Need a Bachelor's Degree? Community College is a Great Place to Start

The connection between a well-paying job and a college degree has never been stronger, and the country is looking for ways to make a college education accessible and affordable for more Americans.

Most college students today are working and taking care of themselves and even a family, so a traditional on-campus college experience may be out of reach. For these students, community colleges, with their more open access, affordable tuition, and flexible scheduling, can make it possible to start their progress toward a bachelor's degree.

At WGU, we love community colleges. A community college is the perfect setting for students who haven't experienced college courses to get their first taste of post-secondary education. Students can take one or two courses while determining whether they are ready to launch into a degree program.

And once they've decided that they want to pursue a degree, the community college allows them to complete most, if not all, of the general education courses required for a bachelor's degree. Credits earned at community colleges transfer to WGU as well as most other accredited universities.

A large number of WGU students started their degree work at a community college, and our data tell us that they are very likely to succeed in their studies and complete their degrees. These students tell us that their community college experience was great preparation for WGU's online, competency-based programs. And, because they completed courses at a community college, they were able to transfer the credits and graduate faster.

Many community colleges are innovators in higher education. With support from the Gates Foundation, WGU has been working with several community colleges in the U.S. to help them develop competency-based courses and programs. These programs allow busy adult students to work at a time and a pace that fits their lives, often completing courses faster and saving money.

WGU has agreements with about 275 community colleges across the country, and students who come to us with associate's degrees from those community colleges are eligible to apply for exclusive scholarships — all aimed at making earning a bachelor's degree more affordable.

Learn more about WGU's community college partnerships »

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