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Mountain Empire Community College

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Mountain Empire Community College recognizes the unique and varied needs of a diverse community and strives to meet those needs by offering educational opportunities at a number of levels. Many of the programs don’t require a high school education but there are some that do so students should work closely with the school to ensure that they meet the requirements to enroll in their program of interest.

Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees offer students the opportunity to complete the first two years of a bachelor’s degree at MECC. Students take all of the core classes that they would normally take in their freshman and sophomore years and then transfer to a four-year university in order to complete the baccalaureate degree. This allows students to save money on tuition and housing and remain close to home.

Students who wish to acquire technical skills in order to start a new career that offers a professional environment and better pay may earn an Associate of Applied Science degree. There are nearly 30 areas of study in this program including police science, accounting, criminal justice and forestry science. There is a funeral science program that allows students to study general requirement courses while pursuing an Associates of Applied Science in Funeral Science through distance education courses offered by John Tyler Community College.

Certificates are a wonderful option for people who either want to specialize in a specific area of their careers or begin learning skills that they may utilize in order to pursue a higher degree.

Career studies are designed to meet occupational or adult interest requirements such as continuing education requirements or other education required for professional certification.

The dual enrollment program allows local high school students to pursue college credits while still attending high school. It’s actually possible to have earned an associate’s degree upon graduating from high school. Students must be at least 14 to register unless there is a special exception made. High school students also need permission both from their high school and their parents.

Finally, Mountain Empire Community College understands that some people want to pursue a higher education but can’t attend traditional classroom courses. To meet this growing need, there are distance learning programs that can be taken online or via DVD.

Most Popular Fields of Study


Mountain Empire Community College has an open enrollment policy and all students that seek to gain an education are welcome to enroll. There are many types of students that are eligible for enrollment because the college offers a variety of programs to meet the diverse needs of its community. Students eligible for enrollment include:

  • high school graduates
  • transfer students
  • students attending other accredited colleges or universities
  • people without a high school diploma that are over 18 and can benefit from an education
  • current high school students who are at least 14 that have permission from their high school and their parents
  • students below 14 that apply for special consideration

Some programs require a high school diploma prior to acceptance. Students should check with Mountain Empire Community College to determine what is required by the program that they wish to enroll in. If students don’t meet the criteria for a particular program, the college offers opportunities to obtain the prerequisites. There are even high school equivalency classes.

Financial Aid

There are numerous forms of financial aid available to MECC students including scholarships, grants, loans and work-study programs. In order to be eligible for financial aid students need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid which is available online starting in January. Financial information for both the student and family is required so students should have this information readily available prior to completing the form.

In addition to federal assistance, there is also state and local aid available. Some of these include the following:

  • Commonwealth Award
  • Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program
  • College Scholarship Assistance Program
  • Presidential Honor Scholarship
  • Mary Marshall Nursing Scholarship
  • Restricted Scholarships
  • MECC Foundation Scholarship

Student Financial Aid Details

Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Virginia.


Mountain Empire Community College doesn’t offer an intercollegiate athletic program but there are a number of intramural sports including basketball, flag football and volleyball. There are also numerous hiking, running and climbing opportunities due to the mountains surrounding the school. There are also caving and rafting opportunities available within a reasonable distance.


  • Mountain Empire Community College. Mountain Empire Community College. 2011. Web. 31 July 2011.

Information Summary

Ranks 72nd in Virginia and 3073rd overall
See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list

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College Campus :: Mountain Empire Community College

Campus Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 Students
Aggravated assault N/A N/A
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Rape N/A N/A
Robbery N/A N/A
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary N/A N/A
Larceny N/A N/A
Vehicle theft N/A N/A
Arrest N/A N/A

Local Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 People
Aggravated assault 7 0.12
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Forcible Rape 2 0.04
Robbery 2 0.04
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 30 0.53
Larceny 193 3.40
Vehicle theft 9 0.16

Student Enrollment Demographics

Demographics – Main Campus and Surrounding Areas

Reported area around or near Big Stone Gap, VA 24219
Surrounding communityDistant town (between 10 to 35 mi. away from an urban cluster)
Total Population11,083 (6,285 urban / 4,798 rural)
Households4,474 (2.43 people per house)
Median Household Income$26,297
Families3,188 (2.93 people per family)

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Associate's — Public Rural-serving Medium
Undergraduate PopulationMixed part/full-time two-year
EnrollmentExclusively undergraduate two-year
Size & SettingMedium two-year

General Characteristics

Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
Highest offeringAssociate's degree
Calendar SystemSemester
Years of college work requiredN/A
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationN/A
Congressional District5109

Special Learning Opportunities

Distance LearningN/A
ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
Study Abroad
Weekend College
Teacher Certification

Student Tuition Costs and Fees

Ranks 3988th for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $2,940 $2,940 $7,178
FT Undergraduate Required Fees $252 $252 $684
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $133 $133 $328
FT Graduate Tuition N/A N/A N/A
FT Graduate Required Fees N/A N/A N/A
PT Graduate per Credit Hour N/A N/A N/A
Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $4,392 $4,392 $9,062
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $11,792 $11,792 $16,462
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $9,192 $9,192 $13,862

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $2,924 $3,060 $2,924 $3,060 $7,526 $7,670
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies $1,000 $1,200
On-Campus – Room & Board N/A(N/C)
On-Campus – Other Expenses N/A(N/C)
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board $2,600(N/C)
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses $4,000 $4,800
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board $4,800(N/C)

Admission Criteria

 = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
Open Admissions
Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record N/A /  N/A /  N/A
College Prep. CompletionN/A
Formal competency demoN/A
Admission test scoresN/A
Other testsN/A

Admission Credits Accepted

Dual Credit
Life Experience
Advanced Placement (AP)

Student Services

Remedial Services
Academic / Career Counseling
PT Cost-defraying Employment
Career Placement
On-Campus Day Care
Library Facility

Student Living

First-time Room / Board Required
Dorm CapacityN/A
Meals per WeekN/A
Room FeeN/A
Board FeeN/A

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 3104th for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $53,252 ($53,481 male / $55,697 female)
Number of FT Faculty 45 (27 male / 18 female)
Number of PT Faculty 137
FT Faculty Ratio 0.3 : 1
Total Benefits $1,340,716

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3441 Mountain Empire Road
Big Stone Gap, VA 24219
p. 276-523-2400
w. www.mecc.edu

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