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Research ranks Mississippi's community college systems number one in the nation.
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A study comparing institutions by cost and financing, classroom experience, education, and career outcomes has set the bar for the nation's community colleges. Wallet Hub, an interactive social media company, found Mississippi at the top of the list. That was no surprise to Colleen Hartfield.

"Geographical accessibility is affordability. That is very important. In a state like ours, we work very hard to make certain that everyone has an opportunity for equality and higher education at an affordable cost," says Hartfield.

Hartfield is the Vice President of Community Relations at Hinds Community College. She says having higher education options close by is good for students.

Jim Haffey is the President of Holmes Community College. He says the state's 15 community colleges work together to provide the best opportunities.

"Around the 1950's, most of everyone looked to Mississippi because we had such a strong model that was put in place. The 15 schools try to get together monthly. We try to pull our resources and look at the needs of Mississippi," says Haffey.

The outcome of Wallet Hub's findings was no surprise for Kell Smith. He is the Director of Communications for the Mississippi community College Board.

"We've been recognized before from previous organizations, as having one of the top systems. But, Monday's announcement that we have the best community college system in the country was really reaffirming," Smith says. 

Smith says the continuous recognitions are motivation to keep excelling education in Mississippi. 

Wallet Hub's article of the study can be seen by visiting