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The State of Washington is designated with the term ‘state’ to help distinguish this Northwest state from Washington DC. It is known as the Evergreen State and is the 13th largest state in the country with just shy of eight million residents. Washington State is home to over one hundred and thirty accredited universities and colleges. Community colleges in the state number nearly two dozen ranging from Tacoma and Spokane to Vancouver and Seattle. Top ranked community colleges in Washington State include Pierce College, Cascadia Community College, Everett Community College, Spokane Falls Community College, Bellingham Technical College, and Walla Walla Community College.

2021 Best Community Colleges in Washington

Renton Technical College, located in Renton, Washington, was founded in 1942 and is one of the 34 colleges that are operated by the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges in Washington State. The school is dedicated to workforce development in the Renton area, providing specialized training programs in a variety of subjects. The school has seen increased growth since its founding, particularly after the Second World War, where many veterans were looking for job training upon their return. Today the school enrolls a large number of students from a variety of areas, and is dedicated to providing them with the best education possible to ease their transition into the workforce.

Academics

Renton Technical College offers a large variety of programs aimed at meeting the needs of the community and providing students with the skills and knowledge to operate in their chosen field as qualified professionals. Programs take between one and two years to complete, resulting in a certificate or degree that demonstrates competency and allows for entry into the workforce at the entry level. Courses are both classroom and practical, with practical courses allowing for the perfections of methods and techniques in a supervised and controlled setting. The school's ties to the community, particularly for economic development, means that many of the programs offered are reflective of the needs of the community, allowing individuals to seek employment within their community and fill positions that are in high demand.

Programs offered include:

Admissions and Financial Aid

Renton Technical College is a two year, open enrollment institution that allows any individual seeking to enroll to do so by completing an application and paying all accrued fees.  Interested students should also provide standardized test scores and transcripts, and may be subject to a placement exam based on program enrollment. Students should also meet with a counselor to discuss program options and curriculum.

Financial aid is available in the form of loans and grants. Students in need of financial assistance must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the information from which will be used by the school to develop a financial aid packet based on the student's need and aid program eligibility. Aid must be reapplied for prior to the start of each academic year. Students may be asked at random to supply additional financial information to compare to the FAFSA and certify its accuracy as part of recent government regulations governing the disbursement of public funds.

Enrollment

3,546

Student to Faculty Ratio

17:1

Peninsula College, located in Port Angeles, Washington, is a public college that is made up of about 6,000 enrolled students.

PC offers a wide array of programs that encompass high school programs, associate’s degrees, and bachelor’s degrees. Also offered at PC are opportunities for members of local Native American tribes to earn specialized degrees.

Surrounded by mountains, forests and the Pacific Ocean, Peninsula College is an excellent place to pursue outdoor-related hobbies while obtaining a quality education.

Peninsula College is partnered with many key state universities to ensure admittance for those who complete a two-year program at PC.

The cost to attend PC is $116.00 per credit hour for Washington state residents. The cost for out of state students to attend Peninsula College is $130.00.

In the sports arena, Peninsula College has a lot to offer. Students can choose to play men’s or women’s basketball, or soccer with the Peninsula Pirates. In fact, PC has taken home the win in the NWAACC finals for the last two years.

Peninsula College also offers a parent cooperative pre-school for children with parents who are students at PC, making it easier for parents to attend physical classes without worrying about childcare. Also offered at PC are educational ‘Bring Your Baby’ workshops that help students with the basics of childcare and development.

If you would like to attend Peninsula College or find out more information regarding their offered programs or athletics, click here to access their official webpage.

Enrollment

2,052

Student to Faculty Ratio

14:1

About Bates Technical College, located in Tacoma, Washington, began operation in 1940 as a vocational school operating out of the Hawthorne Elementary School basement. The school expanded quickly, becoming a Tacoma Vocation-Technical Institute in 1947, under the direction of Vern Bates, who retired in 1969. To honor Mr. Bates, the school was renamed L.H. Bates Vocational Technical Institute.

By 1991 the school was merged into the Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges, where eventually the name was once again changed to its current. The school has expanded its offerings and is dedicated to providing the best education possible for its service area.
Academics Bates Technical College's primary offerings are for career and technical training to assist individuals in entering the workforce. These programs utilize simulated real world settings to impart the skills and abilities necessary for employment in one's chosen field, with such fields typically being in high demand, particularly among businesses in the BTC's service area. T

hese programs take between one and two years to complete, resulting in a certificate or associate's degree that demonstrates competency and dedication.
Some programs offer transferable credits that may be used in the pursuit of higher levels of education. This is done by completing the equivalent of the first two years of a four year education, followed by applying for transfer to a four year institution to continue that education and earn a  bachelor's degree.

Transfer to a public Washington college or university will be easier through transfer agreements that guarantee acceptance if certain requirements are met. Transfer to private or out of state schools will be more difficult due to more stringent admissions policies for transfer students.  As a technical college, earned credits may not be transferable by out of state school's or private schools, and as a result should be discussed with a counselor.
Programs offered include:

Admissions and Financial Aid Bates Technical College is an open enrollment institution that admits any individuals that meet the minimum criteria for admission, submit a completed application and pay accrued fees. Students are also asked to provide previous transcripts and standardized test scores, and may be asked to take a placement exam prior to registration.

The school also encourages meeting with a counselor to discuss goals and program enrollment.  Financial aid is available in the form of loans, grants and scholarships. Students in need of financial assistance must complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the information from which is used by the school's financial aid department to determine the student's need and aid program eligibility prior to forming a financial aid packet.

Financial aid must be reapplied for prior to each academic year. Students may be chosen at random to provide additional information to be compared to the FAFSA in order to verify its accuracy as part of new federal regulations governing the disbursement of aid funds.

Enrollment

4,445

Student to Faculty Ratio

21:1

About
Big Bend Community College, located in Moses Lake, Washington, was founded in 1960 and is one of the 34 schools that comprise the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. The school has experienced growth and community support since its founding, and has moved from its original location in Moses Lake High School to land once occupied by Larson Air Force Base. The school is dedicated to providing quality education to residents of Grant, Adams and Lincoln counties.

Academics
As a comprehensive college, BBCC offers a variety of programs and opportunities for aspiring students. academic transfer programs are designed to provide the first two years of a four year education, followed by the student applying for admission at a four year college or university to transfer their credits and earn a bachelor's degree. Career training and technical programs provide an education in a  high demand field, preparing the student for employment by providing the knowledge and skills necessary to become a professional. Such programs take between one and two years to complete and result in a certificate or associate's degree.

Programs offered include:

Admissions and Financial Aid
Admissions to Big Bend Community College is made easy through the school's open admissions policy which allows any individual who wishes to enroll to do so if they apply, meet the minimum requirements for admissions and pay all fees. Individuals should provide transcripts and test scores, as well as be prepared to take a placement exam prior to registration. Meeting with a counselor is recommended to discuss goals, program enrollment and curriculum. Financial aid is available in the form of loans, grants and scholarships. Students in need of assistance must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the information from which is used by the school to determine need and aid program eligibility prior to constructing an aid packet.

Enrollment

2,044

Student to Faculty Ratio

15:1

About Walla Walla Community College, located in Walla Walla, Washington, was founded in 1967. The school is a multi campus institution, providing services and education to a larges and highly populated service area. The school opened to an initial enrollment of 850 students, and currently has an annual enrollment of over 13,000 students. The school maintains several locations, including Clarkston and Washington State Penitentiary. The school is dedicated to providing the best education and services possible for its students a residents of its service area, and as a result is constantly reviewing and updating programs as needed to ensure they meet the needs of current and future enrollees.


Academics Walla Walla Community College offers a large number of programs that allow for academic transfer or career training and development. Individuals interested in academic transfer will complete a predetermined amount of credits that equal the first two years of a four year education. Once earned, students will apply to four year institutions in order to continue their education, eventually earning a bachelor's degree. Transfer to a public Washington college or university is made easier through transfer agreements that guarantee admissions if certain criteria are met. Individuals seeking transfer to out of state or private institutions should meet with a counselor to develop a curriculum that meets the transfer requirements of the given school or schools.


Career training programs allow students to receive education and training in a high demand field, allowing for entry into the workforce as a qualified professional upon completion. Students will take a mixture of traditional and practical courses as needed by their area of study, with practical courses providing a forum for training that is supervised by a seasoned professional of the field. Such programs take between one and two years to complete, conferring a certificate or degree upon completion which demonstrates competency and assists in employer confidence when seeking employment.
Programs offered include:

All programs may be viewed by visiting the school website or requesting additional information via our expansive digital library of accredited colleges and universities.

Admissions and Financial Aid Walla Walla Community College is a public, two year, open enrollment institution that allows any individual seeking a post-secondary education to enroll as long as they meet the minimum requirements for admission. Applicants must supply a completed application, transcripts and test scores, as well as pay all accrued fees. Students may also be required to take a placement exam prior to registration. The school encourages meeting with a counselor to discuss goals, program enrollment and curriculum. Participation in student orientation is also encouraged in order to familiarize oneself with the school and campus.


Financial aid is available in the form of loans, grants and scholarships. Students in need of financial assistance must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the information from which will be used by the school to determine the extent of one's needs and aid program eligibility when constructing a financial aid packet. Aid must be reapplied for prior to the start of each academic year.

Enrollment

3,860

Student to Faculty Ratio

16:1

Centralia College, located in the heart of Centralia, Washington, is situated on a beautiful 30-acre, forest-lined campus. Serving all of Lewis County and the southern half of Thurston County, Centralia College is an excellent place for residents to further their education and prepare for life at a four-year university.

Currently, all of Centralia College’s two-year programs are designed to transfer to any Washington State University. This makes earning an associate’s degree and transferring to a four-year college simple and easy.

For prospective students who are interested in athletics, Centralia College’s sports program will not disappoint. CC offers men’s baseball and basketball, women’s softball, basketball, and volleyball. Centralia College also offers a co-ed golf program.

In the Centralia College Student Services Center, CC offers special services to those students who are disabled, veterans, in need of childcare services, in need of tutoring, an international student, and those who are in need of help with scholarship applications.

The cost to attend Centralia College is $107.00 per credit hour for students who reside in Washington. U.S citizens who do not reside in Washington can attend CC for $120.00 per credit hour. International students may attend for $279.00 per credit hour.

Applications for Centralia College are accepted both online and in-person. CC’s official website has also published all necessary enrollment forms for student’s convenience.

If you want to apply at Centralia College, or want to learn more about the offered programs of study, click here to access the CC official website.

Enrollment

3,167

Student to Faculty Ratio

15:1

A community college located in Olympia in Washington, South Puget Sound Community college is a 125 acres school that serves around 7,000 students each year. The college is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities thereby ensuring that the quality of education taught in SPSCC meets beyond the standard.

South Puget Sound Community College has two campuses. The main campus in Olympia is surrounded with tranquil and lush woods which make it a perfect setting, conducive for learning while the Lacey Campus is located near residential areas providing access to local students.

There are a variety of academic programs in South Puget Sound Community and aside from the associate degrees and certificates, the school also teaches technical courses, non-credit programs, workshops and employee retraining courses. For this Academic Year (2013-2014), the tuition fee rates of South Puget Sound is $107 for enrollees living in  Washington while out-of-district and out-of-country students have to pay $120 and $279 respectively.

South Puget Sound Community College offers transfer services to students who want to pursue a four-year bachelor’s course using their associate degrees. Fortunately, SPSCC is part of the Washington Transfer Curriculum thus students do not need to worry about their units not being credited by other schools.

Enrollment

4,872

Student to Faculty Ratio

15:1

Lower Columbia College, located in Longview, Washington, is a public, two year institution founded in 1934 when it was known as Lowe Columbia Junior College. Students originally registered for courses through local businesses in various cities with classes held at R.A. Long High School. Over the years the college grew in size and enrollment, eventually getting its own campus and permanent home. The school became a community college in 1961 and joined the state supported Washington Community and Technical College System in 1967.

Academics

As a comprehensive community college, LCC offers a variety of courses aimed at academic transfer or career development. Academic transfer programs allow students to complete the first two years of a college education, followed by applying for transfer to a four year institution to continue one's education and earn a bachelor's degree. Career training programs assist students in receiving an education in a given are or field with the intention of seeking employment in that field upon graduation. Programs take between one and two years to complete and confer a certificate or degree upon completion.

Programs offered include:

Admissions and Financial Aid

Lower Columbia College is a public, two year institution that maintains an open enrollment policy that admits any individual who meets the minimum requirements. Students must submit an application, provide transcripts and test scores, and pay all associated fees, and may be required to take a placement exam prior to registration. Financial aid is available in the form of loans, grants and scholarships which are awarded based on need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Enrollment

2,819

Student to Faculty Ratio

13:1

Green River Community College, whose main campus is located in Auburn, Washington, has several campuses located across the surrounding communities of Kent, and Enumclaw.

GRCC offers lots of interesting extra-curricular activities for its students. Not only is there an active student government, but also a two student run-radio stations, a theater, many on-campus concerts and entertainment, and an art gallery.

While GRCC offers lots of transferable 2-year degrees, they also offer extensive amounts of career training and technical programs to help augment already existing careers. GRCC is fully accredited and is partnered with state universities to ensure the transfer of any completed two-year degrees.

Athletics are also a big part of Green River Community College. GRCC offers men’s basketball, baseball, cross country, golf, and track & field. They also offer women’s basketball, cross country, fast pitch softball, golf, soccer, volleyball, track & field. In addition to many sports teams, the Green River Community College Gators also offers cheerleading.

The cost to attend Green River Community College is $107.00 per credit hour for in-state students. Out-of-state residents can attend Green River Community College for $120.00 per credit hour. GRCC also accepts international students at a rate of $279.00 per credit hour.

Applications for Green River Community College can be completed online or in-person. GRCC offers a flexible payment plan for students who may need to make tuition payments. Tuition in full can be paid online or in-person on any GRCC campus.

If you are interested in applying at Green River Community college, or if you want to learn more about this school, click here to access the GRCC official website.

Enrollment

8,471

Student to Faculty Ratio

12:1

About

Whatcom Community College is located in Bellingham, Washington and was founded in 1967. The school serves Whatcom County by offering a variety of programs and services that assist in education and workforce development of the region. The school is supported by the state and is accredited by the Northwest Commission on College and Universities.

WCC school maintains an annual enrollment of 7,000 students.  School administration ensures quality education, academic services, and facilities by perpetually reviewing each to remain on the leading edge for students.

Academics

Individuals studying at Whatcom Community College will be able to choose between a variety of academic transfer and career development programs. Academic transfer is accomplished through the completion of a program that mirrors the first two years of a four year education, followed by applying to a four year institution in order to continue one's education and eventually earn a bachelor's degree.

Technical and career programs offer students education and training in a high demand field or industry in order to enter the workforce as a qualified professional upon completion for the purpose of long term employment.

Programs offered include:

Admissions and FInancial Aid

Whatcom Community College is an open enrollment institution that admits any applicants that are at least eighteen or have a high school diploma. Students are asked to complete an application, pay all related fees, provide transcripts and test scores if available, and may be required to take a placement exam prior to registration.

Participation in orientation and meeting with a counselor are also encouraged. Financial aid is available in the form of loans, grants and scholarships which are awarded based on need a determined by the information provided by students on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Enrollment

4,263

Student to Faculty Ratio

12:1

Everett Community College, located in Everett, Washington, is a single-campus institution that offers a vast array of two-year college transfer plans, as well as vocational, technical, and career training.

With a wide offering of fun and exciting student activities, EvCC is a great place for students who wish to be active in various clubs and organizations such as: art club, German club, engineering club, Spanish club, photography club, Veteran’s club, writing club, and many, many more.

Athletics are also an integral part of life at Everett Community College. EvCC offers men’s baseball, basketball, and soccer. Also offered are: women’s basketball, softball, soccer, and volleyball.

Students at EvCC will also have the opportunity to have their voices heard through the Student Government elections and hearings. The student government helps to establish campus policies and procedures, as well as allocate student activities and service fees.

The cost of attending EvCC is $107.00 per credit hour for in-state residents. Out-of state students can attend Everett Community College for $279.00 per credit hour. There is a reduced rate for out-of-state students that can prove their permanent residence status in the United States.

EvCC also offers tutoring and academic services for those students who feel they need extra assistance to reach their goals. The college also offers services and assistance to military veterans, individuals in the foster system, transferees, and those looking to get their GED.

If you are interested in applying at Everett Community College, or would like more information, click here to access the official EvCC website.

Enrollment

7,957

Student to Faculty Ratio

14:1

Clover Park Technical College, located in Lakewood, Washington, is a technical college that offers the opportunity to earn both a two-year degree, and many career certificates. Despite CPTC being labeled a technical school, it has the academic and extra-curricular offerings of a large community college.

CPTC offers programs of study that span across all subject matter, including: aerospace and aviation, dental hygiene, nursing, surgical technology, and welding. With over 30 total programs, there is something for everyone at Clover Park Technical College.

Also offered at CPTC, is extensive assistance for disabled students. CPTC has pledged to go above and beyond to help all students, especially those with disabilities, to succeed.

Clover Park Technical College also offers tutoring services, free of charge, to students who feel as though they may need extra assistance when it comes to reaching their academic goals.

The cost to attend Clover Park Technical College for students who reside in Washington State and also outside of Washington State, is charged on a quarterly basis. In-state students can expect to pay approximately $1500.00 per quarter, depending on the program of study they have selected. Out-of-state students can expect to pay approximately $3200.00 per quarter, depending on the program of study they have selected.

If you are interested in applying to Clover Park Technical College or if you would like to get more information about the programs of study offered by CPTC, click here to access the Clover Park Technical College official website.

Enrollment

3,905

Student to Faculty Ratio

21:1

About Wenatchee Valley College, located in Wenatchee, Washington, was founded in 1939 and was originally a private institution supported by fifty one local residents. Two years later the school became part of the Washington State public education system.  Soon thereafter the school began a period of movement and expansion, until a permanent campus was formed in 1949. WVC has since expanded its facilities in subsequent years to meet growing demand. In addition to the main campus, the school operated two more campuses in Omak and downtown Wenatchee (known as the Downtown Learning Center).  The school also offers dual enrollment for high school students through the states Running Start Program. Academics As a comprehensive community college, WVC offers a variety of programs that allow for academic transfer or career opportunities. Academic transfer programs allow students to complete the first two years of a four year education, followed by applying for transfer to a four year institution in order to continue their education to complete a bachelor's degree. Training programs at Wenatchee Valley offer education and training in a high demand field or industry for students who plan to pursue long term employment upon completion. Programs take between one and two years to complete and result in a degree or certificate. Programs offered include:

Admissions and Financial Aid Wenatchee Valley College is an open enrollment institution that admits any individuals that pay their fees and have a high school education or are at least eighteen years of age. Students should supply transcripts and standardized test scores if available and may be required to take a placement exam. Meeting with a counselor and participating in new student orientation are encouraged. Financial aid is given in the form of loans, grants and scholarships, based on need as determined by the information a student provides on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Enrollment

3,444

Student to Faculty Ratio

14:1

The Shoreline Community College is a community college that focuses on the success of the students and communities through skills empowerment. Located in Shoreline City in Washington, it offers in-campus education as well as online courses to all students. A brainchild of Dr. Ray W. Howard, Shoreline Community College was first established in January 2, 1964. However, it was in 1966 that the construction of the permanent building began and it was opened to more students to take in more enrollees.

Currently, the Shoreline Community College offers more than 30 associate degrees, technical programs and transitional programs thereby ensuring that students will have better edge once they proceed to a four-year college or enter the labor market. The community college offers courses from various disciplines including social sciences, life sciences, engineering, education, languages, arts, economics and education.

On the other hand, the school offers different tuition fee rates depending on the residency of the students as well as the type of program that they have enrolled in. In-district students pay a flat rate of $150 per credit hour while online students as well as out-of-district students pay $163 and $238 per credit hour respectively.

Students who have enrolled in Associate of Arts degrees can always proceed to a four-year university by taking advantage of the direct transfer agreement of Shoreline Community College with other schools. The school has agreements with schools like Central Washington University, Evergreen State College, Washington State University,Gonzaga University Seattle University,Heritage College Trinity Lutheran College and Northwest University Whitworth University.

Enrollment

5,949

Student to Faculty Ratio

13:1

About

Pierce College, located in Puyallup, Washington, is a multi campus public two year institution founded in 1967 and was originally known as CLover Park Community College. That same year the state of Washington passed a law shifting control of community colleges from local school districts to the state, resulting in new operations for the school and a new campus in Fort Steilacoom, resulting in a name change to Fort Steilacoom Community College. Increased enrollment resulting in a name change to the current, as it better reflects the role of the school and its service area. The campus in Puyallup was built in 1989 and opened a year later, becoming a full service college in 1999.

Academics

Pierce College at Puyallup is a comprehensive community college that offers academic and career training opportunities. Academic transfer programs allow students to complete the first two years of education locally and at low cost, followed by transfer to their school of choice to complete a bachelor's degree. Career training programs are for individuals seeking employment in skill oriented high demand fields or industries. Programs take between one and two years to complete and result in a degree or certificate upon completion.

Programs offered include:

Academics

Individuals interested in enrollment at Pierce College may do so by completing an application for admission and paying the associated fees. Students should be at least eighteen years of age or have a high school diploma. Students are asked to provide transcripts and test scores if available, and to meet with a counselor prior to registration to discuss program enrollment options. Financial aid is available in the form of loans, grants and scholarships and is awarded based on need as determined by the information provided by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Enrollment

4,453

Student to Faculty Ratio

13:1

Seattle Central Community College (SCCC) is a two-year associate degree-awarding public educational institution that enrolls over 7,000 students. Located at 1701 Broadway in Seattle, WA, the mission of SCCC is to promote educational excellence in a multicultural urban setting by providing opportunities for academic achievement, workplace preparation and service to the community.

The Associate of Arts, Associate of Science and Associate of Applied Science degrees granted by the college are specifically designed to cater to students planning a four-year program at a regular college. The college has also recently introduced a Bachelor of Applied Behavioral Science for those who have earned an A.A.S. degree in Social & Human Services or Interpreter Training. DTA/MRP Associate programs are also available for those seeking a career in Elementary and Middle School, or Secondary Math education. Per the DTA, all 90 credits can be transferred to one of many Washington State colleges for those pursuing higher education after their Associate’s degree.

Campus life is rich at SCCC: With a well-appointed library, health and fitness centers, art and dining opportunities abounding, students are encouraged to find the right balance between academics and extracurricular activities.

Financial aid is available to those who qualify, and the college also runs several programs and waivers that help in various ways. A Veteran’s benefits program is also on offer at the college.

Several student services are offered at the college, including disability support, career counseling, IT services and much more.

Enrollment

6,802

Student to Faculty Ratio

14:1

About
Highline Community College, located in Des Moines, Washington, was founded in 1961 and was the first such institution within King County.The school opened to nominal enrollment, though the number quickly grew, requiring the school to expand over the years. The resulting expansion has allowed the school to currently serve over 10,000 full time students yearly. HCC offers programs that allow for academic and career advancement, and is constantly reviewing these programs as well as facilities and services to ensure that the needs of modern students are met and a high standard of quality maintained.

Academics
Highline Community College offers a large number of programs that allow students to choose a career or academic path that reflects the student's goals and needs. Career programs provide skill development and training in a particular field and prepare the individual to enter the workforce as a qualified professional. Programs take between one and two years to complete and individuals who have completed a program are capable of performing the duties and tasks required, having earned a certificate or degree which demonstrates competency and allows for employment at the entry level.

Academic transfer programs allow students to complete the first two years of a four year education and then apply to a college or university, transferring credits and completing the final two years of a bachelor's degree in their desired field.Public schools in Washington will have agreements in place that ease the transfer process, particularly for residents. For individuals wishing to attend private or out of state schools It is recommended they consult a counselor to develop a curriculum that best fulfills the transfer requirements of the student's desired school or schools.

Programs offered include:

The school also offers continuing education courses for professionals wishing to renew certification or licensure, or wishing to update their knowledge base. Adult education courses assist in the completion of a high school education for those who had forgone it in the past. Additionally, residents may take individual noncredit courses for personal benefit and enjoyment.

Admissions and Financial Aid
Highline Community College is an open enrollment institution, allowing any students who meets the minimum requirements for entry to register by submitting an application and paying tuition. Students must supply transcripts, test scores, and any other pertinent information prior to registration. Additionally, students may also be required to take a placement exam. New students are encouraged to participate in student orientation to gain information about student life, as well as meet with a counselor to discuss personal and professional goals and develop an academic curriculum.

Financial aid is available in the form of loans, grants, and scholarships. Students in need of assistance must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is used to determine need, eligibility and awards. Aid must be reapplied for prior to the start of each semester. Financial aid recipients may be asked to provide additional information to verify the accuracy of their FAFSA due to new federal regulations regarding financial aid. Students may also seek scholarships from external sources. Such scholarships are awarded for many different reasons, each requiring a certain criterion to be considered and a separate application to be submitted.

Enrollment

6,530

Student to Faculty Ratio

13:1

Serving over 5,000 students every year, South Seattle Community College (SSCC) is a public, four-year, degree-granting college spread out over several locations in the southwest part of Seattle, WA. Their mission is to provide quality learning experiences that prepare students to meet their life and work goals.

The stunning main campus is located on a hilltop that overlooks Elliot Bay and covers 87 acres. A second campus in Georgetown provides training for sustainability, or “green”, techniques. The New Holly Learning Center is another facility, located on Beacon Hill, which provides transitional education to English-speaking and non-English-speaking members of the southwest Seattle community.

Offering a diverse range of education options in the form of applied baccalaureate, associate degree, college transfer, certificate, technical and professional, and pre-college programs, SSCC is a responsive college that develops training programs in collaboration with business, labor and industry.

In addition to purely academic courses, the college also makes continuing education opportunities available to the local community. Teacher education, non-credit online courses, senior adult education and professional development courses are just some of their offerings. They also provide pre-college education such as ABE, ESL and GED, apart from high school programs and transitional studies.

In-state tuition is affordable to most at $3,500 (2012 figures), and veterans are charged reduced rates as part of the benefits program. Federal financial aid is an option for qualifying students. On average, about 60% of students received financial assistance in the form of loans and grants in 2012.

Enrollment

6,177

Student to Faculty Ratio

18:1

Bellingham Technical College, located in Bellingham, Washington, is a fully accredited community college that offers 35 associate degrees and 43 career certificate programs.

Each year, BTC has over 8,000 students enrolled at their campus, which lies 90 miles north of Seattle. BTC offers partnerships with larger state Universities to ensure acceptance and the transferal of credits for students who wish to pursue a 4-year degree.

Bellingham Technical College’s job placement program has been incredibly successful and is a great way for alumni to find jobs after graduation. 84% of graduates are placed in a degree applicable job within 6 months of their graduation date.

While Bellingham Technical College does not offer an athletic program, there are other student activities that are extended to attendees. BTC offers a fully-functional student government, many campus-based groups and clubs, as well as the opportunity to join Phi Theta Kappa, the national honor society dedicated to two-year institutions.

The cost to attend Bellingham Technical College is $105.00 per credit hour for Washington State residents. For out-of-state students, the cost to attend BTC is $277.00 per credit hour.

Applying at Bellingham Technical College is easy. Applications can be completed online or in-person at the BTC campus. Class enrollment forms are provided online and in-person for the convenience of the student.

If you would like to apply to attend Bellingham Technical College, or of you would like to learn more about the programs of study offered at BTC, click here to access their official website.

Enrollment

2,316

Student to Faculty Ratio

18:1

About
Clark College, located in Vancouver, Washington, was founded in 1933, during the Great Depression. The school was quickly given accreditation, and expanded its role in the community, offering programs to educate and train individuals. The school saw particular growth after World War II, with the return of soldiers seeking career training and education in order to pursue employment and personal growth. Since that time the school has expanded in scope and size, increasing its enrollment greatly and requiring expansions to the campus in order to meet the needs of the community. The school is dedicated to meeting the needs of the community and individual students, and does so by reviewing programs and services and updating them as necessary to meet current and future student expectations.

Academics
Clark College offers a large variety of programs that allow for career development or academic transfer. Students will choose the program that best assists in the realization of their goals. Career programs provide training and education in a specific field and allow the student to develop the skills and abilities necessary to enter the workforce as a qualified professional. These programs typically mix classroom theory and education with practical education, providing a controlled environment in order for students to utilize and perfect methods and techniques used within their field. Programs take between one and two years to complete and result in a certificate or associate degree which demonstrates competency to employers when seeking entry level employment.

Academic transfer is accomplished by through programs that cover the first two years of a four year education, followed by applying to a college or university to continue the student's education, completing the final two years and earning their bachelor's degree. Students will have an easier time transferring to public schools in Washington through preexisting transfer agreements that ease the process and guarantee admission if certain requirements are met. Students may apply to out of state or private institutions, through admissions will be more stringent and requirements may vary. Students should meet with an academic advisor to discuss transfer requirements and develop a curriculum that best meets the needs of the desired school or schools.

Programs offered include:

Admissions and Financial Aid
As an open enrollment institution, any individual wishing to enroll at Clark College may do so by meeting the minimum admissions requirements and submitting a completed application. Students should also supply transcripts and standardized test scores, which may be used to determine course level for general education in lieu of a placement exam. Students should also participate in new student orientation to familiarize themselves with the campus and meet with a counselor to discuss goals, curriculum and program enrollment.

Financial aid is available in the form of loans, grants and scholarships. Aid is awarded based on need and aid program eligibility as determined by information provided through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which must be submitted prior to each academic year and is the primary source of information regarding a student's financial situation. Students may be chosen at random to supply additional information to be compared to their FAFSA in order to verify its accuracy. This is due to new federal regulations governing the disbursement of aid.

Athletics
Clark College is home to a number of clubs and organizations that focus on varying topics and interests. Students are encouraged to participate in one or more of these clubs in order to meet new people, discuss new ideas, participate in campus events, and to grow outside for a classroom setting. A full list of available clubs may be found online or on campus, with posted meeting times and dates.

Clubs and organizations include:

  • Aerospace Club
  • Archaeology and History Club
  • Diesel Dogs Club
  • Engineering Club
  • International Club

Enrollment

9,878

Student to Faculty Ratio

13:1

Edmonds Community College, located in Lynnwood, Washington, is a two-year institution that offers 75 different associate degrees, over 50 professional certificates, and more than 30 programs of study. With broad curriculum and opportunities, Edmonds Community College is a great place for freshmen to prepare for four-year universities.

In addition to the vast educational opportunities, Edmonds Community College offers an unparalleled athletics program. Offering Baseball, Basketball for men and women, soccer for men and women, softball, and volley ball, ECC has a sports team for everyone. The ECC weight room and locker rooms are open for use by all athletes, free of charge. ECC even offers scholarships to prospective athletes through all of their sports teams.

The cost to attend Edmonds Community College for students who reside in Washington State is $107.00 per credit hour. The cost for out-of-state residents is $279.00 per credit hour. ECC offers reduced-rate tuition to military veterans, members of the national guard, and their dependents of $80.00 per credit hour.

ECC also offers an extensive child care program that gives reduced rates and priority to students of the college who may need to utilize this service. Licensed by the Department of Early Learning, children will be cared for in a pre-school style atmosphere. If the parent of attending children receives federal financial aid, the child care center will accept it as a form of payment for child care services.

If you are interested in applying to Edmonds Community College or would like to learn more about their offered programs, click here to access their official website.

Enrollment

8,041

Student to Faculty Ratio

13:1

About Yakima Valley Community College, located in Yakima, Washington was founded in 1928 and is among the oldest colleges in the state. The school serves over four thousand students annually through two campuses, the second being located in Grandview. In addition, the school operates several learning centers in Ellensburg, Toppenish and Goldendale. The school also allows dual enrollment for high school students through the Running Start program. The school competes in intercollegiate athletics through a number of sports programs and the school mascot is the Yak. Academics Yakima Valley Community College offers students a number of personal and professional options when considering enrollment. Academic transfer programs allow students to complete the first two years of a four year education, followed by applying for transfer to colleges and universities in order to continue that education and earn a  bachelor's degree. Career and technical programs provide in depth training and education in a specific high demand field or industry in order to pursue long term employment in that field or industry upon completion. Such programs take between one and two years to complete and result in a degree or certificate. Programs offered include:

Admissions and Financial Aid

Yakima Valley Community College is an open enrollment institution, and as such admits any individual that completes the application for admission and pay the associated fees. Students are asked to supply transcripts and test scores if available and may be required to take a placement exam. A meeting with a counselor is encouraged, as is participation in orientation for new students. Financial aid is available in the form of loans, grants and scholarships. Students in need of assistance must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which assists the school in determining need and disbursing funds.

Enrollment

4,456

Student to Faculty Ratio

19:1

History

Lake Washington Institute of Technology, located in Kirkland, Washington, was founded in 1949 as a vocational school, when it was known as the Lake Washington Technical College. Originally the school only had a program for sewing, but over the years has added and expanded its programs. In 1991 LWIT became a degree granting technical college. In addition to the main campus, LWIT operates two satellite campuses in Redmond and Duvall.

Academics

LWIT offers certificate, associate's and bachelor's for a variety of majors and operates with the goal offering quality education to students in order to prepare them for their careers. Alongside degree programs, LWIT offers certificate programs to add additional skills for those already working and looking to increase marketability.

Programs of study include:

Admissions and Financial Aid

Students interested in degree programs, or plan to enroll in more than 15 credits must submit an application. All students must be a high school graduate or equivalent or be 18 years of age or older. Program enrollment may be limited, and some programs may require additional application processes.

Financial aid is available and interested students should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and visit the financial aid website for helpful tips and resources.

Enrollment

3,670

Student to Faculty Ratio

12:1

Columbia Basin College is a 2 year college located in Pasco, Washington. The college was founded in 1965 to serve the Benton and Franklin counties. The college services over 13,000 students a year and has grown over the decade, expanding its offerings and building new facilities. CBC provides a safe learning environment and believes in equality in its dealings with students, providing the skills necessary for residents of its service area to succeed. The school is continually reviewing and revising its offerings, ensuring that the programs remain relevant and provide the best possible education. Class sizes are relatively small, typically having between 22-50 students.

Academics

Columbia Basin College offers a diverse number of programs to help prepare its students for transfer into four year institutions or to prepare them for a career of their choosing. Students wishing to transfer will complete the first two year of a four year education at CBC. Students may transfer to four year institutions upon completion assuming certain general education courses are taken and an acceptable GPA is maintained. Career and technical programs provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary to enter the workforce immediately as professions once the program is completed. CBC also offers a single Baccalaureate program in applied management.

Programs offered include:

Admissions and Financial Aid

Students interested in enrolling at Columbia Basin College must complete and submit the application along with the application fee and take the COMPASS placement exam. As a two year institution the school maintains an open enrollment program, allowing those individuals who demonstrate that they may benefit from the education offered to enroll. Some programs may have limited admittance, and as such it is wise to apply early. Students applying for financial aid should complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and visit the financial aid office to discuss options. Financial aid is available in the form of loans and grants, the resulting Student Aid Report (SAR) from the FAFSA will be used to determine eligibility and awards.

Athletics

Intercollegiate athletics are available at Columbia Basin College. The CBC Hawks participate in a number of sports through the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWACC). Intercollegiate athletics allow students to participate in structure competition which fosters an atmosphere of school pride. Additionally, students are encouraged to develop important skills that are useful for their academic and professional careers. These include teamwork, discipline, and good health. Students who participate in athletics often find the experience rewarding, as it allows for travel, bonding with peers, and the possibility of success.

Athletic programs offered include:

  • Baseball (Men Only)
  • Basketball
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Softball (Women Only)
  • Volleyball (Women Only)

Enrollment

7,034

Student to Faculty Ratio

18:1

Established in 1926, the Skagit Valley College is a community college that serves the counties of Skagit, San Juan and Island in the state of Washington.  SVC has two campuses that are located in Mount Vernon (main campus) and Oak Harbor in Washington. The school aims to expand the opportunities as well as the horizon of the students thus they offer stringent academic programs and ensure a dynamic learning experience among the students.

 SVC offers two-year associate degrees of more than 20 disciplines. Moreover, the community college also offers online courses to those out-of-district, -state or -country students.  Aside from associate degrees, the community college also offers certificate courses as well as non-credit courses and workshops to those who want to enrich their lives with new knowledge.

The tuition fee rates are governed by the Skagit Valley College Board of Trustees. The students pay a flat rate of $106 per credit hour non-inclusive of technology fees, general fee and insurances. Moreover, students are only allowed to take up to 18 credits per semester otherwise they incur overcharge fee of $96.

Since the school offers associate degrees, SVC students who wish to pursue a four-year education can apply for transfer to colleges or universities where they wish to get their bachelor’s degree. Transferring credits to other institutions can be very easy as the school is affiliated with the local four year colleges and universities in Washington.

Enrollment

5,159

Student to Faculty Ratio

15:1

Benefits of Attending a Washington State Community College

Community colleges are public schools as they receive state funding. The community college system servers millions of students every year and tens of thousands in Washington State. A hallmark of community colleges is rooted in access and affordability. Access is most evident in the conveniently located school locations coupled with a guaranteed admissions policy for all qualified students. Affordability is demonstrable by evaluating the tuition to value proposition offered by the myriad community colleges across the state. The combination of quality, convenience, value, and access make the community college system an ideal starting point for many college-bound students.

Finding the Best Community College in Washington State for You

Get organized and focused on your higher education goals today by sorting Washington State colleges by salient characteristics like size, cost, enrollment, and academics. Work diligently to narrow this list to a manageable list and request information from these school with MatchCollege. After deeply evaluating each schools admissions packet, connect with school administrators and admissions counselors to assess their fit. Starting your higher education journey with the right school will help keep your vocational momentum in place with a steady cadence towards your goals.

The following link may provide helpful information about community colleges in Washington:

The following link may provide helpful information about community colleges in Washington:

Metro Area Links for Community Colleges in Washington

Community Colleges in Seattle, Tacoma, Bellevue

We have ranked the community colleges in the Seattle, Tacoma, and Bellevue area by the percent of students who either completed their degree or transferred to a 4-year institution. Northwest University in Seattle, WA ranked as the #1 community college in this area. Visit their official website at http://www.northwestu.edu

Northwest University Highlights
  • Serving students from Seattle and surrounding areas
  • 86% of students either graduated or transferred to a 4-year college/university
  • Tuition & fees are $34,600 per year
Top Community Colleges in Seattle, Tacoma, and Bellevue
Rate Institution Name Location Enrollment
86%Northwest UniversitySeattle, WA1,000
80%Seattle Pacific UniversitySeattle, WA4,000
67%Saint Martin's UniversityRenton, WA2,000
54%Lower Columbia CollegeKirkland, WA3,000
53%Everett Community CollegeLynnwood, WA8,000
52%Johnson & Wales University - DenverBothell, WA1,000
51%Walla Walla Community CollegeTacoma, WA4,000
51%Seattle Central Community CollegeSeattle, WA7,000
45%Skagit Valley CollegeShoreline, WA5,000
44%Bellingham Technical CollegeBellevue, WA2,000
44%Lake Washington Institute of TechnologyTacoma, WA4,000
38%Columbia Basin CollegeLakewood, WA7,000

Community Colleges in Bellingham

We have ranked the community colleges in the Bellingham area by the percent of students who either completed their degree or transferred to a 4-year institution. Whitman College in Bellingham, WA ranked as the #1 community college in this area. Visit their official website at http://www.whitman.edu

Whitman College Highlights
  • Serving students from Bellingham and surrounding areas
  • 99% of students either graduated or transferred to a 4-year college/university
  • Tuition & fees are $56,500 per year
Top Community Colleges in Bellingham
Rate Institution Name Location Enrollment
99%Whitman CollegeBellingham, WA1,000
53%Big Bend Community CollegeBellingham, WA2,000

Other Community Colleges in Washington

The table below lists all the other community colleges in Washington that do not belong to any large metropolitan or urban concentrated area. The table also displays the "Rate" column, which is the percent of students completing course work.

Rate Institution Name Location Enrollment
96%University of Puget SoundPort Angeles, WA3,000
89%Walla Walla UniversityWalla Walla, WA2,000
68%Western Washington UniversityWenatchee, WA16,000
58%Central Washington UniversityMoses Lake, WA12,000
56%South Puget Sound Community CollegeMount Vernon, WA5,000
54%Green River Community CollegeAberdeen, WA8,000
46%Clover Park Technical CollegeVancouver, WA4,000
46%Spokane Falls Community CollegeSpokane, WA5,000
40%Spokane Community CollegeOlympia, WA10,000
39%Alderson Broaddus CollegeYakima, WA1,000

The tuition information displayed is an estimate, which we calculated based on historical data and should be solely used for informational purposes only. Please contact the respective school for information about the current school year.

Source: IPEDS Survey 2012-2020: Data obtained from the US Dept. of Education's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Data may vary depending on school and academic year.

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