How Hard Is Community College?

Education is an important thing. A large population of people desire access to higher learning institutions to get more knowledge. However, not everyone has access to a university. The question then is, are there other alternatives for acquiring higher level education that caters to a range of individuals? The answer is, yes. One of these alternatives, or better still, preparatory institutions for a university is the community college. In this article, we will look at community colleges and how hard studying in one of these can be, keep reading.

How Hard Is Community College?

How Hard are Community Colleges?

Community Colleges have an open-admission policy, therefore making it way easier to obtain admission into these learning institutions than it would a university. This ease in admission, however, does not translate to the courses being studied. The amount of learning, work and dedication needed to succeed in a university, is the same amount needed to succeed in a community college.

How Hard Is It To Get Into a Community College?

One popular thing in every community college is the open admission policy, which enables enrolment for anyone who meets the minimum requirement. Community colleges are usually less competitive in terms of entry compared to universities. They accept almost all applicants that meet the requirement. A recent survey revealed that the acceptance rate for most community colleges averages 79% for both privately and publicly owned colleges.

Although most colleges require entrance examinations to determine the proficiency of applicants, they are less about enforcing strict pass marks, but rather determining the ability of the applicant to comprehend basic foundational concepts. Other requirements are a high school diploma, GED certificates and other examination requirements.

Comparing the educational quality of the community colleges and universities reveals that the standard of learning is almost at par with each other. Although the time for study is different, community colleges also infuse the right rigour needed for the delivery of quality education. Most students who transfer from community colleges to universities often remark that they find themselves better suited and capable to handle the requirements of the university setting.  

Are Community Colleges Hard Enough for Students to Fail?

Just like in any endeavour, without the proper dedication of time and discipline, failure is guaranteed. Community colleges are designed to enable students to succeed in their chosen fields. Students however have their roles to play in making sure this happens.   

A factor that boosts success among community college students is the reduced size of their classes. The student-to-faculty ratio compared to a university is often reduced making assimilation and interaction easier. With this properly in place, fewer failures are recorded at community colleges.

What Makes Community Colleges Different?

Community Colleges are simply community colleges. They are institutions set up to educationally enable the direct communities in which they are located. Unlike regular university, community colleges combine traditional classes and courses like regular math, languages and sciences, but also combines these with lectures such as swimming and other non-traditional courses for different groups. Community colleges also offer their programs in less time than a regular university. For example, most programs last for about two years in a community college while universities might take up to four to five years. Therefore community colleges make education more accessible than a university.

Another thing that makes a community college different from a regular university, is the career-oriented and focused subjects. The subjects offered here are usually done with the intent of getting students ready to meet the demand of the work environment. Majors in a community college usually focus on a specific area of demand and your duration of study will be focused on improving technical skills and practical knowledge in the area of focus. One example of this is studying majors such as; Information management, Statistics, Nursing, etc.

What Kinds of Certificates are gotten at a Community College?

The choice to earn a degree from a community college can differ from one person to another, but the benefit remains the same. Degrees from community colleges are recognized all over the world and can earn the recipient opportunities in any organization or industry. They can also be transferred to major universities in furtherance of a degree program..

Some common community college degrees include;

Associate Degrees:

A full program completion at a college community often leads to being awarded an Associate Degree. These degrees are two-year degrees that illustrate a person’s completion of a program. Depending on your personal goal, the associate degree can be useful for a list of various things. One of which is the furthering of one’s learning curve by going on to pursue a bachelor’s degree.


For the most part, earning a certificate is usually ascribed to traditional universities. Community colleges also offer degree certificates to students. The certificates awarded can be used to certify learning progress, as well as presented to employers to show that education in the stated sector has been obtained.

These certificates can also be used to branch into new career fields. They are seem offered both online and offline and the duration of study for obtaining these can vary depending on the program.

What Are Some Differences Between Community Colleges and Universities?

As we continue to explore the different factors that determine how hard it is to study at a community college, it is essential to point out how these institutions differ from a university. If truly they are not as hard as a university, how then do they differ? Highlighted below are some factors that make both institutions stand out.

1. Length of Program:

Already stated above, one thing that separates the community college from the university is the length of studying for a degree in both institutions. For the majority of the program in a community college, the duration is two years. This means that an individual can complete two degrees at a community school while their counterparts in a university are still going on one.

Universities spend their first two lecture years introducing students to the foundational knowledge of what is required in the course to be studied. This general education usually cuts across a broad range of courses and broadens the student’s knowledge in several courses. But as they progress higher, this education streamlines into the major focus of that particular student.

For those at a community college, their introduction is direct and focuses head-on on the program for which the student is enrolled. Community colleges complete most programs in two years but do not issue degrees, instead, they offer certificates and associate degrees which can be used to obtain further education at a university.

2. Living Arrangement:

Dormitories are the living arrangements for most students in a university. This arrangement for most universities makes communication, campus life and interaction possible for their students. Certain universities are strict with students living within the campus premises, and this helps to foster the culture of the school.

For students in community colleges, however, dorms are not always available. In others where it is available, it is not mandated that students live there. A large population of students in a community college tend to live elsewhere and commute to the school’s premises for their daily education. This arrangement can be one differentiating factor between universities and community colleges.

3. Size:

Universities are a lot larger than community colleges when it comes to size. Universities sit on thousands of acres of land, housing the multiple disciplines present. Universities also accommodate tens of thousands of students on their campuses. This population requires larger spaces and more facilities to cater to the different people present. Facilities such as; state-of-the-art gym centres, swimming complexes, malls and other recreational facilities. The presence of all these usually demands more space, leading to the largeness of the university campus.

For a community college, the size might differ. Some campuses are built to accommodate the lecture area and some faculties. Others might not have accommodations or dormitories within their premises, leading to a smaller, compact size for most of their campuses. Also, compared to a university, the population of most community colleges are smaller, thus needing less space.


When comparing a community college to a university, it is important to note the different factors separating both institutions. For students wondering how hard it is to study at a community college, various factors also apply. However, one important to note is that the quality of education in both educational institutions is almost at an equal level, and the amount of work needed to succeed at both is the same. There are thousands of community colleges present in the United States offering different degree programs, make sure to research them and select one in line with your desired course of study.

Frequently Asked Question
  • What are some of the known community colleges in the United States?


  1. Portland Community college
  2. Elgin Community college
  • Can I study at a community college online?

Answer: Yes, you can. One thing that marks community colleges out is the ease and accessibility they bring to education. There are community colleges that offer strictly online classes. They do this by making all classes synchronous although certain others offer asynchronous class structures