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Articles / Admissions / Are There Public Community Colleges with Dorms?

April 26, 2020

Are There Public Community Colleges with Dorms?

Question: I have been out of high school and working for two years. I wasn't a great student in high school and didn't try hard enough, so now I would like to attend an affordable community college and later transfer to a 4-year college. However, I don't want to continue to live with my parents year-round and would like to live at my college. Do any public community colleges have dorms for students?

A growing number of public community colleges do offer on-campus living although these schools are still in the minority by far. If you want to find out which community colleges have dormitories, you can try using the College Board's “Big Future" search engine:


https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/college-search

Under the “Type of School" tab, select “2-year/community college." If you want a public college (where costs will be lower for in-state residents), then pick “public" on the next line. Next, choose your state of residence under “Location." Finally, under “Campus & Housing," choose “Coed Housing," and then see what turns up on the “Results" page

Note, however, that some states offer no public CC's with on-campus housing. My own home state, Massachusetts, is one of them. Attending a public community college in the state where you reside is usually far cheaper than attending an out-of-state community college or a 2-year private college. So, if your state doesn't offer any community colleges with dorms, you can contact the admission office to ask if the college provides leads for students who want to live with other students in apartments near campus. This won't give you the true college-dorm experience but might be an affordable way to start your college career without being stuck in your childhood bedroom.

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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