There has been a steep growth in the number of international students opting to study at local community colleges in the U.S. with an increase in the number of free community colleges being offered by several U.S. states.
According to the recent study by the Institute for International Education (IIE), there were around 96,500 international students studying in 1,100 U.S. community colleges in the session 2016-2017. What might come as a surprise to you is that nearly 10 percent of the international students studying in the U.S. start-off their academic journey at community colleges itself.
The reasons are obvious. The community colleges are easily affordable and there is less competitive admission criterion. Furthermore, they offer the flexible system of education. The flexibility of community colleges makes it easier for students to switch between courses and even colleges. Also, the community colleges make it possible for students to gain academic credits in case they wish to seek transfer later to a four-year school.
The states currently offering free community college options are as given below:
- New York
- Rhode Island
The IIE study also revealed that top 10 community colleges conferring associates degrees hosts more than 1,500 international students. A majority of international students studying in the U.S. community colleges comes from China, Vietnam, and South Korea.
Popular Community Colleges in the U.S.
The most popular community college in the U.S. is indeed the Houston Community College System which hosts over 5,982 international students.
Other popular U.S. community colleges are as follows:
- Walla Walla Community College, Washington
- Santa Barbara City College, California
- Lake Area Technical Institute, South Dakota
- East San Gabriel Valley Regional Occupational Program & Technical Center, California
- New Mexico Military Institute, New Mexico
- North Central Kansas Technical College, Kansas
- Valencia College, Florida
- Snow College, Utah
- Saint Paul College, Minnesota
- Mayland Community College, North Carolina