Flagstaff, Arizona (AZ) Colleges and Universities

While there are roughly four schools in Flagstaff, Arizona, there are many colleges located within a 65-mile radius. Read about the top schools in several categories to find the right one for you.

School Ranking Overview

Students searching for educational opportunities in Flagstaff, AZ, have multiple options available within and near the city limits, including community colleges, vocational schools and universities. Through these public and private institutions, individuals can complete programs that lead to a variety of credentials ranging from undergraduate certificates to doctoral degrees. This article offers students help with finding the right school by comparing four local schools and ranking the top three of those in the following categories:

  • Net Price
  • Graduation Rate
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio
  • Largest Student Population

Net Price

The cost of attending a college or university can be a deciding factor for many students when it comes to choosing where to study. In general, public institutions tend to charge lower tuition rates than private schools. This is the case with the colleges located in the Flagstaff area, according to 2012-2013 data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). During that academic year, the following schools had the lowest tuition rates among the four schools compared.

1. Yavapai College

Although Yavapai College is located over 60 miles from Flagstaff in Prescott, AZ, the two-year public school offers the most reasonable net price of the profiled institutions. Full-time students at Yavapai pay $7,608 for the school year, which takes into account the cost of tuition, fees and textbooks, and any student aid that may be available.

2. Coconino Community College

Located in Flagstaff, Coconino Community College is also a two-year public institution offering academic programs for undergraduate students. It has the next lowest net price of the four schools at $9,110 per year.

3. Northern Arizona University

The only public four-year university among the profiled schools, Flagstaff's Northern Arizona University is also the only institution of those compared to offer both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The net price for undergrads is $14,398; NCES data for 2013-2014 reveals that in-state graduate students pay approximately $9,439 in just tuition and fees.

Graduation Rate

A school's graduation rate is worth considering because it can offer some insight into the quality of academic programs at the college or university. Of the four compared institutions, the three schools below have the highest graduation rates for undergraduate students who started their program in 2007 and completed it within 150% of 'normal time,' or six years, as reported by the NCES.

1. Northern Arizona University

Though not particularly high, Northern Arizona University has the highest overall graduation rate of the ranked schools at 49%. That said, NCES data also reveals that the majority -- 72% -- of full-time students who began their first bachelor's degree program in 2012 returned to the school the following year.

2. College America - Flagstaff

College America's Flagstaff campus is a four-year private, not-for-profit school that offers both associate's and bachelor's degrees. It has the next highest graduation rate of the ranked schools, coming in at 47%. Of those who started working towards their first bachelor's degree in 2012, 65% returned to College America in 2013.

3. Yavapai College

Coming in third, Yavapai College has a graduation rate of just 17% for full-time students, and there was a 35% transfer-out rate. However, NCES figures suggest that most students are satisfied with the education they're receiving at the institution; 63% of full-time students who began their postsecondary studies in 2012 returned the next year.

Student-to-Faculty Ratio

A school's student-to-faculty ratio gives an idea of what to expect in terms of class interaction and personal attention from professors or instructors. The three colleges listed below have the lowest ratios, according to NCES stats in 2013.

1. College America - Flagstaff

Of the ranked schools, College America - Flagstaff likely offers the most one-on-one interaction between educators and their students. The undergraduate institution has a student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1. According to the NCES, College America has just nine full-time and five part-time faculty members as of fall 2013; however, the campus only serves a couple hundred students.

2. Northern Arizona University

Next up among the three ranked schools is Northern Arizona University, which has a student-to-faculty ratio of 19:1. As of 2013, the university employed 973 full-time faculty members as well as 616 part-time instructors (NCES). Students may also be able to receive guidance from the 465 graduate assistants working on campus (NCES).

3. Yavapai College

With about 19 students for each faculty member, Yavapai College ties with Northern Arizona University (NAU) when it comes to its student-to-faculty ratio. It takes third place, however, because it has roughly 18,000 fewer students than NAU. According to 2013 NCES figures, Yavapai College has 215 instructors, with 113 of them being full-time employees.

Largest Student Population

Exploring student population figures can give you some idea of what kind of learning environment is available on schools' campuses. Students may have a preference on whether they want the big college experience, or would rather study at a smaller institution. Based on NCES statistics, the following three colleges have the largest student populations of the four compared.

1. Northern Arizona University

As the only public university in Flagstaff, it is probably not a surprise that Northern Arizona University has the largest number of students in attendance. It serves 26,594 students in total, with 22,160 of them being undergrads.

2. Yavapai College

Although a much smaller school compared to NAU, Yavapai College has the next largest student population of the three ranked institutions. There are 8,197 students working towards earning certificates and associate's degrees at the college.

3. Coconino Community College

Coconino Community College ranks third among the three schools based on student enrollment. It serves 3,694 individuals in a variety of undergraduate certificate and associate's degree programs.

Flagstaff Schools: At a Glance

School Name Location School Type Programs Offered Area Ranking
Coconino Community College Flagstaff, AZ Public Certificates and associate's degrees #2 in Net Price, #3 in Largest Student Population
College America - Flagstaff Flagstaff, AZ Private not-for-profit Associate's and bachelor's degrees #2 in Graduation Rate, #1 in Student-to-Faculty Ratio
Northern Arizona University Flagstaff, AZ Public Undergraduate and graduate certificates; bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees #3 in Net Price, #1 in Graduation Rate, #2 in Student-to-Faculty Ratio, #1 in Largest Student Population
Yavapai College Prescott, AZ Public Certificates and associate's degrees #1 in Net Price, #3 in Graduation Rate, #3 in Student-to-Faculty Ratio, #2 in Largest Student Population

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