As more and more students are turning to community colleges to fulfill their higher education goals, students are seeing that learning in a smaller campus atmosphere they can get prompt feedback and better access to instructors.

Students are enrolling in community colleges for a number of reasons: the lower cost, the close location to home, and those recently unemployed are looking to gain new skills for the job market.

Nearly half of all American students begin their college careers at two-year institutions. There are about 1,200 community colleges nationwide educating approximately 12 million students.

The OEDb has released their annual rankings of online colleges for 2009. In their findings, they have ranked the top 44 online colleges. The methodology of the rankings are based upon eight criteria: acceptance rate, financial aid, graduation rate, peer Web citations, retention rate, scholarly citations, student-faculty ratio, and years accredited.

While rankings alone should not be the sole criteria for attending a college, rankings in general can be used as a guide to see the strengths and weaknesses of a college you are considering.