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Silver Spring, Maryland (MD) Colleges and Universities

While there are only four schools in Silver Spring, there are many schools located within a 15-mile radius. Read about the top schools in several categories, including lowest student-faculty ratio and highest graduation rate, to find the school for you.

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Most Program Variety

This article focuses only on the traditional public and private, not-for-profit schools found in the Silver Spring region. Silver Spring has four different colleges and universities; however, none are traditional or not-for-profit schools. In terms of program variety, most schools in the area have less than 50 options, but the top three schools all featured more than 85 program choices.

1 - University of Maryland - College Park

With around 260 programs to choose from, the University of Maryland - College Park comes in first for this category. Students can pursue bachelor's, master's or doctoral degrees, in addition to undergraduate and graduate certificates. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reported that business administration and management was the most popular area of study among master's degree recipients, while biology, criminology and economics were the most common options at the bachelor's level in 2011-2012.

U.S. News and World Report (USNWR) ranked the school at #58 among national universities and #19 on the list of 'Top Public Schools' in 2013. Many of the school's graduate programs were ranked in the top 100 by USNWR as of 2013, including the criminology program at #1, the library and information studies program at #10 and the computer science program at #14.

2 - University of Maryland - University College

Located in Adelphi, the University of Maryland - University College is a public school that features about 107 programs that lead to associate's, bachelor's, master's or doctoral degrees. Students can also find some certificate programs at this school. According to the NCES, business administration was the most popular area of study among bachelor's and master's degree recipients in 2011-2012. All 47 of the doctoral degrees awarded that year were focused in business/commerce, according to the NCES.

3 - Montgomery College

Montgomery College in Rockville is a 2-year school that offers undergraduate certificates and associate's degrees. Students can choose from roughly 88 program options. Of the 2,383 associate's degrees conferred in 2011-2012, 974 were focused in liberal arts/sciences, and 381 were in business/commerce. Accounting technology and liberal arts/sciences were two common fields among those who earned certificates in 2011-2012, according to the NCES.

Lowest Net Price

To find the net price of a school, the NCES takes the annual cost of attendance and subtracts the average financial aid award for in-state students. Net prices at schools in the Silver Spring area were mostly between $10,000 and $20,000 in 2011-2012. The below schools have the lowest net price among traditional, not-for-profit schools in the area; all statistics come from the NCES.

1 - Montgomery College

The net price for Montgomery College was $8,684 in 2011-2012. That same year, 38% of all students received grants/scholarship aid; the average award amount was $3,626. Tuition and fees in 2012-2013 were $4,452 for in-district residents, $8,664 for in-state students and $11,724 for out-of-state students.

2 - University of Maryland - University College

The University of Maryland - University College placed second with a net price of $10,912 in 2011-2012. Grants and/or scholarships were given to 46% of the undergraduates, and students were awarded an average of $8,336. As of 2012-2013, undergraduate tuition and fees were $6,384 for in-state students and $12,336 for out-of-state students.

3 - Bowie State University

Bowie State University can be found in Bowie, and it featured a net price of $11,919 in 2011-2012. Undergraduate tuition and fees were slightly higher at this school than the previous schools in 2012-2013: in-state students paid $6,639 and out-of-state learners were charged $17,195. Of the undergraduate students who attended this school in 2011-2012, 63% received grants or scholarships that averaged $6,765 per student.

Highest Graduation Rate

The overall graduation rate statistics cited in this section take into account the students who finished their programs within 150% of the normal program time. For example, a bachelor's degree is usually earned in four years, so this figure would include any students who graduated within six years. Overall graduation rates at schools in the area ranged from a high of 84% to a low of 4%, according to NCES figures from 2012.

1 - University of Maryland - College Park

University of Maryland - College Park had an overall graduation rate of 82%, which was the highest figure among traditional, not-for-profit schools in the area. The NCES reported that another seven percent of students transferred to a different school within 150% of normal time. The school's 4-year graduation rate was 63% for bachelor's degree students who started in fall 2006. According to NCES data, 94% of full-time and 100% of part-time students who began their studies in fall 2011 returned in fall 2012.

2 - Bowie State University

Bowie State University comes in second with its overall graduation rate of 35%, and 23% of students transferred out. The NCES found that 11% of students who started a bachelor's degree program in fall 2006 graduated within four years. Bowie State University managed to retain 71% of full-time and 67% of part-time beginning students from fall 2011 to fall 2012.

3 - Washington Adventist University

Washington Adventist University, a private school in Takoma Park, ranks third in this category with an overall graduation rate of 31%. However, only 13% of bachelor's degree-seeking students who entered in fall 2006 graduated within four years. This school had relatively high retention rates, with 72% of full-time and 100% of part-time students who began in fall 2011 returning to continue their studies in fall 2012, according to the NCES.

Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio

Some students may be interested in a school's student-faculty ratio, which can be an indicator of how big or small the classes are. The NCES reported that nearly all of the not-for-profit schools in the Silver Spring region had student-faculty ratios below 20:1, and the following three schools had figures lower than 17:1.

1 - Washington Adventist University

Washington Adventist University had a student-faculty ratio of 11:1, the lowest among non-profit schools in the area. As of fall 2012, the university had 58 full-time faculty members, according to the NCES. The school enrolled more than 1,400 students in 2012. USNWR found that about 77% of classes enrolled fewer than 20 students in 2011, and less than two percent contained 50 or more learners.

2 - Capitol College

Capitol College, a private school in Laurel , has the second-lowest student-faculty ratio in the Silver Spring area, with 12 students for every faculty member. In 2012, the NCES reported that the school had 441 undergraduates and 464 graduate students. Capitol College employed 62 part-time and 14 full-time instructional faculty members in fall 2012.

3 - Montgomery College

With a student-faculty ratio of 14:1, this school ranks third among traditional, not-for-profit institutions near Silver Spring. The NCES reported that approximately 27,500 students were enrolled in 2012, and the school employed 535 full-time and 1,359 part-time instructional faculty members as of fall 2012.

Silver Spring Area Schools at a Glance

School Name Location School Type Degrees Offered Area Ranking
Bowie State University Bowie, MD (14.7 miles from Silver Spring) 4-year, public Bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees; postbaccalaureate and post-master's certificates 2nd Highest Graduation Rate,
3rd Lowest Net Price
Capitol College Laurel, MD (9.8 miles from Silver Spring) 4-year, private not-for-profit Less than 1-year certificates; associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees; postbaccalaureate certificates Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio
Montgomery College Rockville, MD (10.0 miles from Silver Spring) 2-year, public Less than 1-year and 1- to 2-year certificates; associate's degrees Lowest Net Price,
3rd Most Program Variety,
3rd Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio
University of Maryland - College Park College Park, MD (3.6 miles from Silver Spring) 4-year, public 1- to 2-year and 2- to 4-year certificates; bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees; postbaccalaureate and post-master's certificates Highest Graduation Rate,
Most Program Variety
University of Maryland - University College Adelphi, MD (2.7 miles from Silver Spring) 4-year, public 2- to 4-year certificates; associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees; postbaccalaureate certificates 2nd Lowest Net Price,
2nd Most Program Variety
Washington Adventist University Takoma Park, MD (2.4 miles from Silver Spring) 4-year, private not-for-profit 1- to 2-year and 2- to 4-year certificates; associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees 2nd Lowest Student-Faculty Ratio,
3rd Highest Graduation Rate
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