Community colleges here in the United States can be a bit hard to understand. We want to provide a "community college deep dive" to help you better understand community colleges and why they are a fantastic option for studying abroad in the US!
What are they?
Community colleges are similar to universities, but there are a few key factors that make them stand out as a great option for your study abroad experience.
Provide 2 year curriculum resulting in an Associates (AA) degree from which you can build on
Smaller class sizes
Transfer programs and Career Education
Potential for 2 chances at CPT/OPT
As you see above, community colleges have quite a few benefits and that's not even a full list! You are not required to stay with the degree path you initially choose when you go to college. In the case that you are not certain what you want to study, but know you want to study in the US, attending a community college for your first two years is a great start. You are able to attend a variety of courses at a fraction of the cost you would be paying for at a university - all while still making progress toward a bachelors degree. By attending a community college for your first two years, you will be guaranteed transfer admission to other 4 year universities. Two opportunities to graduate allows you two chances at CPT/OPT, which is something to heavily consider if you are looking for more direct career experience.
Another great benefit for attending a community college is you are able to enroll in career education programs which are targeted towards occupations such as healthcare, construction trades, culinary, and more. This provides added flexibility if you know you want to get into the workforce as soon as possible. They are also a great option if you have a few class requirements left before you can enroll in your masters program due to their affordable classes. It will be much cheaper to take a few courses with a community colleges compared to a 4 year university.
For most community colleges in the U.S. the cost of attendance is roughly 50% of attending a university. You can save, on average, $20,000 in 2 years by attending a community college! There are generally more scholarships available to transfer students compared to first year students at a 4 year university. Beyond the cost savings, you also receive a very enriching experience with the smaller class sizes available. The average class size for most community colleges is 25 students per teacher which creates a comfortable space to interact with teachers and other students.
How to apply?
Many community colleges may not require ACT/SAT scores to apply - sometimes TOEFL or IELTS scores are also not required. Each community college will vary slightly, but don't worry, EdAgree is here to help you apply to our current community college partners!
EdAgree exists to help you identify your path to academic success at a U.S. college or university. We want to help you present your best self during the admissions process, and additional support throughout study abroad, and beyond! Including helping you identify accessible options that fit you and your needs as a student.