What Is A Community College?

Community colleges are publicly supported low-cost public colleges. An associate’s degree is usually the highest degree obtainable at a community college, and it takes full-time students around two years to accomplish. “Junior colleges” is a term used to describe community colleges. In any case, deciding to go is a winning strategy. The first step towards studying in community colleges in the United States is to do some research and find a community college or university that best suits your needs. In this article, we will be discussing the difference Between a Community College And University.

Overview of A Community College

Community colleges in the United States offer two-year programs leading to the Associate of Arts (AA) or Associate of Science (AS) degree. These community colleges also offer technical and vocational programs with strong ties to local secondary and high schools, community organizations, and employers. Large community colleges with several campuses can be found in urban/suburban areas, whereas small campuses can be found in rural areas.

Community colleges in the United States have undergraduate students who work hard to earn academic credit toward a bachelor’s degree. You can save money on your bachelor’s degree by earning academic credit at a community college, which is often less expensive. The admissions process at community colleges may be more flexible.

In cutting-edge fields including biomedical technology, biotechnology, robotics, laser optics, internet and computer technologies, and geographic information systems, community colleges frequently lead the United States in educating students. International Students at Community College may benefit from the small class sizes as they acclimatize to the pace of American academic life and hone their English language skills.

Tutoring, advising, career planning, study skills, and counseling are just a few of the support services and cross-cultural programs available at community colleges in the United States, with many tailored expressly for overseas students.

Disparities Between Community College And University

Although community colleges may not offer nearly as many degree possibilities as universities, people often attend them for one or more of the following reasons:

Community colleges in the United States are frequently less expensive (about one-third the cost of a university, according to the Community College Research Center). Even for introductory courses, class sizes are often smaller. The majority of community colleges are “open enrollment,” meaning that anyone who applies is accepted, although the typical institution only takes 59 percent of applicants.

Community colleges in the United States frequently collaborate with local businesses and groups to offer highly specialized programs, allowing you to receive the training you need for a certain career. Community college credits frequently transfer to universities, so you can save a lot of money in your first two years of school and still get the same degree. (That is if the community college is accredited.)

Others have remarked that community colleges in the United States only provide associate’s degrees and certificates, but it’s worth noting that several community colleges are now offering bachelor’s degrees as well. While a university will provide a broader range of degree programs, this does not imply that it will offer all of the same programs as a community college or that its programs are intrinsically superior.

An individual may transfer from a university to a community college because the community college has an interior design program, and the university didn’t. The way we categorize post-secondary schools is designed to make it easier for prospective students to figure out which type of community college degree is suitable for them, but the distinctions aren’t always effectively explained, and the norms aren’t always followed.

Many community college degrees and Junior Colleges provide direct entry into the state’s top public university system for students. Numerous private schools provide specialized services for Special Education children. Many elite junior college and community college athletes are recruited to transfer to prestigious universities such as Cornell.

A university is a phrase used to describe an educational institution that offers a variety of doctoral programs as well as significant graduate school programs. Undergraduates typically attend community colleges in the United States; for example, an undergraduate might attend Harvard College or Harvard University. There are, however, numerous exceptions to this rule.


Characteristics Of A Community College In the USA:

1. Affordable Online Degrees (Average of $46 per unit):

Attending a two-year community college degree is a smart move when it comes to saving money. Community College in the United States boasts among the lowest fees in the country, at an average of $46 per unit. Furthermore, a community college degree is now even more accessible to working students and professionals thanks to online degree programs.

Obtaining a community college degree online allows you to complete your studies whenever it is convenient for you. You can avoid the dreaded commute and the accompanying gas expenditure. With more free time on your hands, you may be able to take multiple classes at the same time. Faster completion of your community college degree or certificate means you’ll be able to find a better-paying job sooner.

ALSO CHECK OUT:  How To Start A Nursery And Primary School In Nigeria?

2. Financial Aid and Scholarships are Readily Available.

You and your family are making a significant investment in college. Fortunately, over half of all students in community colleges in the United States have their costs waived. Furthermore, there are several resources in the form of grants, scholarships, payment plans, and loans available.

International students can attend a community college in the United States at a reasonable cost. International student community colleges are usually those who have transferred from four-year universities.

3. Sharpen Your Skills to Get Back into the Workforce.

Career training programs (also known as career training education/CTE) are relevant, flexible, and designed for international students at community colleges. From computer science to hospitality management to firefighting, you can study practically anything. Many community college hands-on programs are completed in less than a year. Did you know that California community college degrees offer the most workforce training in the country?

Over two million students in 116 schools across California benefit from nearly 200 programs that provide hands-on training from industry leaders. Over two-thirds of part-time students are between the ages of 18 and 24. Part-time attendance is the norm for most International students at community college, with 78 percent of students doing so.

4. Transfer Credits Back to Places Like SJSU, CSUEB, or UCSC.

You can attend the university of your choosing regardless of where you start your community college degree or academic career. In reality, a two-year community college degree is where 29 percent of University of California graduates and 51 percent of California State University graduates started their schooling. After getting a community college degree, an Engineering student, for example, can transfer to San Jose State University.

Furthermore, 50% of international students at community college can get a bachelor’s degree in STEM education from a University of California institution transferred from a California community college. Some international students at community colleges only enroll in a few general education classes before transferring to a four-year institution. Others choose to pursue a transfer degree.

If you’re planning on transferring to a four-year college, consider taking classes at a community college. Transfer credits will help you earn a bachelor of arts or science community college degree. You’ll have a huge advantage over your contemporaries who are saddled with large debts when you enter the workforce.

5. Small Class Sizes and Individual Attention:

Individual attention is prioritized in classes at Community Colleges. On average, there are 23 people in a community college class. This means you’ll get plenty of time with your instructor, receive timely feedback, receive hands-on instruction, participate in vibrant class discussions, and develop relationships with your classmates and instructors. Not only will your community college experience be more enjoyable, but these contacts will also function as recommendations for prospective opportunities when you graduate.

You’ll usually study general education classes as a freshman or sophomore at a four-year college. Hundreds of students attend these classes at huge state institutions. When you compare such enormous classrooms to a classroom with only 20 students, it’s simple to see why community institutions are superior to students who want one-on-one attention. More particular attention is necessary whether you are just starting or returning to school.


Degrees At A Community College:

The first step to studying in the United States is researching your options to find a college or university that best fits your needs. The highest community college degree provided is usually an associate degree, which takes about two years to finish full-time, but community college students can also get certificates and job training. Many students begin their postsecondary education in community colleges before transferring to a four-year institution to complete their education.

There are mainly three types of associate degrees: Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, and Associate of Applied Science. The majority of certificates awarded by community colleges were in career and technical education fields. Because postsecondary certificates are obtained for community college credit, they can be used to fulfill graduation requirements in a formal degree program, such as an associate degree program.


Career Prospects For Community College Graduates:

According to a 2017 CEW research, a high school graduate makes $1.4 million over their career, whereas an associate degree holder gets $1.8 million. For those with a bachelor’s degree, the figure rises to $2.5 million. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, liberal arts and sciences, general studies, and humanities are the most popular majors among community college graduates. Dental hygienists, paralegals and legal assistants, and web developers are among the fastest-growing jobs for persons with associate degrees, according to US Bureau of Labor Statistics predictions for 2018 through 2028.


Requirements for Community College:

Aspiring community college students may have to apply but most community colleges have open admissions policies. This usually indicates that aspiring community college students do not have to meet any academic criteria or compete for admission. Almost everyone who applies to an open admissions community college is admitted. Many community colleges, however, may have rigorous admissions to certain high-demand programs, such as nursing, although if a student does not qualify for one community college degree, he or she can usually enroll in another.

ALSO CHECK OUT:  What Grades Are In High School?

Community colleges usually review and admit applicants year-round which means that a high school diploma is not usually required to attend a community college and applicants do not have to fulfill any academic requirements to enroll. Most community colleges in the United States have computers all over campus. If you don’t have internet access at home you’ll have to do all your work on campus.

Having your own computer/laptop is convenient. You may require textbooks. It’s possible that renting textbooks is an alternative. A lab coat and goggles may be required if you’re taking a science class. Community College Students can borrow goggles, which are then sterilized in the UV cabinet between classes. Pens, papers, notebooks, folders, pencils, and a calculator are among the necessities.

Do not go out and purchase a high-end graphing calculator. Chances are you won’t be allowed to use it. A basic scientific, non-graphing, non-programmable will do. Math classes usually provided calculators for student use. If you prefer folders to notebooks for your classes, a stapler and a hole punch can come in helpful. Do not purchase books until you have attended your first lesson. This is also true for four-year colleges. Because adjuncts are frequently used, turnover is high.


The Minimum GPA Requirements To Apply At A Community College:

To enroll in particular courses, many community college degrees/certificates do not require a minimum GPA from high school or previous college study. However, there is usually a criterion for placement. This is normally accomplished by taking a test to demonstrate college readiness. Some community college degrees/certificates use high school GPAs to determine admission.

Many health professions, such as nursing programs, require community college students to submit their high school or previous college GPA as part of their application so that they can be evaluated; the higher your GPA, the higher your score, and thus the better your chance of being accepted into the community college degree. A 2.0 GPA is usually the minimum required for completing a general transfer degree.

Depending on which community college degree or certificate you choose to pursue, there may be some changes. If you have a poor GPA while attending community college, you will be placed on academic probation or warning, and you may need approval from a college administrator to re-enroll. If your GPA remains low, you will be placed on academic suspension, which means you won’t be able to re-enroll until you complete whatever duties or processes the institution has set up to assist you to overcome obstacles and succeed.


Opportunities For Students At A Community Colleges:

Community colleges in the United States provide a variety of programs but may provide some tools to help non-traditional, adult learners who are juggling education with employment, family, and other obligations. According to the American Association of Community Colleges, 38% of community college students are between the ages of 22 and 39, and 9% are over 40.

Prior learning evaluations may allow certain community college students to obtain credit for what they already know, such as from a profession or the military. Some community colleges in the United States provide daycare for students’ children as well as a variety of course delivery choices, including online, evening, and weekend programs.

Most community colleges provide programs or services aimed specifically at military and veteran students. In reality, benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill may be assisting students in their community college studies. Between August 2009 and December 2013, the American Association of Community Colleges found that around seven out of ten community college student veterans who received these benefits completed or were progressing in their programs.

The majority of community colleges in the United States do not provide housing for their students. According to the American Association of Community Schools’ 2015 figures, about 28% of community colleges offer on-campus housing. Homestay programs, in which community college students pay a fee to reside in a private room of a host family or individual near the school, may be of interest to international students contemplating community college.

Many community colleges provide English language classes for community college students whose first language is not English, which might help them prepare for a college-level English writing course. According to experts, community colleges in the United States are an excellent choice for overseas community college students because they typically have lower tuition rates and provide students with an easier transition to American-style academics.

ALSO CHECK OUT:  Occidental College Acceptance Rate And How To Get In Easily.

The services provided by community colleges in the United States are designed to meet the special needs of the local community. As a result, a community college in a high-non-English-speaking area may expect to see more resources and courses to satisfy that need.


Opportunities For International Students At Community Colleges in the USA?

International students attend community colleges in the United States as well. According to data from the Institute of International Education, over 86,000 international students attended community colleges during the 2018-2019 school year. This accounts for around 8% of all international student enrollment.

According to the American Association of Community Colleges, community schools can serve as a springboard for international students to attend four-year colleges and universities. Community colleges are popular among international students since they can lower their expenditures in half.

After finishing an associate degree, international students at community colleges are allowed to stay in the United States for up to one year under federal law. International students at community colleges can learn more about community colleges in the United States by visiting their websites.



Two-year programs leading to an Associate of Arts (AA) or Associate of Science (AS) degree are available in community colleges. These universities also provide technical and vocational programs with strong ties to local secondary and high schools, community organizations, and employers. Large community colleges with several campuses can be found in urban/suburban areas, whereas small campuses can be found in rural areas.

Community college students who are undergraduates can gain academic credit toward a bachelor’s degree. Earning academic credit at a community college, which is typically less expensive, can help you save money on your bachelor’s degree. Community colleges may have a more accommodating admissions process.

The small size of classes at community colleges can be highly beneficial for international students at community colleges as they adjust to the pace of U.S. academic life and practice their English-language skills.


Frequently Asked Questions:

Is It Easy to Transfer to a Four-Year College or University From a Community College?

The ease of transferring from a community college to a four-year college varies greatly. Community College Students should meet with an experienced adviser to discuss which credits will transfer. Transferring is becoming easier for some, depending on the state, institution, and student’s major. But policies vary greatly state by state and institution by institution.

Can I Enroll in Just One or Two Courses at a Community College?

Yes, community college students can only take one or two community college classes at a time. According to a 2018 National Center for Education Statistics enrollment survey, about 64% of all community college students attend part-time.

Is it necessary for me to take any placement tests to register for community college degrees?

More two-year community colleges are using methods other than placement tests to decide which classes community college students should take. Placement tests determine if a student should complete remedial coursework before a student enrolls in college-level classes. The report was from the Community College Research Center at Columbia University.

What is the Difference Between Remedial Education and Coursework?

Remedial education, also known as developmental education, is designed to help international students at community colleges who are deemed unprepared for college-level coursework. According to a 2018 survey by the Center for the Analysis of Postsecondary Readiness, more than two-thirds of community college students take at least one developmental course.

These noncredit remedial courses are designed to improve student skills and help them succeed in college-level programs. For institutional credit, most community colleges offer developmental courses. Students enrolling in these classes are enrolled in an accredited program and are eligible for federal financial aid, but they do not count toward graduation requirements.

Is it Possible for Me to Go to a Community College Outside of My Hometown or State?

Yes, students can attend a community college located in another state probably because they need something that is nearby to work or family obligations. International Students at community colleges usually attend the community college campuses that are closest to them or that are most convenient for them. Community College Students considering transferring to a four-year university should start thinking about their educational aspirations now.

What Is the Typical Transfer Relationship Between a State’s Community Colleges and Public Four-Year Colleges and Universities?

Articulation agreements can make the process smoother for students. These agreements are between educational institutions and allow students to smoothly transfer between them. Experts claim that some community colleges in a given state have better transfer agreements than others with specific four-year institutions.

What Kinds of Certificates and Diplomas Can You Get at a Community College?

Associate degrees and postsecondary certificates are the most common awards given by community colleges. Full-time completion of associate degrees normally takes roughly two years. Certificates can range in length from a few months to several years.

READ ALSO: Free Accredited High School Diploma Online for Adults

COPYRIGHT WARNING! Contents on this website may not be republished, reproduced, redistributed either in whole or in part without due permission or acknowledgment. All contents are protected by DMCA.

The content on this site is posted with good intentions. If you own this content & believe your copyright was violated or infringed, make sure you contact us at [xscholarshipc(@)gmail(dot)com] and actions will be taken immediately.

Photo of author

Martin Uwakwe

As an SEO Strategist, Web Analytics Expert, and Content Developer with over 7 years of experience, I'm passionate about leveraging data-driven insights to optimize online visibility, drive organic traffic, and boost search rankings. My track record includes successfully optimizing and analyzing hundreds of e-commerce websites, managing multi-million-dollar marketing budgets for maximum ROI, and crafting engaging content that resonates with audiences. With proficiency in SEO, data analysis, web optimization tools, and content creation, I'm dedicated to helping businesses thrive in the digital landscape.