These Are the Least Expensive Community Colleges in Every State
The cost of college is going up every year. Attending one of the top 10 most expensive private colleges in the country will set you back, on average, $54,817 per year in fees and tuition. But there are far less expensive alternatives, and the least expensive alternative is almost always community college.
Alabama: George C. Wallace State Community College-Selma
Offering the same annual tuition to all of its students, George C. Wallace State Community College at Selma (GCW) runs $4,140, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. As with virtually all community colleges (except as noted here), students graduate with an Associate degree. Those who wish to earn a bachelor or equivalent four-year degree must transfer at the end of two years. Admissions at GCW are limited to Alabama residents. Out-of-staters can attend Shelton State Community College (SSCC) for $7,737 per year.
Alaska: Ilisavik College
Located in the northernmost point in Alaska (and thus, the entire United States), Ilisagvik College is a public community college with an annual tuition of $3,820 for both in-state and out-of-state students. Offering academic, vocational, and technical education aimed at matching workforce needs, it’s also a tribal college dedicated to perpetuating and strengthening Iñupiat culture, language, values, and traditions. This timeline tells you exactly how you’ll need to save for college.
Arizona: American Indian College of the Assemblies of God
If you’re a resident of Arizona and can get into the American Indian College of the Assemblies of God, you’ll get the least expensive four-year degree in Arizona for as little as $958 per year. Although the Admissions Department asks applicants to keep in mind that the mission of this school is to equip Native Americans for Christian service, non-native applicants will also be considered. For students seeking a non-religious program, Northland Pioneer College offers an annual tuition of $2,250 for residents and $10,400 for out-of-state students.
Arkansas: Arkansas Northeastern College
For $2,450 per year for Arkansas residents and $4,250 for out-of-state students, you can spend the first two years of college at Arkansas Northeastern College (ANC) and then transfer to a four-year college, including the University of Arkansas-Fort Worth, which has a specific program with ANC that can lead to a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership. This map shows the toughest college to get into in every state.
California: Deep Springs College
If you one of 14 or 15 lucky students, Deep Springs College will offer a tuition-free education provided you can demonstrate you fit into the “Three Pillars” of Deep Spring’s educational program: academics, labor, and self-governance. California residents who don’t feel that Deep Springs would be a good fit will be happy to know that California is the home of a great many colleges offering in-state tuition for under $2,000 per year (more than any other state, by far). Check out these stories of lives that have been changed forever by someone’s generosity.
Colorado: Aims Community College
For Colorado residents seeking a budget-minded bachelor degree without transferring halfway through, there’s no better value than Aims Community College, which charges annual in-state tuition of $2,281. Out-of-state tuition is $13,018 per year. Aims CC boasts more than 200 degree and certificate programs and four campuses, day and evening classes, and online alternatives.
Connecticut: Norwalk Community College
For Connecticut residents, Norwalk Community College offers annual in-state tuition of $4,286 and “hassle-free” transfer to Connecticut State University (where in-state tuition is around $10,000 per year) to complete a bachelor’s program. Out-of-state tuition is $12,438 (and around $22,000 per year for out-of-state students at Connecticut State University and Charter Oak College for years three and four).
Delaware: Delaware Technical Community College
For Delaware residents, Delaware Technical Community College offers the least expensive tuition for years one and two of college and for years three and four of the Nursing bachelor program, with annual in-state tuition of $4,720. Out-of-state tuition is $11,245.
Florida: Gulf Coast State College
For Florida residents, Gulf Coast State College, a community college in Panama City, offers in-state tuition of $2,963 per year for all four years of its three bachelors of science degree programs. Other programs culminate in an Associate degree. Out-of-state tuition is $10,791. Check out these money-saving habits of people who didn’t have to take out loans for their education.
Georgia: Columbus Technical College
Offering 18 different degree and certificates, Columbus Technical College charges $3,238 per year for in-state students and $5,908 for out-of-state students. The school has an open admissions policy and offers credit for life experiences. Curious about online programs? You can start with any one of these 600 courses available at 200 colleges.
Hawaii: University of Hawaii Honolulu Community College
For Hawaii residents, University of Hawaii Honolulu Community College offers annual in-state tuition of $3,810. Out-of-state tuition is $10,230 (and around $30,000 per year for out-of-state students). Students can earn degrees and certificates in 13 different fields, including Engineering Technologies, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and General Studies and Humanities.
Idaho: College of Eastern Idaho
The College of Eastern Idaho is a welcome addition to the Idaho college scene because it offers the least expensive annual tuition at $2,494 (for residents of Idaho; $9,056 for out-of-state students). Prior to that, the least expensive college in Idaho was College of Southern Idaho, whose annual in-state tuition is close to $4,000.
Illinois: McHenry County College
For Illinois residents, McHenry County College offers annual in-state tuition of $3,404 and a guaranteed transfer admission opportunity with the University of Illinois at Chicago (where in-state tuition is around $13,704 per year) to complete a bachelor’s program). Out-of-state tuition is $14,002 (and around $25,000 per year for out-of-state students).
Indiana: Ivy Tech Community College
All 14 campuses of the Ivy Tech Community College (ITCC) offers an annual tuition of $4,256 to Indiana residents and $8,211 to out-of-state students. Students of ITCC who wish to pursue a bachelor degree are encouraged to transfer to Indiana state universities (where in-state tuition is around $10,000 per year and out-of-state tuition is between $20,000 and $35,000 per year). Don’t miss these weird college scholarships that can help you pay for school.
Iowa: Des Moines Area Community College
A public school in Ankeny, Iowa, Des Moines Area Community College with has an in-state annual tuition of $4,530 and out-of-state tuition of $9,060. The school offers degrees and certificates in 20 different fields, including Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities, and Business and Management programs.
Kansas: Haskell Indian Nations University
The Haskell Indian Nations University offers an incredible deal on tuition for members of a federally recognized Native American tribe eligible for education benefits from the Bureau of Indian Affairs: $480 per year. If you don’t qualify, Dodge City Community College charges $2,730 per year in-state tuition and $3,510 per year out-of-state tuition with a guaranteed transfer program for students seeking a bachelor degree.
Kentucky: Gateway Community and Technical College
For Kentucky residents, Gateway Community and Technical College offers an annual tuition of $4,900 for residents and $17,050 for non-residents. The associate degrees offered by Gateway are designed for and intended to transfer to bachelor’s degree programs at four-year colleges and universities. Find out why not getting enough sleep leads students to make some really questionable decisions.
Louisiana: Delgado Community College
For Louisiana residents, Delgado Community College offers annual in-state tuition of $3,911 and a virtually guaranteed transfer to a bachelor program at a Louisiana public university. Out-of-state residents pay $8,200 per year. Delgado offers 11 areas of study and a 17:1 student to faculty ratio, which is more favorable than many community colleges.
Maine: York County Community College
For residents of Maine, York County Community College has an annual in-state tuition of $3,402 and the opportunity to transfer to any four-year college with which YCCC has a transfer agreement in place. Out-of-state tuition is $6,162 per year.
Maryland: Baltimore City Community College
The Baltimore City Community College serves about 15,000 students from Baltimore, and other places as well, offering an in-state annual tuition of $2,893 per year and out-of-state tuition of $6,973. The student-faculty ratio is 15:1, which is much better than many similar schools. Degrees and certificate programs are available in 14 fields, and credit is offered for life experience.
Massachusetts: Roxbury Community College
For residents of Massachusetts, annual tuition at Roxbury Community College costs $4,980. For out-of-state students, it’s $11,610. RCC participates in MassTransfer, which guarantees full transfer of at least 60 credits towards a bachelor degree at a university within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts system, and in some cases, guaranteed admission and tuition discounts. If you’re planning to apply to college, you’ll want to be sure to check out these social media tips for college applicants.
Michigan: Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College
The Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College charges $2,550 in annual tuition for all students. When SCTC was founded in 1998, its mission was to build a bridge between tribal members and higher education, but the college was chartered as a public institution for all people in the community. Prospective students must apply in person, however, which obviously makes the application process more convenient for Michigan residents and especially those in nearby communities. Here’s how to plan the best college tours with your teen.
Minnesota: White Earth Tribal and Community College
The White Earth Tribal and Community College charges $3,518 in annual tuition for all students. It bills itself as is an institution of higher learning dedicated to academic excellence grounded in Anishinaabe culture, values, and traditions, but it does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, or any other considerations that are extraneous to effective performance.
Mississippi: Copiah-Lincoln Community College
The annual tuition at Copiah-Lincoln Community College for Mississippi residents is $2,730. For out-of-state students, it’s only $4,730. All community colleges in Mississippi have an “articulation agreement” for students who plan to transfer to one of Mississippi’s eight public universities to complete their bachelor degree programs; the agreement permits transfer without loss of any of the credits already earned.
Missouri: Metropolitan Community College
For residents of Missouri, tuition at Metropolitan Community College is $2,890 per year. For out-of-state students, it’s $6,910. MCC is a five-campus system located in Kansas City, Lee’s Summit, and Independence, which offers over 120 programs. Whether or not a college education is in your (or a family member’s) future, you might want to take note of these excellent money-saving tips.
Montana: Chief Dull Knife College
Located on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation in southeastern Montana, Chief Dull Knife College admits students of all races and charges annual tuition of $2,260 for all students. Beware these money missteps: you might think they’ll save you money, but they won’t necessarily.
Nebraska: Metropolitan Community College
The Metropolitan Community College offers in-state tuition of $2,970 per year and out-of-state tuition of $4,343 per year at its numerous campuses around the state. MCC bills itself as a great place to begin earning a bachelor degree at significant savings compared with many other four-year institutions and has an articulation agreement in place to serve students who wish to pursue such a program. Check out these 56 easy ways to be frugal—they’ll come in handy when you’re saving up for a college education.
Nevada: Truckee Meadows Community College
The Truckee Meadows Community College charges Nevada residents $3,075 per year and non-residents $9,053 per year. Located in Reno, it offers credit for life experience and offers degrees and certificates in 25 different fields, including Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Health Professions.
New Hampshire: River Valley Community College
With an annual tuition of $6,450 for New Hampshire residents and $14,490 for out-of-state students, River Valley Community College is the least expensive community college in New Hampshire—though it’s on the higher end when it comes to community colleges overall. RVCC provides what it describes as a seamless academic pathway (including special academic advising) to a bachelor degree at one of the four members of the University System of New Hampshire (University of New Hampshire, Keene State, Plymouth State, and Granite State).
New Jersey: Rowan College at Burlington County
For residents of New Jersey, Rowan College at Burlington County offers in-state tuition of $4,065. Annual out-of-state tuition is $6,495. It boasts over 60 different degree programs, including Liberal Arts, Psychology, Computer Science, and Criminal Justice. If you want to make money, then don’t major in any of these subjects.
New Mexico: Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute
Annual tuition at Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute is just $730 per year. Its mission is to prepare culturally diverse Native American students as life-long learners, and admissions are limited to students who can prove at least 25 percent Native American blood. If you don’t qualify, Luna Community College has comparable tuition for New Mexico residents ($962 per year and out-of-state tuition of $2,426).
New York: Dutchess Community College
Residents of New York State pay $4,236 per year in tuition at Dutchess Community College. Out-of-state students pay $7,932. DCC is part of the SUNY (State University of New York) system, and credits earned will count toward bachelor degrees at four-year SUNY schools as well as other four-year colleges and universities. DCC also offers a bachelor in nursing in a joint program with Alfred College.
North Carolina: Guilford Technical Community College
The Guilford Technical Community College not only offers the least expensive tuition in North Carolina—$2,280 for residents of North Carolina and $8,040 for non-residents—but it also offers a program in which high school students can begin college while still in high school. It’s worth noting that North Carolina is the home to many community colleges with annual tuition below $3,000.
North Dakota: Turtle Mountain Community College
One of the original six tribal colleges established by Native-American tribes in the early 1970s, Turtle Mountain Community College‘s tuition for all students is $2,220. While the application asks for tribal identification, it’s not required that a student have Native American ancestors. Turtle Mountain CC is unique among community colleges in that it offers a Bachelor degree program for students intending to become teachers.
Ohio: Sinclair Community College
For residents of Ohio, Sinclair Community College charges annual tuition of $3,075. For out-of-state students, the annual tuition is $8,577. SCC credits easily transfer to four-year colleges and universities in Ohio and elsewhere, with more than 100 university transfer agreements making it easy to transfer into a Bachelor degree program.
Oklahoma: Oklahoma State University at Oklahoma City
For Oklahoma residents, tuition at Oklahoma State University at Oklahoma City is $3,387 per year. For out-of-state students, tuition is $10,575. Unlike many community colleges, this one offers some of its own bachelor programs while also participating in articulation agreements with other schools in the Oklahoma state system.
Oregon: Chemeketa Community College
Annual tuition at Chemeketa Community College is $4,455 for Oregon residents and $12,420 for out-of-state students. Like many community colleges, Chemeketa offers a budget-minded two-year start to a bachelor degree, but it’s unique in that it also offers dual enrollment in Oregon’s four state universities.
Pennsylvania: Lehigh Carbon Community College
Annual in-state tuition at Lehigh Carbon CC is $3,990. For out-of-staters, it’s $10,530. It offers a wide variety of certificates and degrees in many areas, including healthcare, business, education, and social services, as well as liberal arts and general studies.
Rhode Island: Community College of Rhode Island
Residents of Rhode Island pay $4,564 per year for tuition to Community College of Rhode Island. Out-of-state students pay $12,156. The CC of Rhode Island allows students to earn degrees and certificates in 17 different fields, including Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities, Health Professions, and Business.
South Carolina: Williamsburg Technical College
For residents of South Carolina, Williamsburg Technical College charges $4,224 annually for tuition. For out-of-state students, annual tuition is $8,016. Part of the South Carolina Technical College System, WTC’s degree programs are designed to be applied to bachelor degree programs at four-year colleges. Ever wonder if you’re actually smarter than you were in high school? Take this quiz and find out!
South Dakota: Oglala Lakota College
For both residents and non-residents of South Dakota, Oglala Lakota College (OLC) offers the least expensive tuition at $3,284 per year. The school is part of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, a not-for-profit organization seeking to better the lives of Native Americans. OLC’s tribal affiliation is with the Lakota tribe, but its admissions policy states that it does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, origin, or political belief. Check out these secrets of straight-A students that everyone could benefit from knowing.
Tennessee: Volunteer State Community College
For residents of Tennessee, Volunteer State Community College offers the least expensive tuition for years one and two of college, with annual in-state tuition of $4,133 and participation in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway: Students who complete the required courses will earn an associate’s degree and then transition seamlessly as a junior to the participating four-year college or university (with all earned credit applying to a bachelor degree). Out-of-state tuition is $16,109.
Texas: Collin County Community College
Exciting news for Texas residents: Collin County Community College, which already boasts the least expensive tuition for the first two years of a four-year bachelor program, now offers bachelor degrees in several areas, including nursing, technology, and science. In-state tuition at CCCC is $1,264 per year. Out-of-state tuition is $4,284 per year. Here are 14 life skills every college graduate should have in his or her back pocket.
Utah: LDS Business College
Annual tuition for LDS Business College is $3,340 for both Utah residents and out-of-state residents. Credits earned at LDS Business College count towards one-year degrees, associate degrees, and bachelor degrees at four-year colleges.
Vermont: Community College of Vermont
Vermont residents pay $7,980, and out-of-state students pay $15,810, for annual tuition at the Community College of Vermont. The CC of Vermont offers 12 different degree programs, credit for life experience, and its courses are designed to prepare students for further study at the bachelor’s level.
Virginia: New River Community College
For Virginia residents, the New River Community College offers an annual tuition of $4,584. Out-of-state students pay $10,512. With a favorable student to faculty ratio of 16:1, New River CC offers degrees and certificates in 13 different fields, including Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities, and Health Professions. Don’t miss these job search tips for new college graduates.
Washington: Highline College
Washington State’s Highline College offers an incredible deal to both residents and non-residents of Washington. Residents pay $3,852 per year, but non-residents only pay a few hundred dollars more at $4,266. Plus Highline College offers some of its own bachelor degree programs (as well as transfer opportunities for students seeking degrees in other subjects).
West Virginia: West Virginia University at Parkersburg
For West Virginia residents, West Virginia University at Parkersburg offers an annual in-state tuition of $3,552; out-of-state is $7,920. This is one of the few community colleges that offers a wide variety of its own bachelor degree programs.
Wisconsin: Western Technical College
For residents of Wisconsin, Western Technical College charges $3,966 per year for tuition. For out-of-state students, it charges $5,949. As with many community colleges, WTC offers students the opportunity to earn an associate degree and apply the credits toward a bachelor degree from one of many four-year universities. WTC also offers online degree programs.
Wyoming: Western Wyoming Community College
The in-state tuition at Western Wyoming Community College is $2,476 per year. Out-of-state tuition is $6,988 per year. Bachelor degree programs are available online, which decreases costs further (because it is not necessary to live near the school). Next, find out the top colleges where graduates earn the most money.