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Community colleges are funded by taxpayers and partner with local businesses and organizations to offer job training that meets employment needs in the area. They usually offer two-year degrees like Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, or Associate of Applied Science. The cost for these degree programs is about one-third of the cost of a university degree. Also, community colleges have open enrollment, which means that anyone with a high school diploma or its equivalent may enroll. 2

Community colleges offer several programs of study, such as welding, automobile maintenance, nursing, lab technicians, medical imaging, law enforcement, hospitality, electrical trades, cosmetology, dentistry, and many more.

All community colleges have different enrollment standards, but some of the basic requirements needed for enrollment to many community colleges include the following:

  •  High school transcript or HSE degree, formerly called a GED. Transcripts show the grade for each class taken by the student and the overall grade-point average.
  •  College application form. Most community colleges do not have a fee for applying.
  •  The Texas Success Initiative (TSI) Assessment measures a students readiness for college-level work. The results of this assessment are used to determine course placement.

For information on community colleges in Texas, visit 2023 Best Community Colleges in Texas (English only).

2 “What Is a Community College?”ThoughtCo, , accessed January 24, 2022,