Are you an international student hoping to make it to a United States community college but has no funds for that? well, not all community colleges in the US charge tuition fees. You can take advantage of these tuition-free community colleges in the USA for international students to make your dreams come true.
These are low-cost community colleges in the USA for international students, the cheapest community colleges when you calculate the total fees, and they are qualified as the best community colleges in the US for international students.
However, there are some catches to that. You have to come from some low-income background, some particular state or region, have proof of not being able to pay your school fees, or sometimes take on-campus work or service after graduating as a payback to the school.
Considering a tuition-free community college in the US as an international student is worth it millions of times. So before we proceed let us look at what a community college is and why you should attend one if you have to.
What Is Community College In The US?
They are 2 to 5 years colleges in the US. These colleges allow students to stay at home while studying. So basically, just as the name suggests, you must be living in the community to attend the community college you want to attend, and with that, you won’t have to spend money on accommodation, and campus upkeep as it goes at the universities. But that shouldn’t be a worry if you want to attend a college outside your residence. Some community colleges have housing facilities while some also have trusted landlords and private rent apartments to advise you on. All you have to do is research the school.
So let’s redefine Community Colleges in the US: these are two years cost-effective and affordable colleges that serve as stepping stones for locals or community members into higher or tertiary education as well as a good start to the labor market. That is not all to it though, community colleges also accept those who could not make the cut mark into universities and also adults who want to school while working or taking care of their babies, or having anything else on their sleeves.
Programs offered at community colleges are certificates, diplomas, and two years Associate degrees. Note, these programs are not of the same status as those from universities but you can continue to university with your Associate Degree and complete a university Bachelor’s Degree in two more years. So that is kind of a shortcut.
Reasons To Attend A Community College
- Easier To Get Accepted: As l said earlier, these colleges use an open admission policy. This means you can enter a community college right after high with your high school diploma or GED. You may have to take some entrance exams just to determine what courses will favor you and also prove your English writing, speaking, and understanding prowess.
- Cheaper Short-Cut To University: It may not be a shortcut in duration but financially. Take a two-year bachelor’s degree program at a community college and then transfer to a university to continue with the remaining two years to complete. It is less expensive and you will get accepted into the university easily. Just make sure you maintain good grades.
- High School Learning Approach: Community colleges are like a step away from high school. Teaching is done in small classes giving you chance to ask questions and have support from teachers directly unlike universities. Also, just as in high schools, lessons are 100% teaching based, not mixed with workloads of research like in universities. So the feel of high school is there but you are just studying a higher program.
- The American Education Experience: As an international student, jumping straight into the American system at the tertiary level from your country can be mentally overwhelming. So you can spare two years after high school, or if you are not sure what to study at the university, get into a community college and draw your educational paths.
- Work In The US On OPT: The Federal Law allows you to take a year of work on Optical Practical Training. The job you applied for must be related to the major you studied at the community college.
How To Apply For A Community College In The USA
- The College Application Form
- The Application fee
- Your high school diploma translated into English if not in English already
- A copy of your passport
- Financial Resource Confirmation Form.
- Official English Language Test Scores – Test certificates from the following exams: IELTS, Duolingo, TOEFL, SAT, or ACT. This includes students from English-speaking countries.
- Personal Letter – This is not a general requirement. Do well to check the college’s required documents.
Once again, every college has its distinct admission guidelines and required documents so make sure you check those about the college you are interested in.
How To Choose A Community College
When choosing a community college for yourself or a relative as an international student, there are a few things or points you must consider as they are pivotal in your community college education success.
- The size of the college: This plays a major role in enjoying college life and helping choose the right course for you. Therefore you must make sure the college you are interested in is not too small.
- Their relationship with good universities that you would like to further your education: Yes, this is very necessary. If you want a bachelor’s degree in the US, go for a community college that has a good transfer agreement with good universities. So you can transfer to the university and count all your credits from the college.
- Do they have a good percentage of international students? A good percentage of international students depends on the size of the college but anything above 15% is good. As an international student, a college with a good number of international students obviously has a place for you with a better support system.
- Does The College Have a Good Location? Environment counts when it comes to studying, not only abroad. Get attracted to the environment where the college is located. Do you love warm weather and beaches or small cities with places close to nature? Read the reviews and do your checks before you apply.
55 Tuition-Free Community Colleges In the USA For International Students 2023
1. Berea College: This is a fully accredited liberal arts and sciences college by the Southern Association Of Colleges and Schools Commission Of Colleges. They offer courses that you can easily transfer to any accredited university or college in the US. It is the number one tuition-free college in the US.
Berea College’s no-tuition promise takes care of students’ tuition completely. No student pays tuition at Berea college and that applies to international students as well. International students applying to Berea do not pay application fees. The no-tuition promise offsets tuition, room, board, and fees for the first year and then you will be provided with a campus job so as to make savings for the subsequent years. Apply here.
2. Seattle Central College: Seattle Central College is one of the Seattle District Colleges that consists of two other Seattle colleges in the North [North Seattle College ] and South [ South Seattle College ]. The Seattle colleges District offers partial and merit-based scholarships for all its eligible applicants through the Seattle Colleges Foundation
The scholarships are also available for all international applicants, so all you have to do is to make sure you meet the eligibility requirements for this scholarship and you will successfully have your way through it. Apply here.
3. Anna Maria College: Founded as a Catholic institution of higher education in Massachusetts, Anna Maria College is integrating liberal arts education with real career preparation offering both undergraduate and graduate programs on-campus and online.
They offer 99% of their students’ scholarships through tons of aids available for both domestic and international students on a merit and need basis. There is also a way to waive the application fee and apply for free to the college. Apply here
4. Carleton College: With more than 10% of international students attending this college, you are assured of a welcoming home as an international student. The school has 5 scholarships that save all races and continent-specific international students.
As a liberal arts college, the focus is on arts, humanities, mathematics, and natural and social sciences. With majors and electives, you will surely leave the college with critical thinking, effective self-expression, and flexibility in adapting to a dynamic situation, Apply here
5. College Of The Ozarks: This is a college built on Christian doctrines to serve the people of the Ozark region [ but they accept international students ] in the US with their main focus on no-tuition payment. This means the college encourages every student being scared away by the high cost of tuition to apply.
They offer means of raising funds to cover the rest of the needs such as fees, board, books health, and more through campus work programs and also allow sourcing funds from external bodies to fund your education. Apply here
6. Western Nebraska Community College: This college is located in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, a town with a little above 18,000 inhabitants. The tuition per year for this college is about $6,600 to $7,000 with an acceptance of 100% with an annual enrolment of 3,000 to 4,000 which constitutes 10% of international students. This means almost everyone applying to this community college got accepted. Apply here
7. Webb Institute: The scholarship for enrolled U.S. citizens and permanent residents covers their full tuition for 4 years. But they will have to foot the remaining fees such as room and board, fees, books, travel, and laptop fee which sums to $22,940 for U.S. citizens and permanent residents and $78,015 for international students. Apply here
8. Deep Springs Community College: Deep Springs college scholarship for international students makes the college one of the best tuition-free community colleges in the U.S. for both international students and domestic students if not the ultimate best. But it is not your regular college.
This community college offers labor and self-governing or a leadership type of education to its students in exchange for free tuition. Apply here
9. South Texas College: The South Texas College has numerous scholarships for both domestic and international students who want to undertake degree and certificate options including an associate degree in social science, math, technology, advanced manufacturing, business, and health fields of study.
With one standard scholarship application after being accepted into the college, you will be considered for a list of scholarships and if eligible, you will have your tuition fees, room, and board, books, and travel costs covered. Apply here
With higher education getting extra expensive in the US over time, it is my advice to you to take on any of these tuition-free community colleges in the USA for international students to make your progression to any university and completing your degree and master’s easier.