Top 15 community colleges in California

Top 15 community colleges in California
Eager to start your 2-year education in The Golden State? Here we have the top 15 community colleges in California for you to choose from.

Top 15 community colleges in California


Housed itself in Mission Viejo, Saddleback College provides more than 300 online and offline certificate and degree programs just after 50 years of operation. At $22,400 for an academic year, Saddleback offers many challenging online and offline courses and programs that require students to rely heavily on their critical thinking skills. Many students who studied at Saddleback were able to transfer to prestigious institutions.

Facility-wise speaking, Saddleback College has excellent sceneries, with everything in walking distance.


Riverside City College emphasizes high-quality and affordable education. It is the home of approximately 19,000 students every semester, providing 74 different academic programs. Despite its relatively small size, Riverside has some of the most passionate professors and enthusiastic workers in admin and finance that will gladly answer all of your questions about study courses, housing, or study grants. In average, in-state California residents pay $24,200 annually to attend Riverside.

The only downside of this community college is that you will have a tough time finding a parking spot if you come to campus later than 8.30AM.


Founded in 1929, Antelope Valley College serves more than 18,000 students every year. This public institution is committed to providing high quality and equal education to a wide variety of students with different needs and requirements. At the moment, students can gain benefits from various offers, which include associate degree programs, career technical programs, transfer/general and basic skills courses. Antelope does not have on-campus housing option. To attend Antelope, an in-state student has to pay up to $15,000 per nine-month semester.

For you who are interested in sports, Antelope is big on athletic activities, with students currently are active in baseball, football, golf, track and field, basketball, volleyball, and tennis.


Santa Rosa Junior College is a public community two-year college, earning students associate degrees on chosen majors/programs. With 100 of history, currently Santa Rosa enrolls about 28,000 students per semester, including international peers. Additionally, it has all facilities well-adjusted to meet the needs of disabled students. Extracurricular activities are a big focus of Santa Rosa with athletic events, concerts, theater performances, gallery exhibitions, etc. regularly happen, making it an extraordinarily lively campus.

Some exciting programs can be completed in a short time. We can name out Santa Rosa’s beer brewing program in particular. Students who choose to enroll can earn a degree in Brewing in a matter of one year!

The cost to attend full-time study is within the $20,000 range.


Fullerton College is in North Orange County, California. It is a beautiful campus that requires in-state students an approximate $18,600 per academic year for full-time enrollment.

Priding itself in being the oldest community college in California, Fullerton welcomes 25,000 students every semester. There are about 122 associate degrees and 100 certificate programs offered, keeping this college in the top ten colleges that have high transfer rate to USC


Located in Santa Clarita Valley, California, the big and very well-maintained College of the Canyons offers 86 certificate programs, earning students associate degrees and flexible transfer to 4-year colleges. Current and alumni have talked about COC with fond words regarding their excellent ability in providing both academic and financial support. According to the college website, for 10-month enrollment, students pay roughly $20,300.  

If you are hesitating because of COC’s current parking situation, they’re working on it.


“A very good education for a reasonable price!” is what students have to say about Santa Ana College. At the 99th year of excellence, Santa Ana has 60 programs in its 6 departments, which include Business, Fine & Performing Arts, Human Services & Technology, Social Sciences, Kinesiology & Athletics, and Sciences, Mathematics, and Health Sciences. Online learning options are available who students who are not able to commit to full-time study on campus.

Santa Ana College prides itself on highly demanded programs like fire technology and nursing.


Being one of the national oldest community colleges, Bakersfield College is the home of 31,000 residents every year. It currently runs 146 academic programs, earning students Associate, Baccalaureate, and Transfer degrees.

Bakersfield offers dual enrollment to those who wish to attend and achieve credits from both high school and college at the same time. The courses are taught by high school instructors qualified to teach courses in community colleges, and they ensure that students enrolled meet the requirements for high school graduation while receiving higher education credits.


Foothill College owns an award-winning in campus architecture design, providing current and prospective students with 74 associate degrees and one 4-year bachelor program in Dental Hygiene.

The cost to attend Foothill is slightly higher than the previous, standing at approximately $21,200 per academic year. However, this community college offers various grants, aids, and scholarships.


This small college enrolls 7,000 students every year, provide them with 49 career education choices, with Registered Nursing, Administration of Justice, and General Education as their most popular majors.

Imperial Valley, in partnership with Imperial County Sheriff’s Office, provides both incarcerated and campus students with an exclusive inside/out program that focuses on exploring critical sociological issues.


Long Beach is one of the largest community colleges in California, offering 62 comprehensive 2-year programs across 11 majors at the cost of $20,800 per year. Attending Long Beach, you’re in for vibrant campus life, with sports, community clubs and shows continuously happening.

Long Beach prides itself on successful athletics programs (called Viking athletics), winning 162 national and in-state titles to date.


Serving 22,000 students every academic year, Los Angeles Pierce College is a top-ranked community college with more than 111-degree programs ensuring its top 10% transfer rate to the California State University system.

Located just 10 miles away from the Malibu beaches, student life at Pierce is vivacious and dynamic. Pierce has state of the art facilities, featuring botanical garden, aquatic center, theaters, and an equine center.



Glendale Community College is recognized for their gold star Nursing Program. Serving more than 25,000 students every year, Glendale has courses and programs that catered to the students' needs across 4 primary functions: necessary skills education, post-secondary education, career and technical education, and general education.



Mt. San Antonio College has more than 240 certificate and degree programs at the cost of $19,600 a year. Mt. SAC is known for their high tech equipment and modern laboratories. Students can enroll in 4-year bachelor programs held right at Mt. SAC’s campus, which includes highly demanded majors like Health Care Management, Nursing, Radiologic Sciences.


Sierra College comes at the first place on our top 15 community colleges in California list. The big college district lies across 3,200 square miles, offering comprehensive and competitive programs and courses, in which Nursing is the top choice for students who wish to spend 2 years in Sierra before transferring.

Sierra College’s value extends far beyond the classroom. It serves as the community culture hub, with Sierra's Art and Natural History Museum in the top 30 most higher education natural history museums.

For more choices on California community colleges, find your dream college here.

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