Southwestern College


Located betwen San Diego and the border between the United States and Mexico, Southwestern College was established in 1961 and is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Being the only institute of higher learning in southern San Diego County, the college is in a unique position to provide learning opportunities to a diverse population. Students attending may earn an associate’s degree, begin undergraduate studies, or attain skills training on one of the college’s three campuses. Southwestern consistently places in the top one hundred community colleges in the number of associate’s degrees awarded overall and in the top five for associate’s degrees awarded to Hispanic students. The college understands the unique needs of its community and strives to meet those needs by providing a wide array of educational opportunities.

Information Summary

Ranks 258th in California and 2710th overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 54.6
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $3,255
Admission Success rate N/A
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 34 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 72% / 52%
Enrollment Total (all students) 18,569


Southwestern College understands that it is often difficult to take classes on-campus during the day, so it proudly offers a variety of options for completing coursework in order to make education available to all. Classes are available in several different mediums including the traditional classroom setting, online, hybrid (a combination of online and classroom), and web-enhanced. The college strives to make higher education accessible to all.

Degrees and Certificates

Southwestern College offers over three hundred associate’s degree and career and technical programs for students seeking to start a new career, improve current skills or transfer to a four-year institution to complete a bachelor’s degree. Many people have neither the time, the financial resources or the inclination to invest four years into gaining the skills to start a new career and a technical degree or certificate is the perfect alternative for them. In two years or less, the student is ready to start a new career. For students wishing to begin their baccalaureate, a community college such as Southwest College is an option that allows them to stay close to home and save a significant amount of money in tuition while completing the first two years of a degree. Degrees and certificates offered at Southwestern College include fields such as business management, dental hygiene, exercise management and culinary arts.

Students enrolling in degree and certificate programs should be aware that there may be prerequisites to classes and additional requirements for registration so it is recommended that the student contact the school to determine exactly what the journey to a new career entails.

Continuing Education

Students from all walks of life may benefit from taking courses at Southwestern College. Many professions require that a certain number of continuing education credits be taken in a certain time period in order for the professional to remain current in a career and maintain state licensure. The college provides classes to students in a wide array of professions that meet state-mandated criteria. Some people would just like to learn a new hobby or improve basic skills such as reading, math or writing. There is a large variety classes for students seeking these educational opportunities as well. Many of these types of classes are offered on a noncredit basis and are federally subsidized so that there is no charge to the student.

Most Popular Fields of Study


All students who do not live in an area immediately surrounding Southwestern College should be aware that the college does not provide on-campus housing. Students needing housing will be responsible for locating their own accommodations and should thus make that a priority when applying to and registering for classes at the college.

Southwestern College has an open enrollment policy and admissions to the college is extremely easy. Citizens of the United States that wish to apply for credit courses may simply go to the school website and complete the online College Admissions application. Students will then receive registration and tuition information and a student identification number via email. In order to register for continuing education classes, there are two different applications. The first is for noncredit courses that are offered at no cost to he student. These courses are federally subsidized and may be applied for by downloading the Noncredit Application and submitting it in person. Any courses requiring a fee may be applied for online by completing the Fee-Class Registration Form.

International students may download the International Student Information and Registration Packet. For potential students who live within seventy-five miles of the border, the school requires the International Commuter Student Application which is also available online. Students should be aware that Southwest College requires proof of proficiency in speaking, understanding, reading and writing English because a student who does not have full command of the English language will not be able to succeed in coursework. In order to prove proficiency all international students must take and pass with a minimum score the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). This requirement is waived if the student is a resident of a country that has English as a primary language in its educational system. Students required to take the TOEFL must have scores submitted directly to the college prior to application deadlines.

International students must also have graduated from the equivalent of high school or obtained a GED. Official transcripts must be sent in certified English-translated form along with transcripts of any college work completed, immigration documents, and financial resources that provide proof of ability to pay for tuition, books and fees. Students seeking admission are also required to write a short, hand-written essay outlining educational goals and personal background. Applications for the fall semester must be submitted by April 30 and applications for the spring semester are due by October 1.

Acceptance letters for international students will be sent approximately thirty days after the application deadline. Once accepted, the student must then submit a non-refundable deposit that will be applied to tuition upon registration. Southwestern College will then provide an I-20 form. Next, students will need to complete three steps in order to complete the registration process. First, orientation must be attended. Forms such as a passport/visa, Form I-20 and Form I-94 must be produced by the student at this time. Next, the student will need to take the placement tests and participate in academic advising. While attending, international students must be enrolled in a minimum of twelve credit hours per semester and maintain a minimum grade point average. Students must also obtain the Accident and Sickness Insurance Policy available via the college.

Financial Aid

Southwestern College strives to provide an education to all who seek one regardless of financial status. In order to make educational goals a reality, the college offers financial aid in the form of scholarships, state and federal loans and grants and on-campus work programs. In order to be eligible for financial aid, students must be citizens of the United States, registed to take at least six units per semester, make progress toward educational goals and demonstrate financial need. The first step to obtaining financial aid is completing the Free Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA) available online by January or February of the academic year prior to registration. Financial Information for both the student and family will be required so this information should be available prior to starting the application. The prospective student should complete this application as early as possible so that funds are available by registration. Financial aid may be used for tuition, fees, books and living expenses. The application is available either at the school’s financial aid office or online.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 6663rd for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in California.


The Southwestern College Jaguars Athletics Program participates in the Foothill Conference and offers several different sports for students to participate in. The school offers men’s and women’s basketball, soccer, tennis, track and field, swim and dive, cross country and water polo. Men also have the opportunity to compete in baseball and football while women have the additional choices of volleyball and softball. The program is extremely competitive and fairly successful. The school colors are gold and maroon.

Additional School Information

Southwestern College has an award-winning newspaper called The Sun. Students work very hard on this newspaper and strive to offer valuable information about campus life in a fun, easy to read format. The newspaper writes about a variety of topics including current campus news, community activities and sports. The Sun consistently wins national awards for its quality and content.

The college doesn’t offer Greek fraternities or sororities but does have numerous other clubs and organizations in which students may participate in order to become active members of campus life. Some of these include Debate, Performing Arts, Hip Hop Nation and Psi Beta. With a wide variety to choose from, students that want to participate in campus life will have no problem finding a club or organization that interests them.

Southwestern College offers a large variety of federally subsidized, noncredit classes that students may take at no charge to them. This is a unique service that the college provides and contributes greatly to the improvement of its community. With free classes available in a variety of mediums, there is no reason why anybody that wants to advance an education can’t.

Disability Support Services is a comprehensive service that the school has established in a further attempt to make education available to all. Some of the services that the DSS provide include sign language services, test proctoring, academic advising and registration assistance.

There is a public transportation system available that students requiring transportation to school may take advantage of. Fares are reasonable and an annual pass my be purchased as well.


  • Southwestern College. Southwestern College. 2011. Web. 25 April 2011.
  • The Sun Southwestern College. The Sun Southwestern College Newspaper. 2011. Web. 25 April 2011.

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