If we're not careful here in South Dakota, people in other parts of the country and world may start paying real attention to us and I'm not sure that's a good thing. We tend to think of our state as a kind of best-kept secret and if the kudos continue piling up regarding everything from employment to restaurants, even more people will want to join us here.

With that thought in mind there is yet another thing South Dakota excels at and that is creating and running a great community college system. WalletHub analyzed statistics from across the country, (evaluating 821 institutions of higher learning) regarding the quality of community colleges and the rates of success their students achieve.

The results put South Dakota at the top of the heap and in particular put Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown, at number eight on the list of Best Community Colleges in the nation!

While the cost of a traditional four-year education continues to rise at an alarming rate, several states are now offering free access to community college with more to follow. Community colleges offer more flexible schedules, smaller class sizes and now include bachelor's degree programs, sometimes at a fraction of the cost of a 4 year university. And you can't argue with the statistics which show students immediately graduating right into the working pool at ever higher rates.

The data analyzed (which came from the National Center for Education Statistics, the Council for Community and Economic Research and College Measures) looked at; the cost of in-state tuition and fees, faculty salaries, graduation rates, student-faculty ratios, career outcomes and more.

For more information check out the full report.

(Source: WalletHub)