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Best Of 2011: Higher Ed for Nontraditional Students

PPCC is the largest college in the city, with four campuses and 22,000 students last year alone. According to Community College Week, it's also the 21st-fastest-growing community college in the nation among those with enrollment greater than 10,000. To keep up, it's added dozens of courses recently, including some in high-demand fields like health care and energy. It's also worked to expand and renovate portions of the college, and leaders are currently studying whether bigger physical expansions are needed. But one thing that's not changing much is its affordability: Tuition for a full-time, in-state student is around $1,250 a semester, with all fees and charges included. The average student here is 27 years old, and nearly seven out of 10 are the first in their family to attend college. — J. Adrian Stanley

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