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What Are Community Colleges in the USA?

October 2023

Community colleges in the USA are educational institutions that provide a 2-year study program that usually leads to associate degrees. The community colleges also offer vocational and technical training, certificate programs and adult education. Community colleges are also known as junior or technical colleges.

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Benefits of Studying at Community Colleges in USA


In comparison to other colleges, community colleges are more affordable. This means that the tuition cost is comparatively lower and thus reduces the financial burden of the desired students who wish to obtain a higher education. This proves to be beneficial for the students’ who had taken excessive student loans or want to save money.

Transfer Opportunities

Students prefer starting their higher education at a community college. Later, they transfer to another university to complete their bachelor's degree. This is beneficial as the community colleges have smaller size classes and students’ get personalised attention in the initial years of study.

Flexible Scheduling

Community colleges offer flexible class schedules which includes evening, weekends, and online courses. With this flexibility, students can work as a part-timer, fulfill family obligations and pursue other interests while attending college/school.

Personalized Attention

Community colleges have an intimate learning environment where students get a chance to interact closely with professors and receive personalised guidance and support.

Skill Development

The community colleges in Canada offer vocational and technical programs that mainly focus on practical skills for specific courses. This helps the students focus on their skills for a better career. This in turn helps the students enter the workplace more quickly with specialised training.

Exploration of Majors

In case if the student is unsure about the chosen major, the community colleges give the student an option to explore other subjects as well.

Support Services

The community colleges have a dedicated support system that offers dedicated support services such as career guidance, tutoring and support services. This helps the students succeed academically and plan for their future accordingly.

Diverse Student Body

Community colleges attract students from diverse backgrounds. This makes the student population and the environment more multicultural, rich, etc. This gives an opportunity to interact with peers from diverse backgrounds and thus enhances the understanding of different cultures and perspectives.

Non-Degree Programs

Apart from the associate degrees, community colleges also offer certificate programs and workshops that will help in gaining specific skills. This is better for those who want to gain expertise in a particular field.

Best community colleges in USA for international Students

  1. Santa Monica College
  2. Community College of Philadelphia
  3. Northern Virginia Community College
  4. Pima Community College
  5. Johnson County Community College
  6. Bergen Community College
  7. Diablo Valley College
  8. Miami Dade College
  9. Lane Community College
  10. Harper College

Entrance Tests Accepted by Community Colleges in USA

  1. TOEFL
  2. IELTS
  3. SAT
  4. ACT

Cost of Studying at Community Colleges in USA

The cost of studying is $4000- $8000.

Eligibility Criteria for Community Colleges in USA

  • A high school certificate of the desired student.
  • Minimum GPA of 2.0.
  • Scores of SAT or ACT is mandatory.
  • Other exams of which scores are accepted are TOEFL, IELTS, STEP Eiken or iTEP.

Admission process

Research Your Options Choose the course you want to study at a specific community college.

Finance Your Studies Before the deadline, it is necessary to finish the application process and pay the mentioned amount.

Complete Your Application After filling the application form, submit it to the admissions committee of the desired community college.

Apply for Your Student Visa Apply for a student visa in the USA once your application has been accepted to finish the application process. Similar to traditional institutes, you will require an F1 student visa to study at community colleges.

Community College Vs Traditional College

Class size The class size of a community college is smaller in size. Most of the classes will have around 20 students. This gives space for more interaction and networking opportunities.

Degree programs The degree program in a community college lasts for 2 years as compared to the same degree being offered for 4 years in a traditional college.

Transfer of credits Those people who attend a two-year community college to fulfil their general education requirements and earn an associate degree gain general credits which can then be transferred to a 4-year university to earn a bachelor's degree.

Cost Community colleges are more affordable in terms of the cost of education. The tuition fees are half of that in a public university. This is mainly because of no big campus infrastructure and extra-curricular activities.

Quality of education Community colleges are academically less serious than the traditional institutions. Community colleges require the professors to have a master's or a doctoral degree.

Flexibility The ages of students range from 17-60 or above. This is the flexibility that community colleges offer to its students and thus offers a huge benefit to its students who work alongside studying.

Career prospects The job prospects include radiation therapist, engineering technician, registered nurse, legal or dental assistants, web developers and a lot more.

For further assistance or queries students can contact us, Edwise International and avail our wide range of services for students on destinations like Study in UK, Study in USA, Study in Canada, Study in Australia, Study in New-Zealand, Study in Singapore, Study in Ireland and many other countries.

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Also read: Post-graduation Courses in USA for International Students

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