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Best community colleges in arizona

Best community colleges in arizona!

In the United States, college enrolment is increasing. The National Center for Education Statistics forecasts that between 2017 and 2028, the number of undergraduate students will rise from 16.8 million to 17.2 million. By obtaining a postsecondary degree, you have access to better career prospects and a higher salary.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average yearly wage of those with an associate degree is $7,000 higher than that of those with a high school diploma. In addition, their unemployment rates are much lower.

Despite the fact that higher education institutions provide academic programs that are accessible to students from all walks of life, the plethora of alternatives might be intimidating when searching for the ideal school.

This guide provides a list of the top community colleges in arizona to assist with your quest. Admission standards, financial aid, and student resources are outlined in the twenty profiles listed below. Additionally, you will learn about various academic degrees, professional certifications, and online learning alternatives.

Students can receive authorized certificates and degrees at both universities and community colleges. However, the latter provide greater flexibility for their students, who frequently maintain full-time jobs and care for families while enrolled in classes. Typically, community colleges have open admission policies and low tuition rates to support these practical needs.

These schools also emphasize career placement by providing certificate programs for technical and trade-oriented occupations. In contrast, many students begin their higher education at community colleges, earning associate degrees before transferring to a bachelor’s degree completion program.

Attending a community colleges in arizona will not only provide you with affordable tuition and a variety of academic programs, but also excellent employment opportunities. As of July 2019, Arizona’s unemployment rate stands at 4.9%, a drop from previous months.

The BLS reports employment growth in a variety of Arizona industries, with construction, manufacturing, and health services experiencing the greatest growth. A further incentive is Arizona’s low cost of living. Even in metropolitan areas such as Phoenix, the cost of living is 5% less than the national average, according to PayScale data.

List of the Best Community Colleges in Arizona

The following is a list of best community colleges in Arizona:

1. Eastern Arizona University

best community colleges in arizona

AREA: Thatcher, Arizona

TUITION: $7009

This community colleges in arizona, located in Thatcher, enrolls 6,000 students in accessible and career-relevant academic programs. The institution provides 35 degree programs and 69 certificate alternatives. Domestic applicants must submit an online application and take the ACCUPLACER placement exam.

International students must submit TOEFL or IELTS scores and complete a separate application process. As one of the greatest community schools in Arizona, EAC offers a cheap tuition rate to all students, regardless of residency. Citizens of the United States have access to financial aid, including sports and performing arts scholarships.

EAC offers certificate and associate of applied science (AAS) programs in fields such as administrative information services, cosmetology, and nursing for students who wish to enter the job soon after completion. Learners can also achieve an AAS in welding technology by utilizing the Arizona Regional Manufacturing Professional Project’s resources.

Students interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree can enroll in the various transfer programs. Anthropology, biology, education, mathematics, and psychology are available options.

2. Tohono O’Odham Community College


TUITION: $6532

Tohono O’Odham community colleges in arizona was established in 1998 and serves the Tohono O’Odham Nation primarily. However, enrollment in the college’s 47 academic programs is open to all students. TOCC has an open admissions policy, requiring simply that applicants show government-issued identity, submit an online application, and, if applicable, pass a placement exam.

TOCC organizes government aid and grants private rewards, such the Gewkdag Scholarship, for Tohono O’Odham Nation members in addition to providing cheap tuition.

Students may enroll in associate degree programs designed for transfer to bachelor’s degree completion programs. This community colleges in arizona includes studio arts, business administration, health sciences, social work, and elementary education. TOCC distinguishes itself from other Arizona community schools by offering an associate’s degree in environmental studies in native borderlands.

Learners can also pursue direct-employment programs in fields such as carpentry, heavy equipment operation, plumbing, stonemasonry, and construction painting. Many of these job programs include apprenticeships, allowing individuals to earn money while completing college.

3. District of Cochise County Community College


TUITION: $6127

Cochise College, which was established in 1964 as one of the earliest community colleges in arizona, enrolls 11,500 students in academic and workforce development programs. Tuition at this institution is 77% less expensive than the average state university. In addition to abundant scholarship options, learners who graduate from a Cochise County high school are eligible for four consecutive semesters of financial aid.

Cochise has articulation agreements with all three universities in Arizona and with other out-of-state institutions. To take advantage of these smooth transfer opportunities, students can enroll in associate degree programs in liberal studies, small business management, computer programming, nursing, and administration of justice.

This community colleges in arizona offers a unique associate degree in crop science for students seeking employment in agribusiness or environmental protection. Cochise also offers direct-employment programs in fields such as computer-aided design (CAD), heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), and residential construction technology. Additionally, students can acquire certificates in thermal fusion in aerospace and professional pilot technology.

4. Community college in Paradise Valley

best community colleges in arizona


TUITION: $7586

This community colleges in arizona, located in Phoenix, is one of the 10 colleges that comprise the Maricopa County Community College system. PVCC enrolls more than 8,400 students, many of whom are part-time students with job and family responsibilities.

To accommodate a working student population, PVCC provides generous financial aid, including scholarships for small business owners and dual enrollment high school students.

Twenty associate of applied science programs are available to students, including accounting, dietetic technology, emergency response and operations, and integrated public health. PVCC distinguishes itself from other Arizona community schools by offering associate degree programs in audio production technologies and music business.

The latter program is designed for working musicians and candidates interested in production and venue management opportunities. Students can also take advantage of Canvas-facilitated distance learning options, such as fully online, hybrid, and guided independent learning courses.

5. South Mountain Community College


TUITION: $6975

1978 saw the establishment of South Mountain Community College as part of the Maricopa County Community College District. Today, the school educates almost 6,000 pupils, the majority of whom come from minority communities and are first-generation learners.

Nearly fifty percent of SMCC students enroll with the purpose to transfer to a four-year institution. To assist students in achieving this objective, the institution provides eight meta-majors designed for simple transferability. Students can earn associate degrees in disciplines such as accountancy, criminal justice, and psychology, among others. They may also enroll in pre-professional health sciences programs.

The university offers conventional degrees in forensic science, mobile application development, and early childhood education and development. Certificates in business microfinance and organizational leadership can help working individuals develop their careers by enhancing their skills.

As one of the best community colleges in arizona, SMCC offers resident students cheap tuition rates. Students also have access to financial aid through the Stars Campaign and the MCCCD Foundation.

6. Estella Mountain Community College 

LOCATION: Avondale, AZ

TUITION: $6908

Estrella Mountain Community College in Avondale enrolls around 11,000 students annually. The institution maintains two campuses and fifty academic programs. As a Hispanic-Serving Institution, EMCC receives additional federal funding, allowing it to offer affordable tuition and considerable financial aid.

Students are eligible to apply for need- and merit-based scholarships, such as the New Century Workforce Pathway Scholarship. If they do not qualify for federal money, students can also apply for the Maricopa Grant.

Candidates can acquire completion certificates in career-relevant fields such as automated industrial technology, Microsoft server administration, fire investigation, and culinary studies. Alternately, individuals can prepare for a bachelor’s degree by earning an associate’s degree in general studies, business, or science.

Additionally, this community colleges in arizona has three associate degree programs in studio art, theater, and dance. Students can customize their academic instruction by earning specialized certificates in transdisciplinary storytelling, sustainability, and ecology.

7. Yavapai College

best community colleges in arizona

In 1968, Yavapai College established its first campus in Prescott. Currently, this community colleges in arizona enrolls around 11,600 students in six campuses throughout the state. To attend YC, applicants must provide proof of U.S. citizenship and establish state residency, which requires a minimum of 12 months of physical presence and a permanent abode.

Prospective students must also demonstrate financial independence. YC’s tuition rates are 29% less expensive than those of other Arizona community colleges. The college offers merit-based and tribal affiliation-based scholarships.

YC offers approximately one hundred trade, academic transfer, and lifelong learning programs throughout its six sites. Associate degrees are available in visual arts, hotel and restaurant management, paralegal studies, and radiography, among others.

Additionally, students can participate in an applied pre-engineering program to gain the fundamental technical abilities required to get a bachelor’s degree in the discipline. YC provides trade training in high-demand fields such as aviation, commercial driving, welding, machining, culinary arts, and fire science for individuals who wish to immediately apply their studies to professional prospects.

8. Community College of Chandler-Gilbert

LOCATION: Chandler, AZ

TUITION: $7842

On its four campuses, this community colleges in arizona enrolls 20,000 students, making it one of the fastest-growing community schools in Arizona. Prospective students must hold a high school diploma or an equivalent credential from a regionally accredited institution.

They must also demonstrate academic potential through their transcripts and placement test results. Based on their residency status, students pay discounted tuition. In addition to government funding, CGCC offers institutional prizes, such as scholarships, to students studying aviation and aircraft maintenance technology.

There are direct transfer agreements between CGCC and three Arizona colleges and many out-of-state institutions. Associate degrees are available in the fields of general business, computer science, the fine arts, registered nursing, and teacher education.

This community colleges in arizona also offers associate degree programs in engineering technology with concentrations such as industrial engineering, biomedical sciences, and electrical systems. Certificates are available in homeland security, sustainability, and women’s studies, among others. Additionally, candidates can acquire a certificate in emergency medical technology, allowing them to pursue professions as first responders and hospital managers.

9. Glendale Community College

LOCATION: Glendale, AZ

TUITION: $7070

Since its founding in 1965, Glendale Community College has served more than half a million students. GCC, one of the top community colleges in Arizona, offers sixty academic programs.

This community colleges in arizona offers departmental scholarships for students seeking degrees in counseling, performing arts, nursing, and English and bases its cheap tuition rates on residency. GCC also offers scholarships to students who wish to transfer to one of the university partners.

A variety of associate of applied science tracks, including accounting paraprofessional, automotive service, marketing and sales, and information security, are available to students. They can also enroll in audio production technology programs with a sound design or audio production specialization.

In addition, GCC provides university transfer tracks in primary teaching, general studies, visual arts, and physical sciences. GCC provides occupational certificate training for fields such as law enforcement, automotive service, and insurance studies for graduates seeking employment. Additionally, students can acquire abilities in Adobe fundamentals and iOS application development.

10. Community College of Scottsdale

best community colleges in arizona

LOCATION: Scottsdale, AZ

TUITION: $7558

Over 10,000 students attend Scottsdale Community College, which offers 100 degree and 60 certificate programs. SCC welcomes students from all backgrounds and operates an accessible admissions procedure that only requires candidates to pass the ACCUPLACER placement examination.

If an applicant offers evidence of a high school diploma, GED, or appropriate ACT scores, the college waives this criterion. In collaboration with the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, SCC offers Native American students extensive academic support and financial resources.

The associate degree programs available to students include political science, anthropology, physics, and web design technologies. SCC also provides an associate’s degree in horse science, which includes courses in stable administration, pertinent business legislation, and veterinary training. Personal training, police enforcement, tribal development, and practical nursing are among the certification programs offered by the school.

SCC is one of the few community colleges in arizona that deliver bachelor’s programs. By collaborating with Northern Arizona University, SCC allows students to acquire bachelor’s degrees on its campus. Interior design, biology, primary education, and hotel and restaurant management are Bachelor’s degree possibilities.

11. Pima Community College

Pima Community College, located in Tucson, provides degrees, certifications, workforce development opportunities, and continuing education programs to 42,000 students annually. Additionally, the institution offers online courses through the Blackboard platform. Students pay reasonable tuition rates based on program type and residency.

This community colleges in arizona offers institutional scholarships to high-achieving students, Pima County residents, and returning students in addition to federal aid and veteran’s benefits.

Associate transfer programs are available for students who wish to transfer to a four-year college or university. Fashion design, business administration, early childhood education, sociology, and history are among the options. Learners who wish to complete their core subjects prior to declaring a major may enroll in general studies.

This community colleges in arizona offers career training in culinary and food service, medical office administration, and surgical technology for individuals seeking immediate employment. Active professionals can similarly expand their professions by acquiring specialized skills through one of four workforce programs. PCC, like other Arizona community colleges, offers basic and continuing education courses.

12. Arizona Western College


TUITION: $9735

Arizona Western College, located in Yuma, provides more than 100 academic programs at 12 sites. AWC enrolls over 11,000 students annually, many of whom live on campus and participate in the institution’s seven competitive sports teams and 50 student groups.

Candidates must submit an online application and undergo placement tests to enroll. AWC bases tuition rates on a student’s residency status, with in-state students paying the least. Certain students are eligible for discounts via the Colorado River Educational Compact and the Western Undergraduate Exchange.

This community colleges in arizona provides career and technical education programs in industries with a high demand, such as radiologic technology, hospitality services, and homeland security. Additionally, students may pursue instruction in welding, plumbing, and construction management. In addition, the college provides both on-campus and online workforce development courses for business and industry professionals.

Through these courses, students acquire particular competencies such as public speaking and county code enforcement. AWC, like other Arizona community colleges, offers numerous associate degree programs leading to transfer options with state institutions.

13. Phoenix College

best community colleges in arizona


TUITION: $7185

Phoenix College, founded in 1920, is the flagship institution in the Maricopa Community College system. The college enrolls more than 17,000 students and offers 150 academic programs, preparing students for university transfer, career training, and professional growth.

Learners can enroll in daytime, evening, and online courses, all of which offer cheap tuition and financial aid. Work-study employment, government grants, and private scholarships, such as the Diane H. Thomas Scholarship, are available to individuals who want to transfer to a four-year program.

PC offers certifications in fields such as medical laboratory science, dental assisting, and paramedicine. Certificates in organizational leadership or social media marketing might help students explore careers as entrepreneurs.

As one of the best community colleges in arizona, PC also provides training for small business startups, which includes instruction in financial operations, management principles, and planning techniques. Those who wish to gain associate credentials may select from a variety of disciplines, including forensic science, fashion design, and exercise science with a pre-physical therapy concentration.

14. GateWay Community College


TUITION: $8262

The first technical school in Arizona, GateWay Community College was established in Phoenix. Today, the university offers more than 150 academic degree and career training programs based on the needs of the local business sector and supported by community advisory groups.

This community colleges in arizona only requirements for admission to GWCC are the submission of identification, an online application, and placement testing. In addition to inexpensive tuition and grants made possible by the FAFSA, students benefit from institutional financing including craft training program scholarships.

GWCC offers certificate programs in occupations that are increasing, such as carpentry, medical billing and coding, and precision machining. Additionally, students interested in professions in the trades can get a certificate or associate’s degree in automotive technology.

Archaeology, cybersecurity, health services management, and manufacturing technology are additional associate options. GWCC is one of the few community colleges in arizona that offers a bilingual nursing fellowship program that enables students to earn an associate degree and a nursing license within three years.

15. Mesa Community College 


TUITION: $7933

Multiple campuses and learning centers allow Mesa Community College to serve 21,000 students annually. The majority of MCC students are enrolled on a part-time basis, taking advantage of the college’s flexible campus-based courses and more than 500 online courses.

This community colleges in arizona offers 30 online certificate and degree programs, allowing students to obtain emergency management training or an associate’s degree in general studies.

Additional associate programs in accounting, multimedia technology, public relations, and sustainable agriculture can be found in the academic catalog. In addition to developing welding abilities, candidates can prepare for careers in building, urban planning, and manufacturing.

MCC distinguishes itself from other Arizona community schools by providing an AAS in geospatial technologies. This 60- to 77-credit curriculum covers Java scripting, SQL server databases, and human geography courses.

Applicants to the honors program are high-achieving students who seek higher academics. This opportunity gives them access to personalized curricula, small-group instruction, and individualized faculty guidance. Additionally, honors students receive full-tuition scholarships and study abroad grants.

16. Central Arizona College

best community colleges in arizona

Locale: Coolidge, Arizona

TUITION: $5182

In Pinal County, Central Arizona College maintains five campuses and three learning centers. The institution offers reasonably priced and career-focused programs to a diverse student body, the majority of whom are of Hispanic and Native American descent.

CAC has an open admissions policy and affordable tuition rates based on a student’s residency. Through the Western Undergraduate Exchange, out-of-state students can obtain discounts.

CAC, like other community colleges in arizona, offers university transfer programs. Associate degrees in the arts, business, science, applied science, and general studies are available to students.

Applicants who do not wish to declare a major may enroll in the general education curriculum. This certificate option satisfies all prerequisites for the lower division and enables students to transfer into bachelor’s completion programs at Arizona’s public universities.

Additionally, CAC provides occupational credentials that enable students to pursue entry-level employment. Options include equestrian management and training, paramedicine, and massage treatment. Additionally, students can acquire certificates in structural, pipe, and general welding.

17. Northland Pioneer College

LOCATION: Holbrook, AZ

TUITION: $8229

Northland Pioneer College educates nearly 7,000 students in Navajo and Apache counties via its four campuses and five learning centers. The institution offers seven associate degree programs with guaranteed transferability to state-funded public universities. Learners may also enroll in 29 associate degree programs and 67 certificate programs.

In addition to providing cheap tuition rates based on residency, NPC also offers substantial scholarships. There are rewards available expressly for accounting and automotive students.

As one of the best community colleges in arizona, NPC offers high school students in its service area free college-level courses. Juniors and seniors can earn associate degrees and potentially transfer to bachelor’s degree completion programs after completing the required curriculum. Alternately, they may seek training in fields such as information technology and cosmetology.

The college also provides training for nursing assistants that prepares students for immediate employment or entrance into an RN program. In addition, NPC offers distant education choices, such as online teaching courses with the lowest tuition in the state.

18. Community College of Coconino

LOCATION: Flagstaff, AZ

TUITION: $10415

Coconino community colleges in arizona, located in Flagstaff, enrolls 8,500 students in over 50 academic and occupational programs. CCC serves a student body composed primarily of rural residents and members of the Navajo, Hopi, and Supai tribes.

The college offers flexible in-person courses, interactive television classes, and distance education choices to accommodate its diverse student body. Students pay affordable tuition rates based on where they live, with county residents paying the least.

The institution offers certificate programs in fields such as hotel and restaurant services, fire science, and construction technology. CCC is one of the few community colleges in arizona that provide two levels of alternative energy-focused environmental technology certificates.

The coursework includes solar water heater systems, photovoltaics and wind energy, and residential wiring. Similarly, students can enroll in an associate’s degree program in sustainable green building and take courses in solar greenhouse design and rainwater harvesting systems. In addition to pre-health, sociology, and American Sign Language interpreting, there are additional associate degree programs.

19. Rio Salado College


TUITION: $6850

52,000 students are enrolled in campus-based and remote learning programs at Rio Salado College. The institution provides 50 diplomas and degrees in addition to over 500 online courses. Every Monday, classes begin, allowing conventional students and working professionals to start their education on their own terms. RSC based its low tuition rates on residency and offers discounts to military veterans, formerly convicted individuals, and Western Undergraduate Exchange-eligible students.

RSC, like other Arizona community colleges, offers transfer-oriented associate degree programs in liberal arts, science, business, and elementary education. Students can also acquire a two-year general studies degree that prepares them for baccalaureate-level specialized coursework.

As a result of the institution’s emphasis on distance education, the bulk of RSC’s programming is available online. Entrepreneurial studies, nanotechnology, and military leadership are options. In addition to dental assisting and hygiene programs, distance learners can enroll in dental assisting and hygiene programs.

In addition, the college provides teacher education training that includes residency programs, endorsement possibilities, and opportunities for professional development.

20. Mohave Community College

best community colleges in arizona


TUITION: $7669

Mohave Community College in Kingman serves about 6,000 students annually. In addition to a straightforward admissions process, the institution offers one of the lowest tuition prices among Arizona’s community schools. MCC also offers financial aid, including scholarships, to secondary school students in Mohave County. In addition, students gain from extensive academic resources and career services.

The academic catalog includes approximately 40 program alternatives, including as credentials in practical nursing, paralegal studies, and healthcare information technology. A certificate in HVAC is available, including options for home and commercial refrigeration work. In addition, the school offers courses in automotive service technology and collision repair.

MCC operates a strong infrastructure for distance education with fully asynchronous and hybrid classes. Online associate degrees are available in subjects such as administration of justice, accountancy, history, and computer graphics and web design.

The associate’s degree in drug misuse counseling prepares students for jobs in health education, correctional treatment, mental health counseling, and social work.

FAQs On community colleges in arizona

Is community college free in AZ?

The Arizona Promise Program makes college accessible for students who live in low-income communities. Qualifying students will receive free tuition and fees for up to four years with this new scholarship.

How many community colleges are in Arizona?

There are 20 community colleges and universities in Arizona enrolling 153,082 students. Explore the list below to find the community college match for you.

What is the #1 college in Arizona?

Arizona State University

Arizona State University, Tempe. Arizona State University is one of the largest public universities in the US by enrollment. It is a public research university founded in 1885.

How much does it cost to go to community college in Arizona?

For Arizona community colleges, the average tuition is approximately $2,345 per year for in-state students and $7,438 for out-of-state students (2022-23). For private community colleges, the average yearly tuition is approximately $13,673 per year.

Does the AZ Promise program cover full tuition?

After all other gift aid (Pell Grant, merit scholarships, etc.) has been applied, AZP will cover remaining tuition, mandatory fees, tuition differentials and program fees.

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