What is a 2+2 College Program?

Across the country, 2+2 programs are becoming increasingly popular. You may have come across the term during your college prep, but what exactly does it mean? Is a 2+2 program right for you?

2 + 2

Community College to a 4-Year Institution

Simply put, a 2+2 program is attending a community college for two years, then transferring to a college or university for another two years. In just four total years, a student can earn both an associate’s degree and a bachelor’s.

Why Consider a 2+2?

There are many benefits to participating in a 2+2 program, here are a few of the most common reasons.


Tuition for a traditional 4-year college or university can be very expensive. Typically, community colleges cost much less to attend—so students and families can save money through a 2+2 by paying for 2 years of a community college, and 2 years at a 4-year school.

Gen Ed Credits

Many students “get their gen eds out of the way” at a community college first. When they transfer to a 4-year, they can really focus on their major-oriented classes. In most 2+2 programs, the community college works closely with their partnered 4-year so that credits transfer smoothly, and students don’t have to retake certain classes.

Close to Home

Many community colleges have campuses nearby. Students can continue living at home with their parents and save even more money in the process.

Strengthen Academics

If grades were not a strong suit in high school, 2 years of community college can turn that around and give a boost to transfer college applications. Students can get additional academic help they need and strengthen their GPA.

Adult Learners

Adults who are interested in going back to school find a 2+2 program helpful. Attending a community college first can make it easier to balance school, work, and home responsibilities.

A Final Word on 2+2

There are many students who find 2+2 programs incredibly helpful, and also more accessible/affordable than a traditional “4-year right out of high school” approach. It’s a great way to get a quality education at an affordable price and a more flexible schedule.

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