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  • Writer's pictureBrooke Early

Exploring Seattle Colleges: Community College

Updated: Jul 29, 2022

Are you looking for a flexible option for college? Looking for flexible start dates for your schedule? Seattle colleges may be the right fit for you! Let's take a deeper dive into everything you need to know about this community college.

Seattle Colleges is a chain of community colleges in Seattle, Washington that has three campuses for you to choose from. You will spend your first to years here to earn your associates, then have the opportunity to transfer to a 4-year university to finish out your bachelor's degree. You will take some of the same classes required for your first two years of 4-year university, but at a much lower cost.

Campus Selection

It is not common that you have a choice between multiple campuses for one school, but that that is an option at Seattle Community College! They have three different campuses: Seattle Central College, South Seattle College, and North Seattle College. There is plenty of opportunity to choose the right campus for you with the added flexibility that community college offers.

Seattle Central College: located in the heart of the city and is surrounded by coffee houses, shops, restaurants, and is easily accessible to all parts of the city and region.

South Seattle College: slightly more removed from the main "hustle and bustle" of the city, offers lush gardens, expansive lawns, and other great comforts offered by traditional college campuses. This campus is quieter and more residential than the other two Seattle College's campuses.

North Seattle College: uniquely located to provide both urban and residential benefits by being close enough to walk to the nearby Green Lake, enjoy shopping opportunities, or take a bus to reach downtown within minutes.

Housing and Campus Life

It is very important to ask about housing no matter where you want to attend. While most community colleges may not offer on-campus housing Seattle Central does! They offer on-campus apartments in the Studio's on Broadway and each apartment has a full kitchen, living space, and bathroom with an average cost per month of $1,200. On-campus apartments are not your only housing option! You may also want to consider home-stays or off-campus housing.

A "home-stay" is where you live with an American family which allows you to experience American culture at home. The average monthly cost is $850. Off-campus housing can vary depending on a few factors and location. Monthly cost can range between $500 - $1,500 per month.

Just like a 4-year university, community colleges can be very diverse. Seattle Colleges enroll 45,000 plus students including 1,000 plus international students each year. According to the Institute of International Education (IIE) Seattle Central College ranks 12th, Seattle South Central College ranks 36th, and North Seattle College ranks 39th of all the U.S. community colleges in terms of international student enrollment. This provides students with a great opportunity to meet peers from all over the United States and the world!


Seattle Colleges offers 4 opportunities each year to join! This means you have a chance to get started every 3 months. They accept and process applications up to 5 quarters (15 months) in advance and on a rolling basis. Due to the ongoing process you are able to get your acceptance materials and I-20 quickly! The enrollment periods are as follows:

Fall: late September through mid December

Winter: early January through late March

Spring: early April through mid June

Summer: late June through mid August

Seattle Colleges offers six levels of English Language (ESL) instruction in a results-oriented environment and each level takes one quarter (3 months) to complete with a total of 6 levels. Levels 4-6 can be taken for college course credit.

It is important to note that community colleges do not commonly offer specialized programs, but instead offer general education courses for you to get you started on the path of your choice. Seattle Colleges have a wide variety of programs for students to choose from. See the graphic below, courtesy of Seattle Colleges.

Transfer Programs

Seattle Colleges offers a unique 2+2 transfer program where you spend your first two years with them and transfer to a 4-year university to finish your last two years of your undergraduate, or bachelor's, degree. Seattle Colleges has developed transfer admission guarantees with various universities around the U.S. which will offer conditional acceptance upon admission to Seattle Colleges. They also have direct transfer agreements (DTA's) with approximately 60 in-state and out-of-state 4-year colleges which guarantee credit transfer for students with an associate degree from Seattle Colleges. Some of the most popular schools are:

  • Hawaii Pacific University — Hawaii

  • San Francisco State University — California

  • University at Buffalo — New York

Please remember that international students are able to transfer to any 4-year university they may choose, but Seattle Colleges cannot guarantee everything will transfer and/or guarantee acceptance outside of their partners.

Admissions and Tuition

You must be at least 16 years of age to submit an application to Seattle Colleges. Applicants aged 16 and 17 must submit high-school transcripts showing completion of 10th grade and earned a "good" grade which is usually a "B" overall. Applicants over the age of 18 are not required to show any academic prerequisites.

Tuition for students at Seattle Colleges is an average of $9,947 per academic year vs. $38,856 at a public 4-year university, and $58,560 per academic year at a private 4-year university. Community colleges are much more affordable and allow you to start at a lower cost but end at the same result: your bachelor's degree in your field of choice.

EdAgree’s mission is to empower international students with the knowledge and services they need to optimize their journey into, through, and beyond higher education. We are proud to partner with the admissions team at Seattle Colleges and to help you study abroad. Create your free profile today to get started!

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