(Frequently Asked Questions)
What is a Community College?
- Also known as a junior colleges, community colleges are higher education institutions that are primarily public and are focused on providing affordable and accessible education and/or work-based training to people in the community. They are a great stepping stone for students interested in transferring to a 4-year university or launching their career.
Why choose a community college?
Here are a few benefits of choosing a community college:
- Spend less money while completing your general education, which are the first two years toward completing a Bachelor’s degree.
- Earn an Associate’s degree or Certificate while on your path to a Bachelor’s degree.
- Smaller class sizes.
- Find classes to fit a busy schedule.
- Take a more direct route by choosing to enter a Certificate program geared toward your desired career.
- Go to college without having to leave home and/or pay for extra expenses such as room and board or out-of-state tuition fees.
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Can I transfer to a 4-year university from a community college?
- Yes, most classes taken at a community college are eligible for credit at a 4-year university.
- Students often complete undergraduate classes (2 years) at a community college before transferring to a university to complete their Bachelor’s degree. In the process they earn an Associate’s degree!
What happens to my transcripts if I attend more than one community college?
- You will need to request transcripts from each individual college you attended and provide them to the university to which you are applying.
- You can also earn an Associate degree for transfer. LEARN MORE about Associate programs for transfer.
Can I get help paying for college?
According to information provided by Bigfuture.org
- Yes! Most college students receive financial aid. This is money that is given or lent to you to help pay for college costs.
What types of Financial Aid are there?
- Grants and Scholarships (money you do not have to repay) -Visit your community college’s Foundation Office for more information and/or visit FASTWEB. You can also find more information and a list of great scholarships HERE!
- Loans (money you do have to repay) -Apply through FASFA to see how much you can qualify for!
- Work-study (a program that allows you to work part-time to earn money for college expenses) –Schedule an appointment with the Financial Aid Office.
- Students often use a combination of financial aid options to pay their college expenses.
What kind of expenses will I have?
You can expect to pay for:
- Parking passes
- Transportation fees (if applicable)
- Student health fees
For more information regarding Financial Aid CLICK HERE!
What are admission requirements?
- According to cccappply.org, community colleges in California are required to admit any resident that possesses a high school diploma or equivalent. However, there are exceptions to the requirements, some community colleges may accept students that have no diploma, or equivalent, but are at least 18 years of age.
Can I attend a community college if I am still in high school?
- Most community colleges will allow you to start earning college credit while still in high school. (Check your local community colleges to see what programs they offer for high school students)
- If I stop attending college for more than a year and decide to go back can I pick up where I left off, or do I need to start over?
- You can continue where you left off, however, you will need to check with a counselor to see if any requirements or classes have changed and need to be retaken.
- Can I be admitted to more than one community college?
- Yes! If you move and need to apply to another one, or if your classes are not all available at one site, you can enroll at another campus to complete all your classes in a timely manner.
- Click for more help on HOW TO APPLY to a California community college.
How do I register for college?
- To register for classes, you need to make sure that you are registered before the given deadline that a community college has set. You may check on the school website, or on the main menu of your student account.
- How do I know which classes I need to take?
- Your best plan of action is to make an appointment with a counselor. Every student’s coursework is different depending on their end goal – transfer, certificate, AA degree, basic skills, etc.
Are there course prerequisites?
- Some courses do have prerequisites. If you are trying to enroll into a class that is above an introduction course (101), there may be circumstances where you are required to have taken and completed a prerequisite before being able to take the class.
- When trying to register for a course with prerequisites, the classes needed to take are for often listed.
Are there online course available?
- Yes! Community colleges offer a variety of class schedule options, one of them being online courses. When registering for a class it is indicated whether the course is online or on campus when looking at the class day/time section of the course information.
- Here is a great source to learn more about ONLINE OPTIONS.
What if I want to change my schedule or decide to follow a different career pathway?
- That’s one of the advantages of attending a community college. If you have an undecided major or are still exploring what you want to do, you can avoid penalties such as losing your spot at the school, losing money, or having to drop out.
- At a community college, you can consult with your counselor to design another action plan for your education, without too much loss of money.
How can I see a counselor?
- You can schedule an appointment by calling the Counseling Office at your local community college.
- Most counseling offices offer walk-in appointments on a first-come, first-serve bases.
- Check your school website for counseling and walk-in hours as they may vary.
- When scheduling an appointment, make sure to do it in advance, as sometimes there is very limited availability.