Best Community Colleges in Nevada

Starting a new job or working toward your first college degree can be tough, but the best community colleges in Nevada have dozens of programs in place to help you on your way.

There are a lot of reasons you might attend one of the best two-year schools in Nevada. They're typically more affordable than Nevada universities, for one thing, so you can save some money on the first two years of a bachelor's program. They also offer a wide range of career training and vocational programs that prepare you to fill valuable roles in the workforce.

We wanted to find out which institutions were the top schools in the state, so we compiled a huge dataset from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and analyzed it based on factors like affordability, student success and flexibility of scheduling and course access. Check out our list of the three best Nevada community colleges and see how they might help you move your own life forward.



Northwest Career College (Las Vegas)

Northwest Career College is a trade and vocational school in the state's largest metro area. The list of programs available here includes a range of workforce-relevant subjects, and most of the study plans take less time to complete than is typically required to earn an associate degree.

Subjects of study for aspiring health care professionals -- medical assisting, dental assisting, pharmacy technology and others -- may require just 9 months or less of full-time study. More involved programs like criminal justice and paralegal studies can take around a year and a half to complete, while aspiring phlebotomy technicians can be cleared to sit for the registration exam in three months or less.

The numbers also show that graduates of Northwest tend to have success on the job market. Graduates of most programs were hired at a 90 percent rate in 2017.


Truckee Meadows Community College (Reno)

Truckee Meadows Community College serves more than 25,000 students each year, but its large array of instructional locations aims to make attendance convenient for students all across its wide service area. The northern Nevada institution maintains a flagship campus in Reno, four educational sites and more than 20 community learning centers.

TMCC is also one of the top online Nevada community colleges, in case your schedule's too full to attend courses in person. Nearly 40 degree and certificate programs can be earned through only online courses, including Associate of Arts (A.A.) and Associate of Science (A.S.) programs designed for university transfer.

With a population of around 250,000 residents, TMCC's hometown of Reno can be just right for new college graduates. It's a modest enough size not to be overwhelming, but still urban enough to yield a diverse set of job opportunities.

Resources for Transfer Students in Nevada

If you've got your eye on one of the many bachelor's degree programs at Nevada universities, it's a good idea to get on the right track for a smooth transfer as early in your study plan as possible. Depending on where you earn your associate degree, academic advisers can point you to a variety of articulation agreements and other resources to help your transfer go off without a hitch.

Earning a two-year degree from certain top Nevada community colleges can lead to guaranteed admission and a general education core waiver at top four-year schools in the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE). The curriculum for most bachelor's programs included in these transfer agreements should be available to you and your adviser, so you can make sure you're choosing courses that fit the framework of your intended university major.

Some community colleges in Nevada also have articulation or transfer agreements with out-of-state universities, and the ordinary course-by-course, credit-by-credit transfer method is available if your dream school doesn't show up on the list of agreements. Always speak with an adviser before setting your schedule if you're planning to transfer.

For more insight into education in the state, be sure to explore the top four-year schools in Nevada.


We ranked community colleges in Nevada on multiple factors related to educational opportunity, student performance and student services.

Each school was scored on a 10-point scale, using the following data points:

  1. The percentage of students enrolled in distance education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2016
  2. Cost of attendance, based on the average net price for students receiving scholarship and grant aid, and the total cost of tuition, fees, books and supplies, National Center for Education Statistics, 2016
  3. Student-to-faculty ratio, National Center for Education Statistics, 2016
  4. The graduation rate in 150% time, National Center for Education Statistics, 2016
  5. Flexibility, based on the following data points from the National Center for Education Statistics, 2016

              a. Whether the school offers credit for life experiences
              b. Whether the school offers programs of study that can be completed entirely in the evenings and on weekends
              c. Whether the school offers on-campus day care for students' children
             d. Whether the school offers any kind of alternative tuition plan. These may include, but aren't limited to, payment plans or guaranteed rates.

Article Sources
  • College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics, accessed October 22, 2018, https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=NV&ct=1+2&ic=2
  • School pages, accessed October 22, 2018: Northwest Career College, https://www.northwestcareercollege.edu/; Gainful Employment, Northwest Career College, https://www.northwestcareercollege.edu/gainful-employment.html; About TMCC, Truckee Meadows Community College, http://www.tmcc.edu/about/; College Locations, Truckee Meadows Community College, http://www.tmcc.edu/about/college-locations/; Degree Options, WebCollege, Truckee Meadows Community College, http://www.tmcc.edu/webcollege/degree-options/; Transfer Information, Western Nevada Community College, https://www.wnc.edu/counseling/transfer-information/; Transfer Agreements, Truckee Meadows Community College, http://www.tmcc.edu/advisement/transfer-students/transfer-agreements/; Transferring from TMCC, Truckee Meadows Community College, http://www.tmcc.edu/advisement/transfer-students/transferring-from-tmcc/;
  • Reno city, Nevada, U.S. Census Bureau, accessed October 22, 2018, https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/renocitynevada/PST045217
  • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/