about community colleges

U.S. Community Colleges


One of the things that make community colleges so special is that they do not pick and choose their students - they work with all students. —Jill Biden


  • U.S. community colleges must be understood in the context of (the unique) U.S. higher education ecosystem.
  • Every U.S. state has its own public higher education system that differs from other states.
  • There is no national entrance examination to U.S. colleges and universities.
  • There is no national ranking system for U.S. colleges and universities.
  • In spite of this decentralization, the majority of students’ courses in years 1 and 2 at nearly every institution of higher education, whether an elite private university or a community college, are “general education” courses that are unrelated to a student’s major.

U.S. Community Colleges

  • 1,000+ community colleges in the U.S.
  • Community colleges are (mostly) two-year public institutions of higher education
  • Community colleges offer both academic degrees and vocational/technical programs
  • 45% of U.S. undergraduates attend community colleges
  • U.S. community colleges enroll 60,000+ international students

Advantages of Community Colleges

  • Less strict admission requirements than most U.S. 4-year institutions
  • No SAT/ACT required
  • Lower TOEFL and IELTS requirements than most U.S. 4-year institutions
  • Lower tuition costs than most U.S. 4-year institutions
  • Classes are taught by professors, not graduate students
  • General education classes are smaller than those in the first two years at most U.S. 4-year institutions
  • Admission rates to U.S. 4-year institutions are higher for U.S. community college transfer students than for first-year applicants from abroad

Community College Resources

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