Military Academy & Junior College 3/5N/ALexington, MO

Students who want an Army career can earn an officer's commission in just two years at Wentworth, one of just five school nationwide offering that opportunity. Students in the ROTC program simultaneously serve as nondeployable cadets in the Army National Guard or Army Reserve.

But cadets are only a fraction of the student body at Wentworth, which also offers six degrees: AA, AS, AAS, and associate degrees in business management, paralegal studies, and homeland security. The rigorous international pathway program, focusing intensely on English language skills, is designed to create a path for international students to top U.S. colleges.

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14Three Rivers Community College 1/5N/APoplar Bluff, MO

Three Rivers serves southeast Missouri from the Ozark hills to the Bootheel, with a main campus in Poplar Bluff and nine other centers, as well as online degrees. The top programs by enrollment are general education, pre-nursing, elementary education, business administration, and psychology.

A new university center on the Poplar Bluff campus will host bachelor's and master's programs offered by Southeast Missouri State, Central Methodist and Hannibal-LaGrange universities. Three Rivers has an outstanding basketball program, winning two national championships. NBA All-Star Latrell Sprewell played there in 1988-90, and its baseball team has sent four players to the Major Leagues.

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15Ozarks Technical Community College 1/5N/ASpringfield, MO

As the third largest community college in Missouri, Ozarks Technical Community College encompasses three campuses and two centers across southwest Missouri. The choices for students are many—transfer degrees in forensic science, forestry, and fire science, for example, and technical degrees as diverse as accounting technology, geographic information systems, and paraprofessional educator.

The AAS in diversified technology allows students who have completed a two-year program at a technical career center to receive 36 hours of free college credit. Another noteworthy program is a one-year certificate in precision agriculture, the emerging field that involves using farm-level information technology such as GPS maps.

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16Moberly Area Community College 1/5N/AMoberly, MO

The choices at Moberly Area Community College include more than 40 areas of study, with traditional, online, virtual, hybrid, and ITV courses. Flexible scheduling includes summer, intersession, online, and evening courses. Tutoring is free.

MACC offers an honors certificate, a global studies certificate, a semester abroad program and for-credit internships with area employers. The new traditions program helps members of special populations in financial trouble (single parents, displaced homemakers, foster children) enter and complete career and technical programs. A retention program identifies and assists academically at-risk students. MACC accepts an unlimited number of dual-credit courses toward a certificate or degree.

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17St. Louis Community College 1/5N/ASaint Louis, MO

St. Louis Community College -- the largest community college district in Missouri and one of the largest in the U.S. -- offers 15 college transfer and 90-plus career programs. Some associate degrees are highly specialized, such as the AAS in baking and pastry arts, deaf communication studies, and funeral service education.

STLCC's Corporate College in Bridgeton is solely dedicated to corporate education and professional development. An extensive lineup of "green" programs includes the master naturalist certificate program and automotive programs featuring hybrid and electric vehicles. Prominent alumni include baseball All-Star David Freese, music producer Ryan Bowser, and TV/radio personality Todd Newton.

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18Metropolitan Community College – Kansas City 2/5N/AMO

MCC is Kansas City's oldest and largest public institution of higher learning. With five campuses and 47 major buildings, MCC offers more than 130 associate degree and certificate programs.

Facilities include the state-of-the-art Health Science Institute, housing a dozen health-care programs and a virtual hospital with true-to-life simulation stations; the Public Safety Institute (police and fire academies, precision driving center, high risk attack training center); and the FabLab, where artists, engineers and business owners can conceptualize, design, develop, fabricate, and test almost anything. Alumni include "Thin Man" actor William Powell, Royals owner Ewing Kauffman, and Mayor Sly James.

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19Missouri State University – West Plains 1/5N/AWest Plains, MO

Missouri State University-West Plains is a two-year campus of the Missouri State University System serving students in Douglas, Howell, Oregon, Ozark, Shannon, Texas and Wright counties. Among a wide array of offerings, a notable degree is the AAS in Viticulture, the science of growing and cultivating grapes.

An AAS in general agriculture includes specialties in agricultural business, animal science, horticulture, natural resources, plant science, and wildlife management. West Plains has been designated as military-friendly for five straight years. For Missouri seniors, the college offers a fee waiver for academic courses taken on a non-credit basis.

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If you’re thinking about applying to one of the best colleges in Missouri, continuing reading to learn more about living in the Show Me State.

The state is home to a number of large cities with plenty of activities to keep even the most adventurous student content. Conversely, the region is also known for beautiful rural areas. Regardless of a student’s expectations for surroundings, Missouri likely has a city or town to meet those needs.

Low costs of living makes it possible for students to spend less time worrying about finances; those electing to live off-campus in a two-bedroom apartment near St. Louis pay on average $438 per month, while a student in New York City would pay $2015 for the same space. To give prospective students an idea of what they can expect in terms of living in Missouri, we’ve highlighted some of the better known regions:

Regional Spotlight: Mid-Missouri

  • Major Cities: Columbia, Jefferson City, Sedalia
  • Attractions: The Ozark Mountains, Missouri Rhineland, Lake of the Ozarks
  • Cost of Living: Columbia
  • Popular Schools: Washington University in St. Louis, University of Missouri – St. Louis, St. Louis University

Regional Spotlight: St. Louis Region

  • Major Cities: St. Louis, O’Fallon, St. Charles
  • Attractions: Anheuser-Busch, the St. Louis Arch, Forest Park
  • Cost of Living: St. Louis
  • Popular Schools: University of Missouri, Columbia College, Stephens College, Lincoln University