NCC Ranked 5th in the Nation for Graduation Rates by the Chronicle of Higher Education

Northwest Iowa Community College has been ranked 5th in the nation for two-year colleges with the best three-year graduation rates by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

The rankings were released in the August 20, 2021 edition of their annual The Chronicle of Higher Education’s 2020-21 Almanac report and NCC was the 5th best two-year public college in the nation for graduation rates of first-time, full-time, degree or certificate seeking students who entered in the fall of 2016 and completed an associate degree or earned a certificate at the same institution within 150 percent of the normal time to completion for that program. Students pursuing two-year degrees for example, counted as graduating if they had completed the program in three years (by August 31, 2019).

NCC was listed as 5th in the nation with 240 students in the cohort. Of those 240 students, 150 completed their programs within 150 percent of expected time and there was an overall completion rate of 68.85%. Nearly 27% completed less than two-year programs and 42.1% completed two-year programs. Finally, 9.6% transferred to another institution before completion and 1.7% were still enrolled at the College.

“Being recognized by The Chronicle of Higher Education is a nice validation for the excellent work that the faculty and staff at Northwest Iowa Community College are providing our students. This report is one indicator that NCC is helping our community members achieve success. It’s a great feeling for everyone at the College to be recognized for that contribution to our area and indeed, our State” explained Dr. Hartog, NCC President. “NCC’s student body consists of many first-time college students, individuals who are employed while continuing their education, parents who are not only working but caring for young children, and students whose first language is not English. We recognize that many students face enormous obstacles that include financial challenges. They are to be commended for choosing to come or return to college and to complete their studies. We are working to change the lives of our students but also for their families and our communities.”

The other colleges listed in the top 10 with best graduation rates were: State Technical College of Missouri; Mitchell Technical Institute, South Dakota; Lake Area Technical Institute, South Dakota; Northwest Iowa Community College; De Anza College, California; Samson Community College, North Carolina; Olney Central College, Illinois; North Central Kansas Technical College; and Frontier Community College, Illinois.

NCC was the only Iowa community college listed for best graduation rates in the Chronicle of Higher Education’s report (or any data set). There were 851 community colleges from across the nation that were reviewed for this data set. The overall almanac reported on 15 different data sets ranging from best graduation rates, tuition & fees, enrollment, etc. Only two other Iowa 4-year private colleges or universities were mentioned in the report. They were Grinnell College (number 1 for Colleges with the Best 6-Year Graduation Rates for Pell Students, 2019) and the University of Iowa (most conferred bachelor degrees for Parks, Recreation, Leisure, and Fitness Studies, 2018-2019).

One of the best ways to figure out if a college is for you is to schedule a campus visit. Register online at Visit NCC for Thunder Fridays and check out life at NCC! You’ll get a campus and dorm tour, meet with faculty within your desired program, chat with current NCC students, and talk with an admissions representative! Have questions about financial aid? Meet with a Financial Aid rep and talk about financial aid opportunities. Placement assessments are also available.

This year’s dates for Thunder Fridays are: October 1, October 8, October 22, October 29-Latino Day, November 19, December 3, January 14, February 4, February 16 – Latino Evening, February 25, March 25, April 1, and April 22. You can register for a Thunder Friday at

To find out more call 800-352-4907, email, or visit our website at  At NCC – Your Success is Our Story!