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The 15 Biggest College Campuses in the U.S.

In the U.S., we take our college learning seriously. Indeed, nearly everyone is expected to get some sort of college education — whether it’s and Associate Degree, or a Ph.D. Some college education can really make a difference in the way that you earn money down the road. An Associate Degree will provide you with better earning power than a high school diploma. This knowledge means that the U.S. has a large number of college students.

Indeed, some colleges in the U.S. are so large that there are more than 500,000 students attending. Smaller campuses might only have a few hundred students, but the largest have tens of thousands. It can be somewhat daunting to attend a school that large, though. It’s a good thing that there are so many options, including online schools where you can learn with the help of technology. If you are interested in school size, here are the 15 biggest college campuses, by enrollment, using total enrollment numbers for 2009. The list includes schools with online campuses and multiple campuses, from the U.S. Department of Education’s Integrated Post-secondary Education Data System:

15. College of Southern Nevada

Located in north Las Vegas, the College of Southern Nevada has 59,691 students at three main campuses in the metro Vegas area, as well as smaller campus locations. This campus has plenty of students who are also enrolled online, as well as coming to the campus. You, of course, have access to the bright lights of Vegas, as well as being within a fairly easy drive of the attractions in Southern California.

14. Tarrant County College District

Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, Tarrant County College District boasts an enrollment of 62,488. This is a community college that provides a number of Associate Degree programs. The five campuses, with a central location as headquarters, make it possible for students to easily attend class.

13. Ohio State University

With 62,807 enrolled, Ohio State University has long been seen as one of the giants in college education. A large research institution, Ohio State is also a land grant university with a large tract of land. On top of that, the school has a rich athletic tradition. It’s considered a place where you can have the quintessential college experience.

12. Austin Community College District

Another community college district in Texas, the Austin Community College District is one of the largest campus systems by enrollment, with 64,276 students. Eight campuses in the Austin area provide access to that city’s hip culture and music scene, as well as providing Associate Degrees that we can use.

11. University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

There’s plenty to do when you attend the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Minneapolis/St. Paul offers sports, culture, arts, shopping and dining. It’s also not far from plenty of outdoor activities. With an enrollment of 65,006, you’ll always have someone to hang out with.

10. Northern Virginia Community College

One of the great things about community college is your ability to get an Associate Degree at a good cost. Perhaps that is why there are so many community colleges on this list. Northern Virginia Community College boasts an enrollment of 65,175. The campus system is easy to attend, with its multiple locations.

9. Lone Star College System

Get access to a good two-year education with help from the Lone Star College System. With an enrollment of 69,340 across several campuses, Lone Star makes attending college fairly simple. It’s a great way to get an Associate Degree.

8. Strayer University

With 74,713 students enrolled, Strayer University is in the business of education. Located in Washington, D.C., this university offers plenty of opportunity for interesting excursions. Strayer has multiple campuses, as well as an accredited online degree program.

7. Arizona State University

Arizona State University features campuses around the Phoenix area, with a total enrollment of 75,341. The sun shines year round, and there are plenty of interesting things to see and do, especially if you have an interest in the desert. You can also enjoy a sports program and a variety of course offerings.

6. Ashford University

Headquartered in Clinton, IA, Ashford University has multiple campuses and an online program. The university was established in 1918, and evolved as a technologically advanced institution of higher learning. There are 78,353 students enrolled with Ashford. The university is known for its accessible education — something that is important given the focus the U.S. has on education.

5. Houston Community College

Texas is big, and that includes its educational systems. Houston Community College has 78,780 students enrolled, and is known for its career-centered programs. You can get an Associate Degree through this college, which is located in metropolis Houston, and has a number of campuses.

4. Miami Dade College

With 96,123 students enrolled, Miami Dade College definitely has plenty of students to get to know and learn with. There are several campuses in the Miami area, where you can earn an Associate Degree while enjoy some time in the sun. Miami Dade College also features online course offerings.

3. Kaplan University

Headquartered in Davenport, IA, Kaplan University reaches out to its 96,166 through multiple campuses and online course offerings. It’s amazing how many students are gaining an education through Kaplan, especially online. It’s a great way to earn an Associate Degree, as well as other degrees. You can attend the way that is most comfortable for you, whether it’s in person or online.

2. Community College of the Air Force

We sometimes don’t think of the military as having community colleges. However, the Community College of the Air Force is available for enlisted airmen and airwomen. With an enrollment of 324,573, this is the largest community college system in the world. Community College of the Air Force has campuses all over the world, as well as in the United States, but the headquarters is in Montgomery, Alabama.

1. University of Phoenix

With multiple campuses around the United States, plus a widely online campus, it isn’t a surprise that the University of Phoenix has the largest enrollment of all, with 532,672 students. These students learn online, as well as going in to campuses to get in-person instruction. University of Phoenix is known for its flexibility for learning.