Just to give you an example of how liberal arts degrees work over here (at least in my own case), for the college that I'm transferring to, the general education requirements involve humanities, math, foreign languages, english, social sciences, and natural sciences, and for my degree the school requires nearly 2 years of course work to complete. Some schools are more like a year and a half. Once I transfer, I could complete my major in a little over a year; some people (with different majors) could complete their major requirements in one year worth of work. For me to go to a regular 4 year school to take all the general ed stuff would cost a lot more than going to a 2 year community college, even though they both teach the same classes (Intro to Psychology, Intro to Art History, Intro to Sociology, Computer Technology, etc.). If I took those general education courses at the school I'm transferring to it would be over $27,000 for those two years. At the community college I'm finishing up at those two years cost probably about $9,000.