How Much Does Community College Cost?

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    Community college costs of courses are typically around half the cost of university courses (around $2,500 per term). Combine that fact with the knowledge that many community (or junior) college programs are only two years in length, and you will see why the cost of community college is advantageous and attracts many people. Other costs are associated with going to community colleges, including the price of books, which can reach $1500. If you cannot attend college from home, you may have to pay up to $6000 per year in housing fees. During school, you have to maintain your health with regular meals and social activity, which can add to community college cost. The cost of community college can be addressed through financial aid. Assistance with payments usually comes in three forms. A federal student loan provides the borrower with money at a low and/or delayed interest rate during their studies and for a period after completion. Scholarships are rare in community colleges, but they are worth researching as they are not repayable and can be renewed and cover large amounts of tuition based on performance. Federal grants, Pell grants, and other grant sources provided are also non-repayable, but they are not necessarily connected to course performance. Grant requirements are often based on other factors such as socio-economic status and/or ethnic background.

    What Is A Community College?

    A community college is sometimes called a junior college or two-year college. It is a post-secondary school that is typically located close to high-traffic areas in a community, hence its name. There are several types of programs in which you can enroll, including a two-year long university-transfer program. Other programs may be for acquiring professional qualifications, special interest studies, and/or basic skills. Community colleges are often viewed as a lower cost alternative to university, or as a means to transition into a university program after two years. They may also prepare you for employment in various fields straight out of school. Community college cost is similar across many program types, but basic skill programs are typically much cheaper than more involved programs.

    Average Cost Of Community College

    The total cost of community college is a combination of tuition, application and test fees, book costs, living costs, transportation, groceries, and social expenses.

    Average community college cost with these expenses in mind can be over $10,000 per year for those with housing expenses, or as low as $2,000 or $3,000 for those who already live close to their preferred community college. Community college cost that goes at least in part to the institution also includes course-specific fees (these fees tend to be higher with programs that have a greater amount of hands-on practice), book costs of up to $200 per year, and possibly insurance related expenses. As well, many community colleges require that you pay extra to take placement exams. These exams can be general or subject-specific, and aid in the process of placing students in classes of an appropriate academic level. The costs that were previously mentioned are an estimated average for local students only. Out of state students will pay moderately more than locals, while international students can face a very significant rise in expenses, often doubling or tripling the amount of total community college expenses they face.

    Average Cost Of Community College Tuition

    The tuition aspect of community college cost can drastically change based on your current location and the location of your desired school. If you are an international student (moving from another country, or without U.S. citizenship) then you will face the highest tuition costs.

    These costs can put community college costs on par with those of university programs, though both types of schools are known to have exaggerated international student tuition fees. Out of state students pay slightly more than a local student would, but this may be worth it if the program you are interested in is offered outside of your local area. If changing locations is not a financial concern, community college cost is almost entirely based on tuition, books, and course-related fees that are taken directly by the educational institution. Community college cost consisting of tuition alone tends to average around $2,000 per year for a local student or upwards of $5,000 for non-domestic students. However, tuition can fluctuate by a few hundred dollars depending on the program of choice and the location of the school.

    Community College Application

    The application process for community college is not as strict as university procedures. The very nature of community colleges is to make them accessible to the entire community, not just those with a high school diploma or GED. The cost of community college applications can reach in the area of $50, which is more reasonable than most university application fees. If you are applying without a GED or high school diploma, then you will likely need to pass an Ability to Benefit test. These tests are required whenever federal financial aid is involved, and quiz potential students to ensure their viability as future community college graduates. An Ability to Benefit type test may be required prior to or upon acceptance.

    Placement Test For Community College

    People applying to community college almost always have to take some form of placement exam. A placement exam can be general, or focused on a specific subject such as math or English.Sometimes multiple placement tests are offered or required.The purpose of these exams is to determine the level of difficulty that is appropriate for your coursework. You cannot pass or fail a placement exam, as they only assess the likelihood of success at various levels of course subjects, and not your chance of success overall. This is not an attempt to keep out weak students, but rather a means of calculating an approximation of the appropriate course paths each student requires for educational success. Community college cost can be affected by these placement exams, as they may cost $30 or more per test.

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