Staying Home to Go to College

Community colleges make the grade for Valley students looking to save a little cash and prepare for their careers — without sacrificing the A-plus education


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 Columbia-Greene science students work on a lab with one of their professors

Columbia-Greene Community College

By: Greg Ryan

Columbia-Greene is the newest and smallest community college in the Valley. That doesn’t mean the school has less to offer than its competition, however. C-GCC demonstrates its commitment to a low-cost education from the get-go with a no-fee application (the usual cost of a SUNY-wide application is $40). In addition, the school offers extracurricular activities that put students in a position to succeed from the moment they set foot on the Hudson campus until long after they leave. The Department of Alternative Learning, for example, reviews basic math and reading skills for incoming students in need of a refresher, and the brand-new Professional Academic Center equips students and graduates with the job-seeking skills needed to land work in a tough economy. In between college preparation and help with job hunting, C-GCC offers unique classes such as digital photography and forensic anthropology; in the latter, students study the methods used to examine skeletal remains — an interesting way for criminal justice majors to get their feet wet in CSI-style forensics. The school typically places in the top three of SUNY community colleges when it comes to number of graduates who go on to four-year schools: Alumni have attended top-flight universities such as Brown, MIT, RPI, and Yale.
400 Rte. 23, Hudson. 518-828-4181;


Up next: SUNY New Paltz


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