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2021 Best Value Nursing Associate's Degree Schools

Identifying Quality Schools at More Affordable Prices

870 Colleges
$4,239 Avg Tuition & Fees*
$54,473 Avg Salary

Finding the Best Nursing Associate's Degree School for You

With 305,309 degrees and certificates handed out in 2018-2019, nursing is the #3 most popular major in the United States.

There are lots of options to pick from today when trying to decide which program is right for you. As online education oppotunities continue to grow, you're not restricted to just schools in your local area anymore. Even some of the 'big name' schools are offering online courses. Also, there are a number of trade schools with offerings that you might find attractive.

To assist you in seeing some of the education options that are available to you, Course Advisor has created its Best Value Nursing Associate's Degree Schools ranking. Our analysis looked at 870 schools in the United States to see which associate's degree programs offered the best value experiences for nursing students with the aim of identifying those quality schools that are more affordable than some of their counterparts.

When determining this ranking, we place a high emphasis on the school's quality as well as its sticker price. Even though a college may be affordable, it may not offer value. More specifically, we discount our quality score by the published tuition and fees charged by a school. This gives the cost per unit of quality for each college. The value is determined by how much quality your dollar buys.

Our calculations use out-of-state tuition and fees in our nationwide and regional rankings. Average in-state tuition and fees are used for our statewide rankings.

2021 Best Value Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools in the United States

Check out the nursing associate's degree programs at these schools if you want to get the best value for your educational dollar.

Top 25 Best Schools for Affordable Quality for an Associate's in Nursing

Our analysis found New Mexico Junior College to be the best value school for nursing students who want to pursue a associate’s degree in the United States. Located in the town of Hobbs, New Mexico Junior College is a public school with a small student population.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at New Mexico Junior College are $1,968 per year.

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The excellent associate’s degree programs at Alvin Community College helped the school earn the #2 place on this year’s ranking of the best value nursing schools in the United States. Alvin is a moderately-sized public school located in the large suburb of Alvin.

Alvin undergraduate students pay an average of $3,938 in tuition and fees each year. Nursing majors at Alvin take out an average of $8,375 in student loans while working on their Associate's Degree. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $73.

Alvin also claimed a spot on our Best Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools list. It’s in the top 20% of all schools in this category.

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The excellent associate’s degree programs at Southeast Community College Area helped the school earn the #3 place on this year’s ranking of the best value nursing schools in the United States. Southeast Community College is a medium-sized public school located in the large city of Lincoln.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at Southeast Community College are $3,096 per year. On average, nursing graduates from Southeast Community College take out $23,869 in student loans while working on their Associate's Degree. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $215.

Southeast Community College also claimed a spot on our Best Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools list. It’s in the top 20% of all schools in this category.

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#4

College of the Mainland

Texas City, TX

A rank of #4 on this year’s list means College of the Mainland is a great value for nursing students working on their associate’s degree. Located in the suburb of Texas City, COM is a public college with a small student population.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at COM are $3,873 a year. On average, nursing graduates from COM take out $10,354 in student loans while working on their Associate's Degree. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $90.

COM also claimed a spot on our Best Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools list. It’s in the top 10% of all schools in this category.

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A rank of #5 on this year’s list means University of Arkansas Community College - Batesville is a great value for nursing students working on their associate’s degree. UACCB is a small public school located in the remote town of Batesville.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at UACCB are $3,438 per year. On average, nursing graduates from UACCB take out $14,353 in student loans while working on their Associate's Degree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $116, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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Neosho County Community College landed the #6 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best value associate’s degree nursing programs. Located in the remote town of Chanute, Neosho County Community College is a public school with a small student population.

Neosho County Community College undergraduate students pay an average of $3,904 in tuition and fees each year. After completing their Associate's Degree, nursing graduates from Neosho County Community College carry an average student debtload of $13,511. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $125.

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Clovis Community College came in at #7 in this year’s edition of the Best Value Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools ranking. Located in the town of Clovis, Clovis Community College is a public school with a small student population.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at Clovis Community College are $2,984 a year.

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#8

Amarillo College

Amarillo, TX

With a ranking of #8, Amarillo College did quite well on this year’s best value schools for nursing students working on their associate’s degree. Located in the medium-sized city of Amarillo, Amarillo College is a public school with a moderately-sized student population.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at Amarillo College are $4,704 per year. After completing their Associate's Degree, nursing graduates from Amarillo College carry an average student debtload of $18,122. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $161, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#9

Victoria College

Victoria, TX

Victoria College did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for nursing students to get a associate’s degree. It came in at #9 on the list. Located in the small city of Victoria, Victoria College is a public college with a small student population.

Victoria College undergraduate students pay an average of $4,392 in tuition and fees each year. After completing their Associate's Degree, nursing graduates from Victoria College carry an average student debtload of $13,413. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $123.

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Pratt Community College came in at #10 in this year’s edition of the Best Value Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools ranking. Pratt Community College is a small public school located in the rural area of Pratt.

Pratt Community College undergraduate students pay an average of $4,168 in tuition and fees each year. While working on their Associate's Degree, nursing majors at Pratt Community College accumulate an average of around $10,463 in student debt.

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#11

Lee College

Baytown, TX

Lee College did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for nursing students to get a associate’s degree. It came in at #11 on the list. Lee College is a medium-sized public school located in the city of Baytown.

Lee College undergraduate students pay an average of $4,302 in tuition and fees each year. While working on their Associate's Degree, nursing majors at Lee College accumulate an average of around $13,833 in student debt. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $118.

Lee College also claimed a spot on our Best Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools list. It’s in the top 5% of all schools in this category.

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#12

Southeast Technical Institute

Sioux Falls, SD

With a ranking of #12, Southeast Technical Institute did quite well on this year’s best value schools for nursing students working on their associate’s degree. Located in the rural area of Sioux Falls, Southeast Technical Institute is a public school with a small student population.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at Southeast Technical Institute are $6,448 per year. On average, nursing graduates from Southeast Technical Institute take out $15,214 in student loans while working on their Associate's Degree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $146, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

As a testament to the quality of education it offers, Southeast Technical Institute also is in the top 5% of our Best Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools ranking.

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Lake Area Technical Institute came in at #13 in this year’s edition of the Best Value Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools ranking. LATI is a small public school located in the remote town of Watertown.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at LATI are $5,514 a year.

In addition to its great value ranking, LATI is in the top 5% of all schools on our Best Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools list.

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#14

South Plains College

Levelland, TX

South Plains College landed the #14 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best value associate’s degree nursing programs. South Plains College is a medium-sized public school located in the distant town of Levelland.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at South Plains College are $4,088 a year. After completing their Associate's Degree, nursing graduates from South Plains College carry an average student debtload of $18,819. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $196, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#15

Lower Columbia College

Longview, WA

Lower Columbia College ranked #15 on this year’s Best Value Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools list. Located in the city of Longview, LCC is a public college with a small student population.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at LCC are $4,398 a year. On average, nursing graduates from LCC take out $15,530 in student loans while working on their Associate's Degree. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $125.

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#16

Lake Region State College

Devils Lake, ND

Lake Region State College landed the #16 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best value associate’s degree nursing programs. Lake Region State College is a small public school located in the town of Devils Lake.

Lake Region State College undergraduate students pay an average of $4,655 in tuition and fees each year. On average, nursing graduates from Lake Region State College take out $17,590 in student loans while working on their Associate's Degree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $154, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#17

Central Community College

Grand Island, NE

Central Community College did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for nursing students to get a associate’s degree. It came in at #17 on the list. Located in the city of Grand Island, Central Community College is a public college with a medium-sized student population.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at Central Community College are $4,500 a year. While working on their Associate's Degree, nursing majors at Central Community College accumulate an average of around $10,863 in student debt. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $99, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#18

Lone Star College System

The Woodlands, TX

Lone Star College System landed the #18 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best value associate’s degree nursing programs. Located in the city of The Woodlands, North Harris Montgomery is a public college with a fairly large student population.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at North Harris Montgomery are $5,564 per year. On average, nursing graduates from North Harris Montgomery take out $14,318 in student loans while working on their Associate's Degree. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $117, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

North Harris Montgomery also claimed a spot on our Best Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools list. It’s in the top 10% of all schools in this category.

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With a ranking of #19, San Jacinto Community College did quite well on this year’s best value schools for nursing students working on their associate’s degree. San Jacinto College is a fairly large public school located in the large suburb of Pasadena.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at San Jacinto College are $5,040 a year. On average, nursing graduates from San Jacinto College take out $15,583 in student loans while working on their Associate's Degree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $130, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

On top of its placing in our value ranking, San Jacinto College also did well on our Best Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools list. It’s in the top 20% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

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#20

North Hennepin Community College

Brooklyn Park, MN

North Hennepin Community College ranked #20 on this year’s Best Value Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools list. Located in the large suburb of Brooklyn Park, North Hennepin Community College is a public college with a medium-sized student population.

North Hennepin Community College undergraduate students pay an average of $4,566 in tuition and fees each year. On average, nursing graduates from North Hennepin Community College take out $19,939 in student loans while working on their Associate's Degree. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $168.

In addition to its great value ranking, North Hennepin Community College is in the top 10% of all schools on our Best Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools list.

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#21

Highline College

Des Moines, WA

Highline College ranked #21 on this year’s Best Value Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools list. Located in the large suburb of Des Moines, Highline is a public college with a medium-sized student population.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at Highline are $4,576 a year. The average amount in student loans that nursing majors at Highline take out while working on their Associate's Degree is $9,928. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $83.

Highline excels when it comes to quality. It’s ranked in the top 20% of all schools on our Best Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools list.

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#22

Meridian Community College

Meridian, MS

With a ranking of #22, Meridian Community College did quite well on this year’s best value schools for nursing students working on their associate’s degree. MCC is a small public school located in the remote town of Meridian.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at MCC are $4,258 per year. Nursing majors at MCC take out an average of $9,410 in student loans while working on their Associate's Degree. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $90.

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#23

Garden City Community College

Garden City, KS

With a ranking of #23, Garden City Community College did quite well on this year’s best value schools for nursing students working on their associate’s degree. Located in the remote town of Garden City, Garden City Community College is a public college with a small student population.

The average tuition and fees for an out-of-state undergraduate student at Garden City Community College are $3,874 a year. After completing their Associate's Degree, nursing graduates from Garden City Community College carry an average student debtload of $16,999. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $152, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#24

Clarendon College

Clarendon, TX

Clarendon College did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for nursing students to get a associate’s degree. It came in at #24 on the list. Located in the remote area of Clarendon, Clarendon College is a public college with a small student population.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at Clarendon College are $4,008 per year. On average, nursing graduates from Clarendon College take out $17,245 in student loans while working on their Associate's Degree. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $145.

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#25

Highland Community College

Highland, KS

Highland Community College ranked #25 on this year’s Best Value Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools list. Located in the rural area of Highland, Highland Community College is a public college with a small student population.

Out-of-state tuition fees for undergraduate students at Highland Community College are $3,711 per year. Nursing majors at Highland Community College take out an average of $14,447 in student loans while working on their Associate's Degree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $109, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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Rest of the Top 50 Best Value Nursing Associate's Degree Schools

#26

Wenatchee Valley College

Wenatchee, WA
#27

Galveston College

Galveston, TX
#28

Hutchinson Community College

Hutchinson, KS
#31

Camden County College

Blackwood, NJ
#34

Anoka-Ramsey Community College

Coon Rapids, MN
#35

Tyler Junior College

Tyler, TX
#39

Weatherford College

Weatherford, TX
#40

Mid-Plains Community College

North Platte, NE
#46

Yakima Valley College

Yakima, WA
#47

Brazosport College

Lake Jackson, TX
#48

Odessa College

Odessa, TX
#50

Del Mar College

Corpus Christi, TX

Remaining Award Winners

This section represents the remainder of the colleges awarded a Best Value Nursing Associate's Degree Schools badge. Showing in this list means the school was ranked in the top 15% of the 870 different United States nursing schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
51 Moraine Park Technical College Fond du Lac, WI
52 Inver Hills Community College Inver Grove Heights, MN
53 Bellingham Technical College Bellingham, WA
54 Oakland Community College Bloomfield Hills, MI
55 El Centro College Dallas, TX
56 San Juan College Farmington, NM
57 Chippewa Valley Technical College Eau Claire, WI
58 Ridgewater College Willmar, MN
59 University of New Mexico - Gallup Campus Gallup, NM
60 Wayne County Community College District Detroit, MI
61 Grayson College Denison, TX
61 Minnesota State Community and Technical College Fergus Falls, MN
61 Rochester Community and Technical College Rochester, MN
64 University of Arkansas Community College - Morrilton Morrilton, AR
65 Alexandria Technical & Community College Alexandria, MN
66 Schoolcraft College Livonia, MI
67 University of New Mexico - Taos Campus Ranchos de Taos, NM
67 North Dakota State College of Science Wahpeton, ND
69 Central Lakes College - Brainerd Brainerd, MN
70 Genesee Community College Batavia, NY
71 El Paso Community College El Paso, TX
72 Southwest Wisconsin Technical College Fennimore, WI
72 Bismarck State College Bismarck, ND
74 Raritan Valley Community College Branchburg, NJ
75 Spokane Community College Spokane, WA
75 Shoreline Community College Shoreline, WA
75 Minnesota State College Southeast Winona, MN
78 Western Technical College La Crosse, WI
79 Northwest Iowa Community College Sheldon, IA
79 Butte College Oroville, CA
81 Cypress College Cypress, CA
81 Century College - White Bear Lake White Bear Lake, MN
83 Olympic College Bremerton, WA
84 Santa Fe Community College Santa Fe, NM
85 Rogue Community College Grants Pass, OR
86 Santa Rosa Junior College Santa Rosa, CA
87 Howard College Big Spring, TX
88 Kansas City Kansas Community College Kansas City, KS
88 Seward County Community College Liberal, KS
90 South Central College North Mankato, MN
91 Washington State Community College Marietta, OH
92 Normandale Community College Bloomington, MN
93 Fresno City College Fresno, CA
94 Northland Community and Technical College Thief River Falls, MN
95 University of New Mexico - Valencia County Campus Los Lunas, NM
96 Lake Superior College Duluth, MN
97 Houston Community College Houston, TX
98 College of the Canyons Santa Clarita, CA
99 Laredo Community College Laredo, TX
100 Midland College Midland, TX
101 Itawamba Community College Fulton, MS
101 Pierce College-Puyallup Puyallup, WA
103 NorthWest Arkansas Community College Bentonville, AR
104 College of the Sequoias Visalia, CA
105 Umpqua Community College Roseburg, OR
106 North Central Kansas Technical College Beloit, KS
106 Big Bend Community College Moses Lake, WA
108 Texarkana College Texarkana, TX
109 Vernon College Vernon, TX
110 Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Green Bay, WI
111 City College of San Francisco San Francisco, CA
112 Navarro College Corsicana, TX
113 Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College Shell Lake, WI
114 Antelope Valley College Lancaster, CA
114 West Hills College-Lemoore Lemoore, CA
116 Northwest Mississippi Community College Senatobia, MS
117 North Arkansas College Harrison, AR
117 Crowder College Neosho, MO
119 Yuba College Marysville, CA
120 Baptist Health College - Little Rock Little Rock, AR
121 Gwinnett Technical College Lawrenceville, GA
122 Temple College Temple, TX
123 Walla Walla Community College Walla Walla, WA
124 Gateway Technical College Kenosha, WI
125 West Georgia Technical College Waco, GA
126 Southern Maine Community College South Portland, ME
127 Fox Valley Technical College Appleton, WI
127 Milwaukee Area Technical College Milwaukee, WI
127 Hibbing Community College Hibbing, MN
130 Waukesha County Technical College Pewaukee, WI

Additional Noteworthy Schools

These are some additional schools worth mentioning that are also great but just didn't quite make the cut to earn our top Best Value Nursing Associate's Degree Schools award.

Rank College Location
131 Santa Fe College Gainesville, FL
132 South Arkansas Community College El Dorado, AR
133 Southeastern Community College West Burlington, IA
134 Prince George’s Community College Largo, MD
135 Holmes Community College Goodman, MS
135 Moorpark College Moorpark, CA
137 Minneapolis Community and Technical College Minneapolis, MN
138 Rasmussen College - Minnesota St. Cloud, MN
139 Rasmussen College - Florida Ocala, FL
140 College of Eastern Idaho Idaho Falls, ID
141 Columbia Basin College Pasco, WA
142 Northeast Iowa Community College Calmar, IA
143 Middlesex County College Edison, NJ
144 Ocean County College Toms River, NJ
145 Butler Community College El Dorado, KS
145 Riverside College of Health Careers Newport News, VA
147 East Central Community College Decatur, MS
148 Aiken Technical College Graniteville, SC
148 Evergreen Valley College San Jose, CA
148 Black River Technical College Pocahontas, AR
151 Southwestern Illinois College Belleville, IL
152 Ellsworth Community College Iowa Falls, IA
153 Lakeshore Technical College Cleveland, WI
154 Kilgore College Kilgore, TX
155 Riverside City College Riverside, CA
156 Rowan College at Burlington County Mount Laurel, NJ
157 Saint Louis Community College Saint Louis, MO
158 Williston State College Williston, ND
158 Mountain View College Dallas, TX
160 American River College Sacramento, CA
161 Ranger College Ranger, TX
161 Cuesta College San Luis Obispo, CA
161 North Central Missouri College Trenton, MO
164 Hinds Community College Raymond, MS
164 Manhattan Area Technical College Manhattan, KS
166 Mott Community College Flint, MI
166 New Mexico State University - Dona Ana Las Cruces, NM
168 Colorado Northwestern Community College Rangely, CO
169 Scottsdale Community College Scottsdale, AZ
169 San Bernardino Valley College San Bernardino, CA
171 Pierce College-Fort Steilacoom Lakewood, WA
172 Napa Valley College Napa, CA
173 Rasmussen College - Illinois Rockford, IL
174 College of the Ouachitas Malvern, AR

Nursing by Region

View the Best Value Nursing Associate's Degree Schools for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

One of 34 majors within the area of study, nursing has other similar majors worth exploring.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Allied Health & Medical Assisting Services 99,641
Practical Nursing & Nursing Assistants 93,192
Allied Health Professions 86,697
Health & Medical Administrative Services 82,868
Public Health 36,569

Notes and References

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to Aleksahgabrielle.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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