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San Antonio College (Alamo Colleges)

United States


Alamo Colleges District is a network of five community colleges in the Greater San Antonio area which aims to help students build their futures. Each of the five colleges is based at their own campus, covering a variety of different subject areas but they are all combined by a common strategy and vision.

The ''Alamo Way Strategy'' places a focus on a trio of priorities – student success, leadership and performance excellence. This strategy is mapped by a variety of performance indicators, with Alamo Colleges District on course to award 15,000 degrees and certificates per year by 2022 whilst maintaining its current high student satisfaction rate of 95 percent.

Alamo Colleges District serves a diverse community amongst its 98,774 enrolled students, which continues to grow. This includes a large number of Hispanic students and many students pursuing part-time study. There is a focus on community engagement and respectfulness across all institutions where students will eventually gain and realize their professional and civic potential.

With a history of making education accessible and affordable, Alamo Colleges District continues to fulfil this with a range of two-year degree courses across a wide variety of disciplines at its five institutions. Academic credits from the Alamo Colleges District transfer to four-year universities, meaning many students move on to pursue their Bachelor Degree at a four-year university after attending the Alamo Colleges District institutions.

Regardless of the specific degree program chosen from the 300 plus on offer, all of the Alamo Colleges District institutions strive to equip students with employable skills which will set them up for the rest of their lives, with a mixture of academic, technical and social strengths.

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What's new

What's new

Second STEM Center Opened

Northwest Vista Colleges (NVC) is the second Alamo College to open a building dedicated to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs. In 2018 Palo Alto College opened a 2,200-foot facility, located in the existing Brazos Building. NVC recently opened a new 52,000 square foot building that encourages curiosity, creativity, and collaboration among students in (STEM) fields. The new building offers cutting-edge technology, future-forward design, and the natural setting of the Texas hill country.


Three of the colleges of the Alamo College District rank in top ten on list of 2020 Best Online Community Colleges in Texas but the Guide to Online Schools

San Antonio College ranked number eight, Palo Alto College ranked number nine, and St. Philip's College ranked number ten. Northwest Vista College ranked among the top 20 online community colleges at number 18. All four colleges ranked in the organization's top ten online community colleges for 2019.

This is the second year the Guide to Online Schools has released online community college rankings by state. Each college received a score based on several important factors, including retention and graduation rates and percentage of online enrollment data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). The number of online associate degrees offered was considered in the ranking score as well. The research group also conducted manual research to provide prospective students with more details about the colleges' online programs. To view the full list, students can go to the Guide to Online Schools website.

Economic Impact praised

An economic impact study was carried out to assess the way in which the Alamo Colleges District impacts the local area. The study focused on three areas, namely student, taxpayer and community impact. It demonstrated significant return on investment for students, a USD 2 billion added income to the region in the year studied and supported one in every 35 jobs in the region.

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Teaching quality

Teaching quality

Experienced, innovative instructors work to provide an insightful education to students across the Alamo Colleges District. All five institutions place a focus on small class sizes to allow for a higher level of personal interaction and direction between students and faculty. Many industrial leaders from a range of corporate sectors are involved in the teaching at Alamo Colleges District institutions, passing on their experience to students to help prepare them for real life scenarios.

There is a significant Hispanic community at Alamo Colleges District institutions, particularly at San Antonio College, and as a result of this there is a reputation for excellent English as a Second Language programs. This makes Alamo Colleges District programs popular with international students, who can complete their academic coursework with the tailored guidance of staff before moving on to four-year colleges and universities if they wish to continue their education.

Alamo Colleges District also provides qualified staff to assist with international student services, such as admissions, immigration advice and student health service options.

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Department structure

Department structure

The Alamo Colleges District includes five independently accredited colleges in its network, namely Northeast Lakeview College, Northwest Vista College, Palo Alto College, St. Philip's College and San Antonio College. Programs across these five institutions fall into one of six different departments.

Creative and Communication Arts Institute:

Designed for students who demonstrate an interest in areas such as arts, communications and technology, the Creative and Communications Arts Institute can prepare students for careers in a range of industries by equipping them with skills such as designing, performing, writing and producing.

Business and Entrepreneurship Institute:

This institute looks to prepare students for careers in a range of different sectors, equipping them with practical business skills which open a range of doors and encourage creativity. Future careers could focus on anything from investment banking to travel-related services and anything in between.

Health and Biosciences Institute:

Educating students on health sciences such as biotechnology, health informatics, diagnostic services, support services, therapeutic services and research and development.

Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics Institute:

Covering everything from architecture and planning to manufacturing, distribution and logistics, this institute covers a vast range of industries and offers a number of exciting opportunities.

Public Service Institute:

Has a focus on those interested in the public service sector, from anything to public safety and security to education, law, administration and government.

Science and Technology Institute:

Benefitting from a state-of-the-art new center, students learning at the Science and Technology Institute can focus on an array of areas such as agriculture, IT, science, engineering and mathematics.

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Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Apply Now!

Tips on Applying

International students need to complete an admissions application and an online application to their chosen Alamo College institution.

Alamo Colleges accept international students who have obtained the equivalent of a high school diploma in a foreign country. The process can take four to six weeks and incomplete applications will not be reviewed. See check list below for full information.

Application Checklist

  • Complete admissions application online
  • Complete and return international I-20 Application Form
  • Provide Financial Statements to meet cost of attendance.
  • Provide official transcripts from high school and/or college, either original copies or translated by American Translators Association and evaluated by an organization meeting NACES endorsed quality guidelines.
  • Prove English Language Proficiency by ESOL course level
  • Prove English Language proficiency by either TOEFL (500 score), iBT TOEFL (61), IELTS (5.0) or take ESL program.
  • Attach photo ID.
  • A complete statement of understanding.
  • Pay USD 100 processing fee either online or by cashier check or money order attached to application.
  • Transfer students submit copies of visa, passport, I 94 and current and previous I 20.

Cost of Attending

Estimated costs per year total around USD 25,000. This can be broken down to USD 11,258 for tuition and fees, USD 2,074 for books and supplies, USD 8,500 for rental and housing expenses and USD 3,168 for other miscellaneous expenses.

Application Deadlines

International students are accepted during fall and spring semesters, whilst transfer students from other US colleges may be eligible for summer semesters. Deadline for fall and summer semesters is May 15 for new students or July 1 for transfer students. Spring semester deadline is October 15 for new students or Dec 1 for transfer students.

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Alamo Colleges facilities are accessible from around San Antonio, with campuses based across the city and sites just outside to give ease of access from many areas in the district. St Philip's College has campuses on the east and southwest sides of San Antonio, whilst San Antonio College is conveniently placed in midtown, just north of the downtown area. Northeast Lakeview College is a modern facility located in a picturesque setting northeast of the city, whilst the Northwest Vista College enjoys a stunning lakeside location on the west side of San Antonio. Palo Alto College is located in the south of the city – and all five facilities are in modern buildings equipped to meet students' requirements.

There has been a great deal of investment into the facilities at Alamo Colleges in recent years, and that is continuing to develop. A new STEM Center has recently opened, whilst a top class District Support Operations building to bring three smaller sites into one multi-purpose building is being constructed right now.

The facilities at Alamo Colleges are convenient, flexible and useful for students living and studying in an exciting city such as San Antonio.

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Scholarships & funding

Scholarships & funding

International students at the Alamo Colleges District benefit from saving money on tuition and fees as compared to four-year universities. Whereas scholarships are limited and competitive, the money saved on lower tuition is available to all students. There are a limited number of scholarships for current students and students can also apply for the Texas Public Education Grant (TPEG).

This funding is on a first come, first served basis and can range between $200-$2000 per year. The Texas Public Education Grant is designed to provide assistance to those in financial need, with preference given to those studying for their first undergraduate or postgraduate degree. Any current student at Alamo Colleges can apply and, if they demonstrate financial need to be awarded a grant, the money does not need to be repaid.

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International students

Average cost of living in United States

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Join us at Alamo Colleges

Total average cost: $1767

  • $816
  • $677
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    Daily life
  • $176
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