13 Cheapest Community Colleges in California for International Students (2023 Update)

Truth be told, the cost of education is not getting any cheaper, and lots of students are graduating with a pile of loans, even in the United States. Here are some shocking statistics; Student loan debt in the country is now $1.757 trillion; 43.8 million borrowers have federal student loan debt; and the average federal student loan debt balance is $37,338.

This is even worse for foreign students that want to study in the United States because their fees are quite higher than what a regular citizen or permanent resident pays.

Fortunately, the cheapest community colleges in California for international students can be one of the best solutions. Yes, an associate degree might be their highest degree but you can still complete it with very less financial burden and finally go to a 4-year college and complete your remaining 2 years to attain a bachelor’s degree.

Moreover, the state of California and New York gives special attention to students that went to community college, so you have nothing to lose.

Let’s go right away to list these schools.

cheapest community colleges in California for international students
cheapest community colleges in California for international students

Cheapest Community Colleges in California for International Students

We were able to list these colleges with the help of each school’s website, and their fees are up-to-date with 2023 tuition fees. 

1. De Anza College

De Anza College is by far the cheapest community college in California for international students. You’ll never see another college that offers a tuition fee close to theirs, and they still provide financial aid and scholarships to their students.

Furthermore, they provide a wide variety of two-year programs leading to an Associate in Arts or Associate in Science degree. The school offers more than 90 associate degrees and university transfer programs.

Residents of California$31 per unit
Non-Residents/International Students$221 per unit or $6,630 per year

Visit Official College

2. Foothill College

This is the second most affordable community college in California for international students that provide a total of 191 degrees and certificates. Most of their classes can be taken online, I’m talking about 88% of their classes.

The school also provides financial aid and scholarships worth $15,530,832 per year to more than 6,000 students.

Residents of California$31 per unit
International Students$8,496 per year

Visit College

3. Diablo Valley College

Diablo Valley College is one of the cheapest community colleges in California for international students that also provides free tuition programs which require the completion of a financial aid application and don’t require anything to be paid back. Even if you’re not eligible for their tuition-free programs, you can still take advantage of their scholarships and financial aid.

Residents of California$46 per unit or $1,380 per year
Non Residents/International Students$300 per unit or $9,000 per year

Visit College Website

4. Santa Monica College

Santa Monica College is not just one of the most affordable community colleges in California for international students, they are also been known as California’s #1 transfer college for 32 years. Moreover, the school still provides financial aid and scholarships to help you graduate with a less financial burden.

Residents of California$46 per unit or $1,380 per year
International Students$9264 per year

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5. Orange Coast College

OCC is among the cheapest community colleges in California for foreign students that features exceptional facilities and the latest in technology and offers more than 135 academic and career programs. Moreover, the school has consistently ranked as one of the top colleges in California.

Residents of California$1,288 per year
Non-Residents/International Students$9,268 per year

Visit College Website

6. Los Angeles City College (LACC)

This is the oldest of the Los Angeles Community Colleges, celebrating almost 90 years of educational excellence. It is one of the cheapest community colleges in California for international students that provide more than 100 vocational and professional programs.

Residents of California$46 per unit or $1,380 per year
Non-Residents/International Students$332 per unit or $9,960 per year

Visit College Website

7. City College of San Francisco

City College of San Francisco offers more than 250 degrees and certificates, transferable credits, online courses, and career advancement classes. Some of them include;

  • Arts, Media & Entertainment
  • Business, Management, and Entrepreneurship
  • Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
Residents of California$46 per unit or $1,380 per year
Non-Residents/International Students$358 per unit or $10,740 per year

Visit College Website

8. American River College

ARC provides associate degrees, certificates, and general education, where you can study natural science, social and behavioral sciences, humanities & the arts, & language and critical thinking.

Residents of California$46 per unit or $1,380 per year
Non-Residents/International Students$395 per unit or 11,850 per year

Visit College Website

9. Sacramento City College

This is among the few most affordable community colleges in California for international students that provide Meta Majors. Meta Majors are groups of degrees & certificates that have related courses from a student’s perspective.

Residents of California$46 per unit or $1,380 per year
Non-Residents/International Students$395 per unit or $11,850

Visit College Website

10. Pasadena City College

PCC doesn’t only provide an affordable fee, but they also provide some of the best degrees, they are ranked #1 in California for

  • Associate Degrees granted
  • Associate Degrees for Transfer
  • Associate Degrees earned by minorities
  • Associate Degrees earned by Asian Americans

Also, the school provides more than $1m in scholarships for both its residents and international students.

Residents of California$46 per unit or $1,380 per year
Non Residents$332 per unit
International Students$11,860 per year

Visit College Website

11. Saddleback College

In addition to Saddleback College’s affordable tuition, the school still offers other forms of financial aid and scholarships which you can apply for each year. These aids will even help to reduce their fees to a minimum. 

Residents of California$46 per unit or $1,380 per year
Non-Residents/International Students$10,848 per year

Visit College Website

12. San Joaquin Delta College

San Joaquin Delta College provides several degrees, certificates, and transfer programs, some of the popular ones include; Astronomy, Business Administration, Computer Science, Digital Media, Economics, Electrical Technology, Engineering, and Law.

Residents of California$46 per unit or $1,380 per year
Non-Residents/International Students$8,112 per year

Visit College Website

13. Folsom Lake College

Folsom Lake College doesn’t really accept a lot of international students, but those that are admitted don’t get to pay a lot. 

Residents of California$46 per unit or $1,380 per year
Non-Residents/International Students$395 per unit or $11,850

Visit College Website

Conclusion

In summary, there are several cheapest community colleges in California for international students and most of the universities still have scholarships to help reduce the fee even further. Also, they provide some of the relevant programs and quality education which made some of them recognized nationwide.

You should note that these tuition fees are liable to change as time goes on, and they don’t contain some other educational expenses like books, accommodation fees, insurance, transportation, etc. We provided links for each school so you can be able to research them to verify their current fees.

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