Financial Aid

Our articles will provide you with the tools and resources needed to make sure you are qualifying for all the financial aid available, as well as maintaining your aid throughout your college career. Get the latest news on student loan interest rates, learn what to do when your financial aid is late, and explore all of your financial aid options.
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Although community colleges are significantly more affordable than four-year institutions, the tuition, administration fees, living costs, and book expenses can add up quickly. Unfortunately, according to 2008 research conducted by the Project on Student Debt, one out of 10 community college students cannot access federal student loans. For these students, Pell Grants often become the primary source of education funding.
 
However, if your community college offers federal student loans – which the majority of large, public, non-rural campuses do – then you may want to consider federal work study (FWS) programs, which are also known as Formula Grants.  
 
Unlike other forms of financial aid that are strictly given as grants and loans, the work-study program helps fund your education through your working efforts. The federal government provides your community college with specific grants, and then your campus works with community and nonprofit organizations to create job opportunities for qualified students. You are paid an hourly wage for your work, which is typically higher than minimum wage. 
 
The advantages of work-study programs
 
Garnering real-life experience
 
Attending community college prepares you for the real world, and with a work-study program, you can take that preparation to the next level. Due to the supply of work-study jobs, you are essentially “guaranteed” a job, if you qualify for the FWS program. Due to the significant incentives employers have, you are more likely to be hired for your job of choice under the FWS program. 
 
Graduating from college with a degree is no longer sufficient for garnering an ideal job. As the economy becomes more competitive, it...
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Embarking on a community college experience can be overwhelming for many students. After all, rising costs of education can quickly eat away at your savings or your earnings from a part-time job. For this reason, a loan may be just the answer you've been looking for. An educational loan can help you pay for community college, allowing you to work towards your degree without the added stress of wondering how you will pay for it. A student loan can be repaid over time, once you've completed your education.
 
It is important to keep in mind that borrowing money is expensive, even if it is in the form of a government-subsidized loan at a relatively low interest rate. If you have any money saved, or are able to work and attend community college part-time, these may be some great options to avoid having a large amount of debt upon graduation. Only you, your parents, and possibly a financial advisor can determine the borrowing/savings scenario that is ideal for you.
 
There are a number of different education loans available, each one uniquely tailored to address the needs of certain individuals (Kantrowitz, 2007 - 2). When the federal government offers loans to students, these loans usually have low interest rates. The Stafford Loan is the main vehicle by which the government loans money to students. Stafford Loans are further broken down into two subcategories:
  • Subsidized - In this case, the interest on your loan is paid by the government while you are still...
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Embarking on a journey of higher education can be exciting, confusing and stressful all at the same time. To help with the financial aspect of education, current and prospective community college students are in a unique position to choose from various forms of student aid available. As you navigate your way through the myriad of financing options out there, let this overview help you in making the right decisions about financing your education.
 
While the average college tuition rates are rising fast across the country, you may be pleased to learn that the average cost of tuition at a community college is just under $2,300 per year (American Association of Community Colleges 2007). Although this cost is relatively low when compared to 4-year institutions, many students still find themselves looking for ways to finance their community college education. Unfortunately, it is also a fact that most parents are either unwilling or unable, for various financial or personal reasons, to finance all of the costs of sending their child to a community college.
 
You may be surprised to learn that there are over 1,200 community colleges across the country. In fact, 11.6 million students, just under half of all U.S. undergraduates, attend community colleges. Of those students, 47% receive some sort of financial aid (American Association of Community Colleges 2007).
 
The federal government alone provided more than $78 billion in various types of aid to college students last year (U.S. Department of Education, 2007). Although there is some indication that financial aid...
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Financing

FINANCIAL AID