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If you do not have a high school diploma but you are 18 years old, you can still enter and graduate from college. This is possible by attending a community college in the United States. These are institutions operated by a division of a state university that allow you to pursue all types of university studies during the first two years of your degree, and then transfer to a university and graduate from there. This is the so-called 2+2 Model (2 years at Community Colleges + 2 years at the chosen university). This is a very widespread model among American students since about 45% of undergraduate students in the United States start in this type of institution and then transfer to and graduate from a 4-Year university.

These institutions allow students to graduate from a 4-Year university without having completed high school, but under two basic conditions: To have completed compulsory education and to be 18 years of age at the time of admission to the Community College. It is a very popular option in the United States and a simple and economical way for an international student who does not have a high school diploma to access a university in the United States just like any other student.

There are over 1000 Community Colleges throughout the United States, but not all of them offer this possibility, so you should carefully review the admission requirements before beginning the application process. To see a complete list of all Community Colleges go to Niche and select 2-Year Community. Once you have found the colleges that allow this possibility, you should review the rest of the admission requirements which are usually as follows:

  • Compulsory education finished and passed
  • Be 18 years of age or older at the time you start at the Community College
  • Minimum English proficiency level of TOEFL 61, IELST 5.5, Duolingo 90 or CAE 160
  • SAT is not usually required (check case by case)
  • Financial certificate with a bank letter certifying the existence of sufficient funds to pay for the first year of Community College (Mandatory to obtain the VISA)

A community college has several benefits, but the most important is the economic one. The average tuition range is about $9,000 per year, to which you must add the costs of housing, room and board, travel and medical insurance. An estimated average total annual cost is about $20,000. On our Community Colleges page you have more details about all the benefits as well as the type of education they offer. At Five Lands International Education we can help you gain admission to Community Colleges that allow admission without a high school diploma. Contact us and we will help you with the paperwork.

When you are admitted to a community college, you will be assigned a counselor who will help you choose your classes from the first semester. He or she will also be the person who will help you put together the necessary curriculum to transfer to the transfer university in your junior year. If a degree program in the United States usually has a total of 120 credits, at the Community Colleges you must take at least 60 credits in order to transfer. Not having a high school diploma has no influence on the classes you must take during those two years or later in college.

An important aspect about the Community Colleges is that if you complete the cycle at the Community College and transfer to a 4-year university and graduate, the degree is from the university, not from the Community College. This is important when it comes to a possible home country degree validation if necessary.

At Five Lands International Education we have the best consultants to help you get admission to a Community College in the United States without having completed High school. Visit our programs page or contact us through this contact form or by phone at +34 689 027 598 for Europe or +1 (984) 208 5551 for America.