Four Alamo Colleges tops in nation for online community colleges

July 27, 2020

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For the second year in a row, three of the colleges of the Alamo Colleges District were recently ranked in the top ten on the list of 2020 Best Online Community Colleges in Texas by Guide to Online Schools, published by Optimal, formerly the SR Education Group, a leading education research publisher.

San Antonio College ranked number 8; Palo Alto College ranked number 9; and St. Philip’s College ranked number 10. Northwest Vista College ranked among the top 20 online community colleges at number 18. All four colleges ranked in the organization’s top ten online community colleges for 2019.

"In our efforts to make a college education accessible to as many residents of our service area as possible, developing our online offerings plays a key role," said Alamo Colleges Chancellor Dr. Mike Flores. "We are proud to see four of our colleges recognized for their excellence in online programs and will continue to expand the programs we offer completely online so that more individuals can improve their economic well-being and that of their families and their community," he added.

Since 75% of online college students live within 100 miles of their school's campus, the rankings are a valuable resource for prospective college students. This is especially true for prospective Alamo Colleges District students, because the district serves a large, eight-county area, and students may prefer to save time and money by completing their associate degree online rather than commuting long distances. Online programs are also more critical than ever due to the need for remote learning to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is the second year the Guide to Online Schools has released online community college rankings by state. Each college received a score based on several important factors, including retention and graduation rates and percentage of online enrollment data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). The number of online associate degrees offered was considered in the ranking score as well. The research group also conducted manual research to provide prospective students with more details about the colleges' online programs. To view the full list, go to

Guide to Online Schools has been publishing rankings of online colleges since 2009. Guide to Online Schools is a product of Optimal, a company that strives to empower people to make better decisions about careers and education. Optimal has provided $637,000 in scholarships to 170 students since 2010.