A community college student is someone seeking a professional certificate or an associate degree. An associate degree usually takes two years to complete and can be a stepping stone to earning a bachelor’s degree at a four-year college or university.
Credit and degrees often transfer from community colleges to four-year colleges or universities. In this “2+2 process,” you earn a bachelor’s degree with two years of community college, followed by two years of university study.
Admissions requirements are more flexible at community colleges than at four-year institutions, and many have rolling deadlines for admissions. Tuition and fees are lower, and most community colleges do not require standardized admissions tests (only a test of English for international students). Each community college will specify required admissions requirements on the school website.
U.S. community college students often work while pursuing their studies. Community colleges offer flexible course schedules to accommodate students’ lives outside of school; students can usually take courses during the day or in the evening, part-time or full-time.
Programs especially popular among international students include business, computer science, computer graphics, internet technology, multimedia, hotel management, restaurant management, psychology, accounting, early childhood education, and environmental conservation.
Students can lower the overall cost of a bachelor’s degree by taking the first two years of study at a community college. Students should design their programs of study with a college counselor and pay close attention to agreements among institutions to make sure the credits for courses completed at the community college transfer to a four-year university program.