Seattle is well known for its vibrant arts scene, impressive portfolio of Fortune 500 company headquarters, and overall innovative spirit. However, a lesser-known fact about Seattle is that it is also home to some of the best community colleges in the US. Consequently, graduating from one of the best community colleges in Seattle can help you secure a high-paying job.

Whatever your community college education goals and preferences are, this article can help you find the perfect school. Our list of the best online community colleges in Seattle can help you get started. This article will also give you insight into what makes Seattle a great choice for your community college education as well as how to gain admission to these schools and pay for your education.

How Many Community Colleges Are in Seattle?

There are  24 community colleges within a 50-mile radius of downtown Seattle. North Seattle College, South Seattle College, and Seattle Central College are three that are collectively known as the Seattle Colleges, which even has its own school district. This article will delve into the best Seattle Colleges programs as well as those of other top community colleges in Seattle.

What Is the Biggest Community College in Seattle?

The biggest community college in Seattle is Bellevue College. It serves about 27,000 students, 83 percent of whom enroll in courses leading to a certificate or degree. Its main campus is spread out over 100 acres of wooded land five miles from the city of Bellevue and 10 miles from Seattle. The college also has a North Campus where it provides additional programs.

What Are the Best Community Colleges in Seattle?

Ranking Community College Graduation Rate Student-to-Faculty Ratio
1 Everett Community College 37% 14:1
2 Edmonds College 35% 14:1
3 Bellevue College 33% 14:1
4 South Seattle College 30% 17:1
5 Shoreline Community College 29% 14:1

The Best Community Colleges in Seattle: Explained

The best community colleges in Seattle have a high graduation rate and are accredited, respected, and affordable. Furthermore, they teach in-demand skills and have expert faculty anchoring their programs of study. The section below highlights some of the best community colleges in Seattle and provides important information about them, including their top programs.

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Everett Community College | Grad Rate: 37%

At its founding in 1941, Everett Community College operated out of an elementary school. However, it has since grown to serve over 17,000 students across several locations. Students ages 12 to 85 attend Everett to earn their associate degrees and certificates, enroll in English as a Second Language (ESL) courses, or complete their high school education.

Everett Community College Overview

  • Tuition: $115.45/credit hour (in district); $298.52/credit hour (out of district)
  • Student Population: 7,580
  • Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 48%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14:1
  • Minimum GPA Requirement: N/A

Best Everett Community College Programs

  • Business Administration Associate in Technical Arts. This program prepares you to tackle any entry-level job in an office or management setting. You’ll learn basic accounting and management principles and how to apply them to running a business.
  • Early Childhood Education Associate in Technical Arts. Everett designed this early childhood education program for students who want careers in preschools, childcare centers, and public schools. It provides the training they need to work with, teach, and manage young children.
  • Nursing Application. Providing training within hospital-like settings and simulation labs, the nursing application program trains students to become licensed and registered nurses.
  • Medical Coding. Medical coding is vital to hospital administration and patient outcomes. This program develops students’ familiarity with codebooks and builds the skills they need to extract and analyze patient data to determine the appropriate procedure codes.
  • Medical Assisting. The medical assisting program at Everett is a mix of formal and practical education. It builds the interdisciplinary skills that health professionals need to fulfill their administrative and clinical duties.




Edmonds College | Grad Rate: 35%

Since its establishment in 1967, Edmonds College has provided value to its students by ensuring academic excellence and community engagement. It is known for its arts, business, computer science, and engineering degrees. It also offers technical degrees in everything from the culinary arts to welding to help students enter the workforce.

Edmonds College Overview

  • Tuition: $119.13/credit hour (in district); $306.92/credit hour (out of district)
  • Student Population: 6,545
  • Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 52%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14:1
  • Minimum GPA Requirement: N/A

Best Edmonds College Programs

  • Associate in Science in Computer and Electrical Engineering. The computer and electrical engineering program at Edmonds College prepares you for a technical career by teaching practical skills. It also fulfills the credit requirements you need for admission to a bachelor’s degree program at a four-year institution.
  • Associate in Computer Science. Students of this 93-credit program study computer systems and how they can improve our world. The program paves the way for you to transfer to a bachelor’s degree program in related fields.
  • Associate in Arts. Edmonds’ art department offers courses in art appreciation, pottery, and art history. Interested students can enroll and jumpstart their careers as art directors, curators, or designers.
  • Associate of Technical Arts in Business Management. This program is open to students who want to pursue management careers or professionals who want to advance their careers. You will learn vital managerial skills and how to use current technology for business administration.
  • Associate in Applied Science in Materials Science. The courses in this program prepare students for jobs in materials science and engineering while providing an avenue for advancement into a bachelor’s degree program.




Bellevue College | Grad Rate: 33%

Bellevue College is Washington’s largest community college, both by physical size and student enrollment, with a landmass of 100 acres and over 27,000 students. It opened in 1966 and offers certificates, associate degrees, and bachelor’s degrees that prepare students for technical career paths. Additionally, its programs are perfect for students looking to transfer to a four-year institution.

Bellevue College Overview

  • Tuition: $119.13/credit hour (in district); $306.92/credit hour (out of district)
  • Student Population: 12,286
  • Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 38%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14:1
  • Minimum GPA Requirement: N/A

Best Bellevue College Programs

  • Bachelor of Applied Arts in Interior Design. This four-year program is designed to create forward-thinking designers. With courses in architecture and design, it provides the foundation for students to achieve their career goals.
  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Digital Marketing. Bellevue’s digital marketing program teaches in-demand skills for use in mobile marketing, social media marketing, and search engine optimization. The training is hands-on and prepares students to apply digital marketing in diverse fields.
  • Associate in Applied Science in Information Technology. This program introduces students to technology fields such as cloud services, technical support, and network administration.
  • Associate Degree in Nursing. This degree is perfect for students who are ready to begin their nursing career path and wish to further their education. It prepares students to take the licensure examination, but it also paves the way for entry into a nursing degree completion program.
  • Associate in Applied Science in Software Development. This software development program features networking, SQL, and web development courses. It is an excellent preparatory degree for students applying for beginner jobs in the industry.




South Seattle College | Grad Rate: 30%

South Seattle College represents one-third of the Seattle Colleges, which also includes North Seattle College and Seattle Central College. Since it began operations in 1969, it has grown to offer more than 130 academic programs that culminate in either an academic certificate or a degree. Some of its key study areas are design, business, accounting, the social sciences, the humanities, and language.

South Seattle College Overview

  • Tuition: $116.05/credit hour (in district); $131.27/credit hour (out of district)
  • Student Population: 5,324
  • Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 70%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17:1
  • Minimum GPA Requirement: N/A

Best South Seattle College Programs

  • Associate in Business in Accounting. This program eases you into the world of business and accounting. You’ll learn how to manage financial information, organize data sets, and use budgeting software. The degree prepares you for jobs as an accountant, financial analyst, or bookkeeper.
  • Associate in Business. This program incorporates economics, entrepreneurship, and management courses to develop useful skills across industries. It has links to reputable four-year Washington universities and lets you complete the first 90 credits of your degree before transferring.
  • Associate of Science in Mechanical, Industrial, and Aeronautical Engineering. This full-time, 135-unit degree program will help you qualify for engineering positions as well as meet the general course requirements for an engineering program at a four-year university, including calculus, physics, and engineering.
  • Associate Degree in Nursing. This two-year program teaches you nursing theory and clinical practices and includes a direct transfer program leading students to become licensed and registered nurses.
  • Associate of Science in Computer Science. Seattle is a well-known technology hub with countless technological advances stemming from within its borders. This program will develop the communication, mathematics, and logic skills you need to enter and adapt to the city’s constantly changing computer culture.




Shoreline Community College | Grad Rate: 29%

Shoreline Community College first opened its doors to students in 1964. It now attends to the educational needs of 9,000 students every year. The college is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and features more than 100 academic, professional, and technical programs.

Shoreline Community College Overview

  • Tuition: $147.42/credit hour (in district); $241.53/credit hour (out of district)
  • Student Population: 5,382
  • Percent Receiving Financial Aid: 51%
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14:1
  • Minimum GPA Requirement: N/A

Best Shoreline Community College Programs

  • Associate of Applied Arts and Sciences in Graphic Design. You’ll learn the basics of graphic design in this 112-credit program. The program also teaches you how to organize design elements and use concept development procedures.
  • Associate of Applied Arts and Sciences in Accounting. You can work as a bookkeeper, junior accountant, or tax preparer with this degree. It helps you build practical accounting skills in different business structures and learn various payroll laws and procedures.
  • Associate of Applied Arts and Sciences in Dental Hygiene. Students of this program learn dental hygiene skills useful in building careers as dental hygienists, health educators, and research assistants.
  • Associate of Applied Arts and Sciences in Manufacturing/Machinist. Shoreline College works with industry experts and professionals to ensure that this program teaches in-demand, job-ready skills. It covers topics like quality assurance, maintenance, and computer-aided manufacturing.
  • Associate of Arts in Economics. This program fulfills an economics degree’s general and lower education requirements at a four-year university. You’ll learn to think critically and understand global economic issues.

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Best Online Community Colleges in Seattle

  1. Pima Medical Institute-Seattle. The online division at Pima Medical Institute offers eight fully online programs at the associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree levels. Since its coursework is project-based, you get the same amount of hands-on experience as you would with an in-person program.
  2. Tacoma Community College. Tacoma Community College’s Internet learning offerings extend to fully online, hybrid, and web-enhanced programs. Its faculty also teach courses through Canvas, an online instructional platform.
  3. Olympic College. This college provides online, hybrid, and web-enhanced instruction for several courses. Furthermore, it supplements its online learning with innovative tools like virtual lobbies to assist student and faculty interactions.

Best Online Associate Degrees

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Other Seattle Community College Rankings

In addition to online schools, we discovered schools that excelled in other specific niche areas in our exploration of Seattle community colleges. The lists below are for students who know they want to pursue a bachelor’s degree, transferable credits, or a nursing education from a community college in Seattle.

Best Community Colleges in Seattle for Transfer

  1. Cascadia College. Of all students enrolled at Cascadia over 70 percent intend to transfer to a four-year university. Graduates of its business, mathematics, and other associate programs have secured admission to top universities like Boston University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Purdue University.
  2. Bellevue College. Bellevue College is one of the most popular colleges for transfer students, with the majority of its students enrolling in one of its seven transfer associate degree programs. The college has transfer agreements with many respected universities in the area, including Seattle University, Gonzaga University, and the University of Washington.
  3. Shoreline Community College. Transferring from Shoreline Community College to top universities like Arizona State University and Cornell University is seamless and convenient. Since community college tuition is more affordable than the typical four-year university’s tuition, you can save money on your degree.

Best Community Colleges for Nursing in Seattle

  1. Everett Community College. The nursing program at Everett Community College has impressive completion and job placement rates of 99.3 and 98 percent. The program is built on core principles of patient-centered care, human diversity, and nursing ethics. Additionally, graduates of the program are qualified to earn an associate degree nursing license in the state of Washington.
  2. Tacoma Community College. Tacoma Community College offers four nursing programs, including an associate degree in nursing that meets the RN licensing requirements in Washington and 38 other states. The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) accredits this program, preparing you to become a registered nurse.
  3. Bellevue College. Bellevue’s Associate Degree in Nursing qualifies students to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses and earn their nursing license. The program is flexible, with full and part-time options. Additionally, it provides numerous educational services to aid students’ professional and personal growth.

Best Seattle Community Colleges That Offer Bachelor’s Degrees

  1. Seattle Central College. Seattle Central College offers several Bachelor of Applied Science degrees that supplement existing associate degrees and teach essential job skills. Some of its undergraduate degree programs are in community health, dental hygiene, healthcare and management services, and respiratory care.
  2. Tacoma Community College. Designed with the working professional in mind, the Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) degrees at Tacoma Community College develop job skills while also allowing students to go on to obtain a higher degree. Students may choose from four BAS degrees, in health information management, community health, applied management, and IT networking and information systems technology.
  3. Pierce College. Pierce College offers Bachelor of Applied Science degrees in dental hygiene, homeland security emergency management, and teaching. One of the top community colleges in the nation, its bachelor’s degrees are well respected both within and beyond Washington state.

Best Associate Degrees

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Best Community College Programs in Seattle

A man and a woman studying outside while sitting on the grass and holding cups of coffee
The best community colleges in Seattle offer associate degrees and professional certificates in diverse fields of study.

The best community colleges in Seattle are academically sound and provide their students with opportunities for new careers or career advancement after graduation. We carefully analyzed the academic programs offered by Seattle’s top community colleges and created the following list of the best Seattle community college programs.

Business

Seattle students can enroll in a certificate, Associate of Technical Arts, or Associate in Applied Science business program at a community college. They’ll learn business principles to help them build careers as secretaries, business managers, and financial planners. Programs in this field require a strong knowledge of accounting, economics, calculus, and business law.

Early Childhood Education

Early childhood education programs in Seattle prepare you to work with young children, up to the age of eight, in preschools and child care centers. You may choose from different program options including stackable certificates, Associate in Technical Arts degrees, and Associate in Arts and Science degrees.

Medical Assisting

Medical assistants work alongside healthcare professionals performing administrative duties and providing care to patients. Seattle’s best medical assisting programs are accredited and offered either on campus, 100 percent online, or in a hybrid format. You can pursue a certificate in medical assisting, an Associate in Technical Arts degree, or an applied science degree.

Nursing

Nursing programs are among the most popular at Seattle community colleges. They prepare students to become registered nurses through theoretical knowledge and practical experience. Since the programs are designed mostly for working professionals, they are usually part time. They culminate in a certificate or Associate of Applied Science degree.

Computer Science

Enrolling in a computer science program at a Seattle community college requires strong prerequisite knowledge of math, science, and computer science. The programs teach key skills like programming and web development. Students can pursue certificate programs or associate degrees and transfer to a bachelor’s degree program upon graduation.

Seattle Community College Admission Requirements

The admission requirements for community colleges in Seattle include a high school diploma and proof that you’re 18 or older, or a written release from your high school district. Below, we take a closer look at the most important admission requirements to get accepted into a community college in Seattle.

Seattle Community College GPA Requirements

Seattle community colleges operate an open-door admissions policy. This means that they accept applications from students regardless of their educational backgrounds. There is no GPA requirement for general admission to Seattle community colleges. However, you may need to meet certain minimum GPA requirements for admission into special programs.

An example of such a program is the hospitality management program at South Seattle College. To be eligible for admission into this program, you must meet its requirements, including a minimum GPA of 2.5. However, not meeting this requirement does not disqualify you outright, and you may still be admitted, albeit on probation.

Residency Requirements for Community Colleges in Seattle

You must be a US citizen or DACA recipient to meet the residency requirements for community colleges in Seattle. You may also be a permanent resident cardholder or possess another qualifying immigrant status. Additionally, you or your legal guardian must have lived in Washington for a minimum of 12 months before the start of classes and display an intention to establish domicile there.

The Seattle Colleges use five residency classifications: resident, non-resident waiver eligible, non-resident, international, and undetermined. Your classification determines your tuition rate per quarter. For example, students classified as residents pay $116.05 per credit at South Seattle College, while international students pay $299.12 per credit.

Seattle Community College Age Requirements

You must be at least 18 years old to attend a Seattle community college. However, younger students may still qualify if they have a high school diploma or GED or are enrolled in Running Start or other dual-enrollment programs. Any other underaged students may make a special admissions request, although acceptance through this method is discretionary.

Seattle Community College Admission Requirements: A Summary

  • 18 years or older
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Previous certification
  • Minimum GPA
  • Online application

Why Study in Seattle?

You should consider studying in Seattle because it is the city of innovation, offering top-quality academic programs and seemingly endless educational opportunities. Additionally, studying here will allow you to forge connections with current and future industry leaders. We’ve highlighted the top reasons to attend a community college in Seattle in the section below.

Academic Programs

Colleges in Seattle offer a wide range of academic programs at different levels in popular fields of study, from nursing to engineering. Some of the best community colleges in Seattle design their STEM programs with input from industry leaders and employers in the field.

Additionally, colleges in Seattle offer their programs in different formats, including online and part time. This way, you can pursue an education without causing a major disruption to your schedule.

Networking Opportunities

Seattle is home to several of the world’s biggest companies, including Starbucks, Amazon, and Microsoft. Being so close to so many multinational companies give you an edge in forming connections and building your network. You can attend career fairs and conferences, join professional networking groups, and build relationships that will help you advance your career.

Practical Experience

Seattle is one of the world’s most dynamic and innovative cities, and many of its companies are leading breakthroughs in science, medicine, retail, and technology. As a student studying in Seattle, you have the opportunity to be a part of that. Through internships and co-op programs, you can develop the hands-on experience that will serve you later in your career.

Seattle Employment Outlook for Community College Students

The employment outlook for community college students in Seattle is positive. Recent data from  the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows job growth in the business, education, and healthcare sectors in the city and surrounding area. Additionally, unemployment in Seattle is on the decline, with the BLS reporting an unemployment rate of just 2.6 percent in April 2022.

The data shows a positive outlook for sufficient employment opportunities for students to explore without leaving the Seattle area. Additionally, graduates of nursing, business, and education programs should find it especially easy to get a job after graduating.

5 In-Demand Seattle Jobs

Upon graduating from a program at a Seattle community college, you will be qualified to fill various jobs or pursue further education. We will introduce you to some of the best jobs to explore in Seattle in the section below. We’ve included the average salary for each job and expected job growth in Seattle, as well as the best Seattle community college program to pursue.

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Medical Assistant | Average Salary: $37,190

Medical assistants carry out administrative and clinical tasks in healthcare environments. Their responsibilities range from recording patient data and scheduling appointments to administering medication and measuring vital signs. A certificate or associate degree suffices to work in this job, although students may better their chances by transferring to a bachelor’s degree program.

  • Average Salary in Seattle: $50,820
  • Employment in Seattle: 9,720
  • Overall Job Growth: 18%
  • Best Seattle Community College Program:  Medical Assisting at Everett Community College




Preschool Teachers | Average Salary: $30,210

Children learn by observing, asking questions, and experimenting, and it is the job of preschool teachers to create and maintain a favorable learning environment. A certificate from a community college meets the minimum licensing requirements for you to become an early childhood educator.

  • Average Salary in Seattle: $38,420
  • Employment in Seattle: 6,510
  • Overall Job Growth: 18%
  • Best Seattle Community College Program: Associate in Technical Arts in Early Childhood Education at Everett Community College




Management Analyst | Average Salary: $93,000

Reducing inefficiency and waste is vital to business success. That is why organizations employ management analysts to streamline processes and improve organizational efficiency. Management analyst job positions typically require a bachelor’s degree, so you may want to look for a community college that makes transferring credits easy.

  • Average Salary in Seattle: $121,670
  • Employment in Seattle: 17,310
  • Overall Job Growth: 14%
  • Best Seattle Community College Program: Associate of Technical Arts in Business Management at Edmonds College




Registered Nurse | Average Salary: $77,600

Registered nurses (RNs) care for and support patients to aid their recovery. Their responsibilities include monitoring patient conditions, administering treatments, consulting with patient doctors, and performing diagnostic tests. You don’t need a bachelor’s degree to work as an RN. An associate degree qualifies you to take the RN licensing exam.

  • Average Salary in Seattle: $99,310
  • Employment in Seattle: 35,070
  • Overall Job Growth: 9%
  • Best Seattle Community College Program: Associate Degree in Nursing at Bellevue College




Computer Systems Analysts | Average Salary: $99,270

A computer system analyst’s primary role involves determining how computer systems can best improve organizational efficiency and productivity. You’ll very likely need a bachelor’s degree to enter the profession, which requires transferring to a four-year college after completing your community college education.

  • Average Salary in Seattle: $117,070
  • Employment in Seattle: 11,130
  • Overall Job Growth: 7%
  • Best Seattle Community College Program: Associate of Science in Computer Science at South Seattle College

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What Community Colleges in Seattle Have Dorms?

The Seattle community colleges with dorms include Olympic College, Everett Community College, Pierce College, Bellevue College, Shoreline Community College, and Edmonds Community College. Many students consider living on campus a key part of the college experience. After all, it’s the best way to develop your independence and immerse yourself in the school culture.

However, living in a campus dorm does have its drawbacks. For one, it is usually more expensive than living at home and can contribute significantly to the cost of attending college. Additionally, you may have rowdy neighbors who make it difficult to study. Another thing to consider is that dorms are usually shared, and it can be difficult to maintain personal space or privacy.

Seattle Community Colleges With Dorms

  1. Bellevue College
  2. Edmonds College
  3. Everett Community College
  4. Olympic College
  5. Shoreline Community College

What Community Colleges Offer Winter Intersession in Seattle?

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to find any community colleges in Seattle that offer winter intersession. However, it is still good to know what it is and how it can benefit you. Winter intersession is a short and compact academic session between the fall and spring sessions. It usually lasts three or four weeks and students can take classes to earn academic credit for their degree.

The major draw of winter intersession is that it is an opportunity to reduce your coursework load during the rest of the year by getting elective and general requirement courses out of the way. Doing so will let you focus better on your core courses during the fall and spring semesters, or even possibly hold a part-time job.

What Community Colleges in Seattle Have Summer Classes?

Bellevue College, Shoreline Community College, South Seattle College, and Renton Technical College offer summer classes for interested students. Recent high school graduates on summer break can enroll in these classes to get a feel for a college education. The appeal of summer classes is that they are often cheaper and can help you get ahead on your college coursework.

Seattle Community Colleges With Summer Classes

  1. Bellevue College
  2. Edmonds College
  3. Renton Technical College
  4. Shoreline Community College
  5. South Seattle College

How to Apply to Community College in Seattle

You can apply to a community college in Seattle by completing and submitting your admission application. Most colleges have an online admissions portal, through which you can complete the entire process in as little as 10 minutes. This might involve submitting documents such as a high school transcript. Be sure to understand all of the requirements before applying.

Seattle Community College Application Steps

  1. Create an online application account.
  2. Choose your educational program.
  3. Complete the online admission application.
  4. Submit any required documents.
  5. Submit the online admission application and pay any required fee.

Cost of Community Colleges in Seattle

The average in-state tuition cost for public community colleges in Seattle is $4,468 per year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Meanwhile the average out-of-state tuition cost is $6,500. Most community colleges in Seattle charge between $115 and $150 per credit hour for in-district tuition and $130 and $300 per credit hour for out-of-district tuition.

Are Community Colleges Ever Free in Seattle?

Yes, students who qualify for the Seattle Promise program may attend community college in Seattle for free. Seattle Colleges, Seattle Public Schools, and the City of Seattle launched the program in 2018 to provide free tuition to Seattle high school residents.

Beneficiaries enjoy two years of free tuition, equity scholarships, student support, and advising throughout their undergraduate education. All students who graduate from public high schools in Seattle can be eligible for this program.

Which Community Colleges Are Free in Seattle?

The three Seattle Colleges, which are North Seattle College, South Seattle College, and Seattle Central College, are free under the Seattle Promise program. However, you must be an eligible student to benefit. The free tuition applies for up to two years, 90 credits, or your first degree, whichever comes first.

Who Qualifies for Free Community College in Seattle?

Every graduating senior enrolled in an eligible Seattle public high school qualifies for free community college education in Seattle. The Seattle Promise program has an open-door policy, and there are no restrictions based on GPA, income, citizenship, or ability.

How to Apply for Free Community College in Seattle

  1. Complete and submit the Seattle Promise scholarship program application.
  2. Apply to one of the three Seattle Colleges.
  3. Complete your financial aid application.
  4. Attend the Readiness Academy.
  5. Attend the Summer Bridge Program.

Scholarships for Community Colleges in Seattle

There are several opportunities to earn scholarships for community colleges in Seattle and offset your tuition costs. Some are private scholarships offered by businesses or foundations, while others are available at the local, state, and national government levels. In the sections below, we’ll explore the best scholarship opportunities and how to get them.

How to Get a Scholarship for Community Colleges in Seattle

  1. Meet the eligibility requirements.
  2. Apply for financial aid.
  3. Enroll in an eligible program.
  4. Complete the scholarship application.
  5. Submit your application before the deadline.

Seattle Community College Scholarships List

  • Washington State Opportunity Career and Technical Scholarship | Amount: $1,500. This scholarship is available to Washington state residents enrolled in a technical or career community college program pursuing trade, STEM, and healthcare occupations. Scholars receive up to $1,500 per quarter, which they may apply toward tuition or other basic costs of attendance.
  • Horatio Alger Scholarships | Amount: $2,500. Students interested in pursuing and completing a career or technical program at a US community college may apply for this scholarship. Those who receive the scholarship award may put it toward tuition, fees, books, or supplies.
  • Chairish Scholarship Program | Amount: $2,500. Community college students majoring in design-related fields like architecture and interior design are eligible to apply for the Chairish Scholarship program. Every year the program awards $5,000 in scholarships to students committed to overcoming obstacles and achieving their dreams.

Other Seattle Community College Financial Aid Options

If you aren’t awarded a scholarship, or if your scholarship award is insufficient to cover the cost of your program, there are other Seattle community college financial aid options you can explore. We’ll show you how to afford college and finance your degree in the section below.

Federal Grants

Every year, the US Department of Education provides about $112 billion in financial aid to help students pay for their college education. A large chunk of that money is disbursed through federal grants, which, unlike loans, do not have to be repaid. As a Seattle community college student, you only need to fill out the FAFSA form to apply for these federal grants.

Washington Grants

There are several college grant opportunities in Washington that students in Seattle can leverage to finance their degrees. One such example is the Washington College Grant, administered by the Washington Student Achievement Council. This grant covers tuition at any approved public college in Washington, including community and technical colleges.

Student Loans

If you cannot finance your education with a grant, another option to explore is student loans. There are two types of student loans: private and federal. Federal student loans offer lower interest rates and do not need to be repaid until you complete your degree. On the other hand, private loans require paying interest while in school and have higher interest rates.

Tuition Reimbursement

Many companies encourage their workers to return to school and develop their skills through tuition reimbursements. Tuition reimbursement is a benefit whereby your employer offsets your tuition costs by repaying what it costs for you to attend school. You can consult human resources at your workplace to determine if they have a tuition reimbursement program.

Tuition Waivers

You can significantly reduce the cost of attending a community college in Seattle by applying for a tuition waiver. Tuition waivers are like discounts that exempt you from paying part or all of your tuition costs in a particular semester. They are often need or merit-based and are available to non-residents and military veterans.

The Best Financial Aid for Your Situation

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What Are the Financial Aid Requirements for Community Colleges in Seattle?

The financial aid requirements for community colleges in Seattle include your admission application, financial aid form, income records, and proof of citizenship. You may also have to submit documents like your high school transcript, government-issued ID, and household size clarification. Be sure to submit your application and all required documents before the stipulated deadline.

Seattle Financial Aid Requirements: Overview

  • College admission application
  • FAFSA form
  • High school transcript or equivalent
  • Proof of citizenship/immigration documents
  • Tax return information
  • W2 statements

Should You Attend Community College in Seattle?

Yes, you should attend a community college in Seattle. Their academic programs are cheaper than four-year colleges and the institutions teach valuable, in-demand skills. If you are a computer science student, you have even more incentive to attend because after graduating, you can get practical experience by enrolling in one of the best coding bootcamps in Seattle.

Seattle Community College Rankings: Methodology

Our ranking of Seattle community colleges is based mainly on the graduation rate. If graduation rate statistics were not available, we used data on student-to-faculty ratios to rank the remaining schools. These figures, sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), best reflect students’ chances of getting the education and help they need to succeed.

Best Accelerated Degrees

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Best Seattle Community Colleges FAQ

How are Seattle community colleges funded?

The bulk of funding for Seattle community colleges comes from state appropriations. Seattle colleges also receive additional funding from the state and federal government through grants and contracts. Tuition, fees, and donations from the public also form a substantial part of the revenue of community colleges in Seattle.

Are Seattle community colleges accredited?

Yes, Seattle community colleges are accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). NWCCU is an accrediting body recognized by the US Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Its accreditation applies to the whole institution and is proof of its performance, integrity, and quality.

What is the most popular community college in Seattle?

Pierce College is the most popular community college in Seattle, with a student population of 8,329. Part of its appeal is its beautiful campuses in Lakewood and Puyallup, both of which have scenic views of Mount Rainier. Additionally, it is well-known for its registered nursing program, which boasts an average first-time licensure exam pass rate of 98 percent.

Are community college classes easier than university classes?

No, community college classes are not easier than university clasess. In fact, community college classes are evaluated on similar standards as university classes. Many students transfer credits earned at community colleges to four-year universities.

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