Differences among community colleges present challenges for national policies that promote student access and success. Tuition is a significant barrier in some places but is covered for disadvantaged students elsewhere. Traditional success metrics carry different meanings depending on an institution’s mission, student body, and other factors. Preparing students to transfer to four-year colleges is a central mission for some community colleges, but others almost exclusively prepare students to go directly into the workforce. Given these realities, different programmatic, pedagogical, and financing strategies will be necessary to help students meet wide-ranging goals.