Community college tuition and fees average $6,500 per year, which is significantly lower than at 4-year colleges and universities. Students can lower the overall cost of a bachelorís degree by taking the first 2 years of course credits at a community college.
Excellent Transfer Opportunities:
Most community colleges have agreements with 4-year colleges and universities (called articulation or ď2 + 2Ē transfer agreements) which allow students to transfer their community college credits toward a university degree. Thus, students first go to a community college for 2 years of study, obtain an associate degree, and then complete 2 years at a university to obtain a bachelorís degree. Good to Know: Many state universities give preference to qualified students who transfer from a community college in that state.
Flexible English Proficiency Requirements:
Because community colleges provide their own assessment and offer Intensive English Programs (IEPs) to students who require additional English proficiency, TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores are not always critical to the admissions process. Further, some community colleges will accept an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score in place of the TOEFL score.
Focus on Teaching and Student Success:
Community college students enjoy a great deal of personal attention from their professors. Additionally, community colleges seek out faculty with work experience in their subject area, adding a real-world perspective to studentsí studies.
Small Class Sizes:
The average community college class size is between 15 and 20 students which allows professors to devote more time to individual students and for students to interact with each other. Small classes are highly beneficial for international students who may need to adjust to the pace of U.S. academic life and practice their English-language skills.
Additional Practical Training Opportunity:International students with F-1 visa status are eligible to do one year of Optional Practical Training (OPT) in their field of study immediately following completion of an associate degree, and a second year of OPT immediately following completion of a bachelorís degree.
Use of the Latest Technologies:Because of their strong ties with business and industry, most community colleges are equipped with state-of-the-art technologies, classrooms, and facilities. Community colleges lead the nation in educating students in cutting-edge fields such as biomedical engineering, biotechnology, robotics, laser optics, Internet and computer technologies, and geographic information systems.
Hundreds of Programs to Choose From:
Community colleges offer programs in all major fields of study which can transfer to 4-year colleges and universities. Majors range from art to political science to zoology. Programs especially popular among international students currently include business, engineering, computer science, computer graphics, Internet technology, multimedia, hotel management, restaurant management, psychology, accounting, early childhood education, and environmental conservation.
Opportunities to Experience U.S. Culture:
Because community colleges have strong ties to their surrounding communities, they offer international students both a rich academic environment and a unique opportunity to experience many aspects of life in the United Statesóboth on and off campus.
Excellent Student Support Services:
†Community colleges are committed to attracting a diverse student population and ensuring that all students succeed. The colleges offer a variety of support services and cross-cultural programs, including tutoring, advising, career planning, study skills and counselling ó many of which are designed specifically for international students.