Best Community Colleges in New York in 2024 (Online & On-Campus)

January 26, 2024 | Admin

Community Colleges in New York

Attending one of the community colleges in New York sets students on a likely path to learning new knowledge and skills, and improving on existing skills and knowledge. There are a variety of advantages to attending community college, whether the student started a college program in the past but never finished, or if the student has never taken a college or career course in their life. Are you thinking of changing careers? Wherever you are in your life right now, there are likely a variety of advantages for you to earn a certificate or degree at a New York Community College.

Top 5 Community Colleges in New York

Rank School Location
1Westchester Community CollegeValhalla, New York
2Niagara County Community CollegeSanborn, New York
3Mohawk Valley Community CollegeUtica, New York
4Kingsborough Community CollegeNew York City, New York
5SUNY UlsterStone Ridge, New York

Advantages of Attending a New York Community College

Community colleges in New York offer academic flexibility. Students often have a longer time to complete their degree, compared to degree completion requirements at a university. Completing a community college program prepares students for transfer to a four-year school if they choose to continue their education beyond the associate’s degree, or career certificate program. Students likely experience greater personalized attention at the community college level. 

Affordability is potentially a major advantage for students that want to attend college but cannot afford the costs of attending an expensive school. Community colleges allow for easy access of classes when students choose one of these schools.

People that attend community college and earn an associate’s degree have significantly lower unemployment, compared to individuals with less education. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) points out that the unemployment rate for workers with less than a high school diploma in 2016 was 7.4 percent, and for workers with a high school diploma the unemployment rate was 5.2 percent. The unemployment rate for workers with an associate’s degree was only 3.2 percent.

These community colleges in New York offer a variety of advantages, including affordable tuition, along with several schools offering courses or programs in an online format. Many schools are military-friendly, answering the question asked by the U.S. Marine Corp Community Services, ‘Why community college? Why not?’

It is important to note that the cost of in-state tuition only covers the cost of an individual course. It does not include any additional charges such as fees, books, or housing unless stated in an individual school listing.

Best 22 Community Colleges in New York


Westchester Community College

  • Valhalla, New York
Westchester Community College

Building minds and building futures is a primary focus at Westchester Community College. Complete a certificate program or earn an associate’s degree at the school and gain the skills and knowledge that you need to enter the workforce, change careers or continue your education.

The school offers more than 65 programs in areas that include business administration, art and design, civil technology, computer-aided drafting, fashion design & technology, or journalism. Perhaps you prefer to enroll in a program such as liberal arts, marketing, medical coding, nursing, paramedic, or personal training, or one of the other certificate or degree programs offered by the school.

School Overview

Tuition: $191 per credit hour
First-year retention: 66%
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education, ACEN, JRCERT, CoARC, AVMA
Visit School Website

Niagara County Community College

  • Sanborn, New York

Niagara County Community College features two physical locations, and online programs that allow students to complete their courses from anywhere. The school calls the college the ‘smart place to start,’ and indicates that it offers the lowest tuition of any college in the area. There are five academic divisions, including business, technology and the arts, humanities and social sciences, nursing and allied health, science, health and mathematics, and the hospitality, tourism, and culinary arts division.

School Overview

Tuition: $198 per credit hour
First-year retention: 64%
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education, CAPTE, CAAHEP, ACEN, JRCERT, Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting, American Culinary Foundation
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Mohawk Valley Community College

  • Utica, New York

Mohawk Valley Community College has the distinction of being the first community college in the State of New York. The school opened its doors in 1946, and today it remains committed to meet the diverse needs of students by providing accessible, affordable and high-quality educational opportunities.

There are more than 90 associate degree and certificate programs at the college, organized in to six ‘Academic Schools.’ The six options include art, health sciences, business and hospitality, humanities, STEM, and public and human services.

School Overview

Tuition: $191 per credit hour
First-year retention: 60%
Visit School Website

Kingsborough Community College

  • New York City, New York

Kingsborough Community College, located in Brooklyn, offers more than 50 academic programs, including two certificate programs. The school also offers several online programs.

Choose a traditional program, or consider a unique program such as maritime technology, polysomnographic technology, chemical dependency counseling, or an associate’s degree in women’s and gender studies.

School Overview

Tuition: $210 per credit hour
First-year retention: 65%
Visit School Website

SUNY Ulster

  • Stone Ridge, New York
Outdoor view of college campus

SUNY Ulster invites students to dream big. Perhaps your dream is to earn a degree from the Music, Art, Design, Fashion, Theatre & Communications department. Students also consider a program from the Biological Sciences department, STEM, or Business & Professional Studies department. Earn a degree or certificate from the Criminal Justice and Human Services department, or an associate’s degree in nursing. The school also offers degrees and certificates through the English, Foreign Languages & Philosophy department, and the Social Sciences, History and Education department. There are also two certificate programs and five associate degree programs offered online.

The college offers a unique program called the Battle Buddy Center, which serves as a home for student veterans, active duty military personnel and their dependents. It is a safe haven for quiet study that also provides opportunities to socialize, receive peer support and fellowship. They also offer MicroCredentials, many of which are online.

School Overview

Tuition: $190 per credit hour
First-year retention: 57%
Accreditation: MSCHE, ACEN, AVMA
Visit School Website

Queensborough Community College

  • New York City, New York

Enroll at Queensborough Community College and choose your path to a certificate program or an associate’s degree. The school boasts an enrollment of more than 15,400 students. More than 50 percent of the students continue their education at a four-year school after graduation.

Choose your academic program from business administration, biotechnology, engineering, community information systems, dance, film and media production, gallery and museum studies, health care, music production, nursing, or several other academic programs.

School Overview

Tuition: $210 per credit hour
First-year retention: 64.2%
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education, ETAC of ABET, ACEN, ACCBSP, National Association of Schools of Theatre, National Association of Schools of Art and Design, National Association of Schools of Dance
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Corning Community College

  • Corning, New York

Students that enroll at Corning Community College have the advantage of small classes and excellent instructors. The school offers more than 40 certificate, and degree programs, along with continuing education courses. Some students take enjoy online learning or the accelerated learning format.

Academic departments include arts and human behavior, the business and finance, and health sciences departments. Many students choose their degree or career certificate from the Community Engagement: Education, Social Services, Law Enforcement department, the Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Computing and Information Systems department or the Technology and Manufacturing department.

Eligible veterans receive a 100 percent tuition benefit, personal advising and counseling services.

School Overview

Tuition: $203 per credit hour
First-year retention: 61%
Accreditation: Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, ACEN, ABET
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Hudson Valley Community College

  • Troy, New York

Enroll in a certificate or degree program at Hudson Valley Community College and enjoy traditional daytime classes, evening courses or online instruction. The college has transfer agreements with several schools for students that want to attend a four-year school after earning their associate’s degree. The school offers more than 80 certificate and degree programs.

Consider enrolling in the administrative information management and technology program, animal policy, chemical dependency counseling, dental hygiene, forensic science studies or the marketing program. Some students pursue their degree in nursing, physical education, polysomnography, or theater arts.

School Overview

Tuition: $200 per credit hour
First-year retention: 59%
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education, CAAHEP, ABET, NAEYC, COARC, ACEN, CODA, Joint Review Committee on Education for Diagnostic Medical Sonography
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Rockland Community College

  • Suffern, New York

Prepare for your future by earning a certificate or degree from one of the 50 flexible programs offered by Rockland Community College. The school offers programs in the arts, humanities, social sciences, business, health professions, and mathematics.

Consider earning your certificate or degree by attending full-time or part-time, on campus, or by completing courses online. The school also offers exciting internships and the opportunity to study abroad.

School Overview

Tuition: $214 per credit hour
First-year retention: 67%
Accreditation: MSCHE, ACEN, ACOTE
Visit School Website

Guttman Community College

  • New York City, New York

The Stella and Charles Guttman Community College opened in 2012, and focuses on timely completion and student achievement. The college supports student achievement through an inclusive, dynamic and intellectually engaging learning environment.

The programs offered at the school provide an ideal balance between academic and professional preparation. The school offers some pre-college programs to introduce students to college-level courses. One program is the GLASS program, primarily for ESL students, and another program is Math Start, which introduces students to college math. Choose your associate’s degree program from business administration, liberal arts and sciences, urban studies, human services or information technology.

School Overview

Tuition: $210 per credit hour
First-year retention: 63%
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Visit School Website

Suffolk County Community College

  • Selden, New York

Part of the Suffolk County Community College mission is to promote ‘intellectual discovery, physical development, social and ethical awareness, and economic opportunities’ for all students. The school offers several certificate programs that lead to completion of training or licensure and that also potentially serves as a step to earning a degree at the school.

The college offers an associate in arts degree, the associate in science, and the associate of applied science degree. Some programs include accounting, business, culinary arts, drafting, fire protection, HVAC, earth and space science, nursing and radio and television production. Many programs are available online.

School Overview

Tuition: $228 per credit hour
First-year retention: 67%
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education, ACEN, ACEND, ABA, ACOTE, AVMA, ASE Education Foundation, CAHIIM, CAPTE, CoAEMSP, CAAHEP
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Genesee Community College

  • Batavia, New York

Genesee Community College provides an educational experience that promotes intellectual growth and professional success. The school offers more than 60 programs, including many opportunities to complete some courses online through its main campus and six other campus centers.

Choose your degree or certificate program in business, criminal justice, liberal arts, fashion business, entrepreneurship, fitness and recreation management, nursing, physical therapy, human services, or STEM.

School Overview

Tuition: $190 per credit hour
First-year retention: 51%
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education, ACEN, CAPTE, CAAHEP, AVMA
Visit School Website

Columbia-Greene Community College

  • Hudson, New York

Genesee Community College provides an educational experience that promotes intellectual growth and professional success. The school offers more than 60 programs, including many opportunities to complete some courses online through its main campus and six other campus centers.

Choose your degree or certificate program in business, criminal justice, liberal arts, fashion business, entrepreneurship, fitness and recreation management, nursing, physical therapy, human services, or STEM.

School Overview

Tuition: $190 per credit hour
First-year retention: 51%
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education, ACEN, CAPTE, CAAHEP, AVMA
Visit School Website

LaGuardia Community College

  • New York City, New York

Enroll at LaGuardia Community College and choose from 60 majors, including certificate programs. There are also 70 continuing education programs.

The certificate programs include commercial photography, network and information security, practical nursing, or digital media arts. Choose from 21 programs to earn an associate of arts degree in areas such as early childhood education, journalism, foreign languages, deaf studies, or human services. Consider an associate of science degree in engineering, business administration, criminal justice, fine arts, or therapeutic recreation. Some students choose an associate of applied science degree in industrial design, energy technician, music recording technology, nursing, or veterinary technology.

School Overview

Tuition: $210 per credit hour
First-year retention: 62%
Visit School Website

Schenectady County Community College

  • Schenectady, New York

Schenectady County Community College indicates that it is the most affordable college in the entire Capital Region. The school invites prospective students to ‘reimagine your future,’ and enroll in one of the programs where you have access to innovative academic programs, inspiring faculty, and strong support services.

The school offers more than 50 certificate and degree programs, many of which are available online. Consider earning your certificate or associate’s degree from one of the six academic divisions, which includes college in the high school, business, criminal justice, and law, liberal arts, math, science technology and health, the school of music or the school of hotel, culinary arts and tourism.

School Overview

Tuition: $192 per credit hour
First-year retention: 52%
Accreditation: MSCHE, American Culinary Federation Accrediting Commission, NASM
Visit School Website

SUNY Adirondack

  • Queensbury, New York
sunny logo

SUNY Adirondack offers more than 40 degree and certificate programs, as well as workforce training to more than 6,000 students. Students have the opportunity to participate in research activities, live on campus and receive individualized support.

The college recognizes the need for relevant educational programs and recently added new degrees and concentrations. Enroll in a certificate program, or earn an associate degree in business, creative and performing arts, criminal justice, health sciences, hospitality and tourism, information technology, liberal arts or STEM, among others. There are a variety of concentrations within each of these programs. Students have day, evening or online options for many courses, with several degree programs exclusively online.

School Overview

Tuition: $206 per credit hour
First-year retention: 57 percent
Accreditation: MSCHE, ACEN
Visit School Website

Hostos Community College

  • New York City, New York

Hostos Community College has focused on improving the quality of life, and being an agent for change in and around the South Bronx since 1968.

There are 28 associate degree programs, and two certificate programs. The school partners with four-year schools to make transfer to a four-year college or university an easy task. Consider enrolling in the common programs, or in a unique program, such as the fraud examination and financial forensics program, aging and health studies, game design, or the digital music program.

School Overview

Tuition: $210 per credit hour
First-year retention: 58%
Accreditation: MSCHE, CODA, JRCERT
Visit School Website

Nassau Community College

  • Garden City, New York

Nassau Community College invites students to expand their knowledge and skills, and to pursue their goal of lifelong learning.

Nassau Community College offers over 70 associate’s degree programs, along with continuing education and certificate programs. Choose your ideal career or degree program from business, legal studies, art, engineering, foreign languages, nursing, psychology, mortuary science, theater and dance, or several other academic departments.

School Overview

Tuition: $242 per credit hour
First-year-retention rate: 64%
Accreditation: Middle States Commission, ACEN, ABA, FCC, CARC, ABET, American Board of Funeral Service Education, Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting, Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, Association of Food and Nutrition Service Professionals, National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science, NASM
Visit School Website

Jamestown Community College

  • Jamestown, New York

Choose your major from more than 80 programs at Jamestown Community College. The school invites prospective students to ‘come as you are’ and to ‘leave as you want to be’ after completing your program at one of the schools’ three locations. The school boasts a cutting-edge learning environment, including ‘smart’ classrooms and music studios.

Consider earning a career or training certificate, or an associate’s degree in addictions counseling, computer sciences, homeland security, mechatronics, music industry, sport management or welding.

School Overview

Tuition: $217 per credit hour
First-year retention: 55%
Accreditation: MSCHE, ACEN, ACOTE
Visit School Website

Broome Community College

  • New York State

Students that enroll at Broome Community College likely appreciate the affordability, strong academics, and strong support. Some students enjoy residing on campus while others commute or take classes online from around the world. Students also enjoy the state-of-the-art technology, and many internship opportunities.

Students select their program from four divisions, including STEM, business and professional studies, health sciences, or liberal arts.

School Overview

Tuition: $212 per credit hour
First-year retention: 51%
Visit School Website

Clinton Community College

  • New York State

Clinton Community College empowers students along their path to personal and professional growth. The school offers several certificate programs, in areas such as alcohol and substance abuse counseling, computer support, renewable energy and wind turbine service technician. There are 24 associate’s degree programs, in concentrations that include accounting, applied psychology, environmental sciences, mechanical technology, liberal arts, renewable energy technology or nursing.

The school offers several online programs.

School Overview

Tuition: $230 per credit hour
First-year retention: 58%
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education, ACEN
Visit School Website

Tompkins Cortland Community College

  • Dryden, New York

Tompkins Cortland Community College, located in Dryden, New York, is a smaller college in a more-rural area, yet offers more than 40 programs. The school has a passionate commitment to providing the support that each student needs for academic and personal success. Earn your associate’s degree in applied science and technology, broadcast production, criminal justice, culinary arts, international business, sustainable farming and food systems, recreation leadership, nursing, or other program options.

School Overview

Tuition: est. $223.08 per credit hour
First-year retention: 46%
Accreditation: MSCHE, ACEN
Visit School Website

 Ranking Methodology

We conducted research and compiled this list of community colleges in New York, and then assigned a unique score based on tuition and first-year retention rate. Where there was a tie, the school with the lower tuition rate received the higher ranking.

Each school is physically located within the State of New York, although an individual school may offer courses and degree programs to students that reside outside the state. Each listed school is an accredited community college.

We work hard to make sure that we are fair, accurate and honest in the ranking of each school. We do not allow any community college to pay us for a higher placement in our rankings.

Community colleges offer two-year programs that enable students to acquire an associate degree. Most New York community colleges are affordable and have favorable policies for the admission of students. These admission policies only require students to have a high school degree or GED to be admitted. 

Studying in community colleges in New York can be a great experience, although they are not wholly favorable to international students. When choosing a community college, you have to look at the majors you would like to learn. Also, check on their transfer credit policies to enable you to have a smooth transition should you decide to transfer to a four-year university after earning your associate degree.  

New York has about 35 community colleges and universities which enroll approximately 285,210 students annually. In comparison to universities, community colleges are cheaper, favoring students who are limited financially. Affordable tuition also helps students save on living costs and housing costs. Community colleges also offer chances of scholarships and financial aids to those students who are disadvantaged financially. 

Community colleges are also preferred by students who have not received the grades they need to be accepted by the university. New York community colleges also favor adults who would want to take evening classes while working. The common programs at community colleges are certificates, associate degrees, and diplomas. 

Locations of Community Colleges in New York

CUNY colleges comprise 25 campuses where students of all ages can attend. They offer several programs for high school graduates to work in various industries and achieve their career goals. Students with a high school diploma or who have completed high school can enroll in CUNY colleges. They provide programs to 500,000 students and award 55,000 degrees to various students every year. CUNY colleges comprise 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, and seven graduate honors and professional schools.

Eleven senior colleges offer a four-year degree course for students. These students gain the experience needed to work in various fields according to their specifications. The seven Graduate Honors colleges that are locally located offer a two-year curriculum for students living in the same community. Students can attend these colleges and take the program of their choice. It’s a pathway for students to join a senior college to acquire a degree. Combined, the seven Graduate Honors and Professional Schools provide over 30 doctoral programs. 

Six CUNY colleges are recognized nationally among the top ten that help low-income students to achieve high-paying jobs. Again, CUNY colleges have produced several scholars, including ten Truman scholars, seventy Fulbright scholars, seven Rhodes scholars, and seven Marshall scholars. CUNY are the cheapest colleges in new york, and most of the students graduate without debt federal loans. Again, all schools are public colleges and are cheaper compared to private colleges in New York City.

CUNY colleges are located across five boroughs in New York City, including Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. Thus, students have a variety of locations to choose from. Community colleges provide local support by enabling students to commute from home to school to attend classes. 

Most community colleges are open-access, and most of the students who apply are admitted. Most don’t offer housing for students because they are commuter schools. Some of the best community colleges in New York include Kingsborough Community College, Queensborough Community College, Hostos Community College, Manhattan Community College, and LaGuardia Community College, ranked among the top ten. 

So long as the students are qualified, they can apply at any community college despite its location. Those who prefer commuting can apply to colleges close to home while those who feel they need to learn further from home can apply to community colleges in other areas. All five boroughs have community colleges offering different programs for all students. Before applying for CUNY colleges in any location, students should consider several factors, including acceptance rate, cost, and academics.

What ACT Target Score Do You Need for Community Colleges in New York?

In most community colleges, ACT score isn’t important. However, to get into various CUNY colleges, students must attain a certain ACT score. It enables students to choose the courses of their choice and handle it depending on their performance. Choosing certain programs can be difficult for students to learn, especially if they had a low ACT score. Attaining a certain ACT score ensures that students can learn and understand what they are taught in various programs. 

Academic reputation is important if you intend to get an excellent job after graduating. To get

into CUNY colleges, you must attain an ACT score of 25th or 75th percentile. If a score is lower than the 25th percentile, the chances of getting in are very low. Thus, students can choose the programs they wish if they attained the required ACT score. 

To work in various institutions, students are judged by their education. That’s why CUNY colleges are strict about the ACT scores of the students who enroll. This has a great impact because the students can get the jobs of their dreams despite the high number of graduates seeking jobs.

Over the years, several students have graduated from CUNY colleges to work in different fields. Because the colleges are spread in several locations in New York, students can apply to their chosen location. Though CUNY colleges are open-access, students applying must attain an ACT score of 25th/75th percentile to pursue the programs of their dreams. Because the cost of learning is low, most students can afford to learn in these colleges. Again, some of the CUNY colleges are ranked top ten nationwide; hence, students can comfortably apply for the programs they need to undertake.

Programs Offered At New York Community Colleges

New York boasts a rich history of schools dating back to the nation’s earlier days when it comes to higher education. This has seen the state develop a reputation for quality education and the provision of the best community colleges across the country. For students interested in technical training or degree programs for a two-year school, the community colleges offer a range of excellent options to choose from.

The choices on which community college to select is endless because, to be honest, there are many, and they offer myriad other different programs. With around 35 of them, the best New York College offers a mix of associate degree programs that include transfer degrees, certificate programs, and technical degrees. Not only that, but most of them offer online courses for those who prefer that alternative and ways for students to further their education at any university after graduating. The different programs vary in the following ways.

Associate Degree

Associate degree programs are the premier offerings in every community college in New York. These degree programs can be found in nearly every academic field, from social sciences to accounting to digital media. Generally, they take about two years to complete and offer a balanced education to see students get entry-level employment or further their education. While it is a widespread belief that these programs require around 60 credits, this can change and be higher, going up to 80 credits depending on a student’s major.

Courses under this program consist of general education and other specific courses that revolve around developing skills and knowledge, which apply to various professions. The major-specific courses focus on subjects related to a student’s chosen major, while the course topics are English composition, physical education, natural sciences, and basic math. With an associate degree, you can choose to pursue several lucrative careers or continue your education.

Certificate Diploma

Certificate or diploma programs are excellent options for those looking for more concentrated instruction. These programs are generally not technical degrees but are popular and available in similar fields to associate degrees. Unlike the associate degree, these programs are shorter and do not require the vast education complexities. For instance, an automation technology associate’s degree program may include multiple education courses touching on sociology, interpersonal communication, and critical reading. In contrast, a certificate program in the same field from the same community college may require two courses, notably human communication and other composition.

Other Offerings

The other programs community colleges offer to include career development and personal satisfaction. These offers are critically essential to those who do not have the resources and time to attend a certificate or an associate degree program. A perfect example could be a working professional looking to improve on their resume and meet certification requirements.

What You Can Do with A NY Community College Degree or Certification 

Students who attend NY community colleges get an associate degree or certification. These colleges offer degrees to several students, including those who want to transfer to senior college, those who need vocational trade school, or those who need a different career. With the high competition in job searching, most students from community colleges prefer to get an advanced degree after getting an associate degree. Students go for an advanced degree due to various reasons, such as to get a better job or for motivational purposes. However, the decision isn’t easy, and they have to consider a few factors, including;

Online Accessibility

Some students acquire a job using their associate degree but still prefer to get an advanced degree. It becomes hard to attend classes at a university college and also go to work. Accessing the program online enables them to learn while still working. 

Time Flexibility

Most community college graduate students work part-time. They should determine how to balance work and school if they consider getting an advanced degree. If the job schedule is tight, they should consider focusing on getting an advanced degree alone first. 

The Cost

It’s advisable to consider the amount to pay for a certain program to attain an advanced degree. The students can ask the program advisors if there are any special scholarships to apply for.

How Employers View NY Community College Degree or Certification 

There are several job seekers from various colleges. Several employers are keen on the degrees and certifications that job seekers have. They employ graduates depending on the details in their degree or certification. They need graduates who are disciplined to maintain a good reputation at work. Some employers don’t hire graduates who took online classes because they believe they are less disciplined.

Employers hire employees depending on their education, which judges whether they can fit in the company’s culture. Some employers prefer hiring graduates with a NY community college degree or certificate because they attended classes and are disciplined. However, some employers view graduates with NY community college degrees and certification as inferior compared to a bachelor’s degree. Sometimes, in a field where both a community college degree and bachelor’s degree are accepted, those with a bachelor’s degree are preferred.

An associate’s degree provides students with lots of job opportunities. However, graduates with a NY community college degree or certification should be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of an associate’s degree. Despite the many job opportunities, there’s lots of competition with students from other colleges and universities.

Why You Need a NY College Degree or Certification

A NY college degree or certification can help you get the job of your dreams. With a degree or certificate, there’s proof that the graduate went to a community college and has the needed experience. These graduates can be called for interviews and answer questions because they know a certain field. Those with a college degree can also transfer to universities for a degree program to get an advanced degree. With an advanced degree, they can get better jobs. However, some students get advanced degrees for self-interest.

Certification programs are short, and graduates can get excellent technical jobs. They can get high paying jobs despite learning the course within a short period. However, some jobs require a community college degree, and graduates holding an associate’s degree can get employed in the same field as those holding a bachelor’s degree. With a NY college degree or certification, graduates have a wide range of choices, including seeking a job or further learning to get a better job.

There are several programs offered in NY community colleges. Despite acquiring a community college degree or certification, graduates have a great opportunity of turning the dream of getting a certain job into a reality. If they prefer to get an advanced degree, they should consider several factors, including cost and time flexibility. Learning and working at the same time isn’t easy and requires a lot of dedication. However, those graduating from community colleges should know that they can’t get jobs in all fields despite qualifying for them. Some employers prefer graduates holding a bachelor’s degree or master’s, depending on the firm’s culture.

What’s the Difference Between Programs Offered in Colleges and Community Colleges? 

When students choose between a community college and other colleges, one of the defining factors they consider is the type of programs they will get. Community colleges are sometimes known as 2-year colleges because they offer associate degree programs that last for two years or less. Also, a student can choose to get a diploma or certificate program in any field. On the other hand, the traditional colleges offer programs that will give a student doctoral, master’s, or a bachelor’s degree and take four-plus years to complete.

Another significant difference to note is the number of program options for students from the two. Both of them offer a wide variety of study programs, but community colleges cannot match other colleges’ level. For instance, universities have a broad spectrum of options and, at some point, even feature smaller colleges within them.

Advantages of Attending a New York Community College

As large and diverse as New York State is, it is right to say it is one of the most exciting places to live and study. Notably, when it comes to studying in any of the many community colleges the state offers, you will undoubtedly gain in the following ways.

  • Get quality school options from the best community colleges in the country. Thanks to the successful and brilliant tutors who are at the top of their respective fields.
  • Get financial aid from the many scholarship opportunities for its residents. For instance, the TAP program offers scholarship money to students based on taxable income.
  • Enjoy the culture while studying from popular community colleges like the Borough of Manhattan Community College, which enjoys a central location to popular and exciting historical points of interest.
  • Get an internship and hassle-free job placement from so many companies the state offers. Plus, networking with professionals in different sectors.

Cost of Community Colleges in New York

A college education is one of the costliest investments outside here for just anyone. And choosing to pursue a degree is a critical financial decision to make worth the money and time. Since everyone wants to save money and avoid spending unnecessarily, the need for affordable higher education options has been widespread concern. That is why community colleges are getting more and more popular across the country and New York in that voice.

Compared to four-year colleges, community colleges are relatively cheaper and offer an affordable alternative to those with financial limits. The fact that they are cheaper does not mean they offer substandard quality education. But they generally offer value worth their price, and at some point, better than the traditional colleges. Plus, New York State commits to offering the best education to all students at an affordable cost.

Generally, the cost of community colleges differs from college to college. However, community college’s average cost is approximately $5 512 per year for in-state students and around $10 202 for out-of-state students. On the other hand, private community colleges are costlier, and whether you are from the state or not, the average cost of tuition is approximately $16 236 per year. It is next to impossible to highlight the cheapest and most expensive college from the 35 possible alternatives. But recent studies hold strongly that SUNY Broome Community College may have the lowest in-state tuition going as low as $3168 per year.

Qualifying for Financial Aid

While community colleges are renowned for their affordability, the truth is that they are not as cheap as such. In the recent past, college costs have continued to rise for community colleges and universities. And students can only look for alternative means and a variety of ways to fund their education. Loans can and personal savings can only go far but cannot sustain an entire education period, especially for incapable families.

Fortunately, in New York, students at various college levels have access to a wide spectrum of state-sponsored grants to help them achieve their goals without the hassles of paying for fees. With the New York State government’s commitment to providing quality higher education to build and maintain a thriving economy, it is right to say that access to vast grant opportunities for college students is the best way to realize this. However, these financial aids, such as the Tuition Assistance Program, do not come on a silver platter.

Not only that, but other aid programs work to solve different financial situations. For instance, the New York State Aid for Part-Time Study offers financial assistance to eligible part-time students pursuing a minimum of 6 credit hours every semester at any member state college. Regardless of the financial aid in question, there is an eligibility criterion that every applying or prospective beneficially must meet. Especially critical is the TAP, which is available to state residents learning at approved state colleges or universities.

When it comes to qualifying for this type of financial aid, the student must be a legal resident of New York State and must at the time be enrolled full time at a participating college or university. One of the surest ways to ensure one qualifies is having satisfactory academic progress, have good academic standing and pursue a program having received either a failing or passing outcome in a certain percentage of studies each term. 

Also, the applicant must meet the state’s income requirements, and the final award will rely on the level of financial need of every student, school of attendance, and the course of study. Nearly every possible financial aid program uses most of these criteria but with different levels and demands, with academic history, progress, and financial need being the constant factors.

Comparing Costs of Community Colleges and Other Colleges in New York

As aforementioned, community colleges are indeed cheaper compared to the other colleges. A community college costs approximately $5,512 for in-state students on an annual average, while a normal college or rather a university costs around $9,109 for in-state students. The case for out-of-state is directly proportional and increases or reduces against all measures put in place. 

If you wonder why universities cost more than community colleges, the answer relies on three defining factors. These include the number of programs offered, the institutions’ size, and the level of extra-curricular activities the student engages in. These factors also come with finer details, for example, in-school accommodation influences the costs of a college education. 

In Summary

A college education is crucial as it can help improve students’ quality of life upon graduation. In New York, community colleges are sensitive to the needs of their students. Not only is the goal of academic achievement a priority, but the school system also takes into account the needs of its students who need extra attention. 

High-quality education is an essential attribute of any good community college. Any higher learning institution aims to provide students with proper training and equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge. This is to ensure that they remain competitive in the ever-changing world. New York has put in guidelines to ensure that community colleges offer nothing short of quality education. 

New York Community colleges strive to work in partnership with parents and the community to produce students who are highly knowledgeable and have the necessary skills to adjust to the current world trends. As such, New York Community Colleges have developed excellent strategies to provide services and share their knowledge with more high school seniors, knowing that they will ultimately help them begin their quest for success in life after their studies. 

Many people hold the notion that community college courses are easier compared to university courses, but the quality of education has improved in recent years. When picking a community college, go for the best institution under the field you want to specialize in. Avoid higher learning schools that offer unaccredited courses that will rob you of your precious time and money. 

Moreover, New York community colleges offer certificate programs, diplomas, and associate degrees. An associate degree earned from community colleges can be used as a stepping stone towards attaining a bachelor’s degree in four-year universities. New York community colleges are the best preference for students who can’t cope with the high tuition fees required in the university. If you are looking forward to applying for a community college, consider the community college’s location, your course preference, transfer credits arrangements with other good universities, and the cost of tuition fees.

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