March 20, 2013
Choosing a college is an important step that can directly impact a student’s success. Once a college is chosen, the reality of paying for higher education begins to creep into the picture. By selecting a community college, students have already made a frugal choice for their future. However, even community college is far from free. Check out these 10 financial aid tips that will help you pay your way through community college.
Earn Credits before College
You can begin paying for college long before you even apply. How? By earning college credits while you are still in high school. Many community colleges now work with neighboring high schools to allow students to dual-enroll
in both college and high school classes simultaneously. Many of these programs do not charge tuition to the students taking college classes, but offer credit for the courses just the same.
Determine Your Needs
Before you begin filling out financial aid forms, ABC Chicago
recommends you get a rough idea of how much money you will actually need. Take the total cost of tuition at the college you will be attending and add on living expenses if you will be living on your own, books and other essentials. Subtract the amount you have saved, as well as any money provided by your parents. Now you have a ballpark figure of how much money you still need to come up with to pay for your entire education.
When it comes to financial aid, the early bird really does land...read more
June 14, 2012
The United States is facing a debt crisis of epic proportions, but it may not be in the area consumers would suspect. Huffington Post
cites statistics from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York that show student debt
has now surpassed credit card debt in this country. It is no wonder that media is literally littered with reports of student debt defaults today. To make matters worse, the source of student debt is no longer community colleges and four-year public institutions. Instead, that debt is going directly to for-profit schools
that charge students plenty in tuition rates, but deliver little in return.
For-Profits Enjoy Prosperity
This is not the case with for-profit colleges. Institutions like the University of Phoenix and ITT Technical Institute are enjoying significant prosperity these days, as they take a bigger piece of the federal funding pie through student loans courtesy of Uncle Sam. Floyd Norris of...read more
March 02, 2012
The deadline for submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is looming, and colleges across the country are offering assistance with financial aid paperwork
. This basic form, which is the first step in gaining grants or loans
from the federal government, have helped many students pay for the rising costs of higher education. For those with questions about the FAFSA, answers may be as close as their local community college.
What is FAFSA?
The FAFSA is the first step in the financial aid process, whether students are looking for federal or state assistance. According to a report at the Rhode Show
, this mother of all financial aid forms allows the federal government to determine a student’s eligibility for financial aid. The states also use the paperwork to determine whether students qualify for loans or grants at the state level. Colleges and universities use the information on the FAFSA to get an idea of just how much financial aid a student might need to attend a specific school.
The FAFSA opens the door to a variety of financial aid options, including the popular Stafford loans
and grad PLUS loans. Student loans like these are preferable to private loans for most students because they come with low interest rates and an array of consumer protections and benefits. One of the most attractive features of some of these loans is an Income-Based Repayment Plan that allows students to pay off balances in increments they can afford once they graduate...
May 12, 2011
Community colleges are known for their low-cost education
options that help students with limited funds get the training they need to find good jobs after graduation
. However, many hopeful students are realizing that even community college can become an "impossible dream," once they discover federal loans are not available for many of these institutions.
A recent study from the Institute for College Access and Success
found that more than one million students across 31 states do not have access to the federal loans they need to make a college education a reality. We will explore the reasons behind this reality, and how it impacts the ability of adults to get the education and training they need today.
What Federal Loans can Do
The Institute for College Access and Success
conducted this study through their initiative, Project on Student Debt, which is committed to helping make college more available and affordable to students of all backgrounds. The study states that community colleges serve a variety of purposes, from awarding associate degrees
to providing workforce training
and lifelong learning opportunities
for students of all ages. These schools are designed to serve students of all backgrounds and income levels, ensuring everyone in this country has access to necessary training to land good jobs after graduation. Community colleges are currently educating 40 percent of all the undergraduate students across the country.
The low tuition and fee rates have historically made these institutions more affordable than other schools...read more
September 30, 2010
Increasing amounts of financial aid have made the community college track more affordable
today. However, students who have been awarded financial aid are quickly finding that getting approved for financial aid
and actually getting a check to pay for mounting expenses are not necessarily one and the same.
Community college financial aid offices are getting inundated with financial aid applications
this year, as more students are finding reasons to head to these two-year institutions to prepare them for the workforce. At the same time, budget cuts
are reducing the number of staff available to process this expansive number of applications. The result at many community colleges is a backlog of requests that will take many weeks to process.
This is not good news for thousands of community college students who rely on those financial aid checks to pay for basic necessities like food and rent, as well as the cost of tuition
and books. If the checks don't arrive timely, some students are faced with the realization that they may not be able to live up to their lease obligations, purchase the textbooks
they need or put food on the table. If financial aid doesn't come soon, some may be forced to abandon their education.
In some cases, the colleges are doing what they can to help cash-strapped students eke by until the aid check arrives. Some colleges are waiving fees for late tuition payments and others are offering interest free loans
June 06, 2013
After two dismal summers with few courses to choose from, California community colleges are back in action this summer with plenty of offerings for their students.
About Community College,
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Make sure you are qualifying for all the financial aid available, as well as maintaining your aid for your entire college career.
Note: Data has been gathered from the Dept. of Education, schools, and commercial data sources.