Saving Money

This section is full of money saving tips for community college students. From free textbooks to finding affordable childcare, we’ll provide you with a wealth of information on keeping college affordable.
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Amidst an economic crisis, rising tuition costs, and a more competitive job market, community college students looking for ways to generate income. One alternative wage-earning option helping students to make ends meet involves monitored drug trials and clinical studies. In fact, as North Jersey News reveals, “Joining a study has compelling advantages... You can take pride in helping others.” Adding to the benefits gained by researchers and patients, students enrolled in safe and controlled clinical trials are able to earn extra cash to help cover the many costs of their education and living expenses.
 
Yet, before signing up, experts assert that students must be aware of the serious potential cons amidst the seemingly ideal pros.
 
Drug Trial Opportunities
 
While each community college campus, as well as nearby hospitals and universities, typically offer their own unique opportunities for clinical studies and trials, students often seek out more widely available venues as well. For example, companies such as GPGP, a free online directory service listing an array of of volunteer-based trial opportunities, allows interested individuals to pursue thousands of national and even international research studies. As GPGP explains, “Volunteering for strictly regulated and ethical approved studies can be an excellent way to help to pay educational costs, supplement your income while working, or fund your travels while spending time in foreign countries.”
 
Individuals who are healthy, eligible, and who comply with all of the required study mandates can enjoy an added income with minimal extra hours of work. Examples of . . . read more

Did you know that your local community college medical clinic may be an excellent source of free health care? In fact, USA Today reports that community area clinics helped nearly seven million uninsured patients in 2008! Considering that nearly 21 percent of the nation’s citizens are currently struggling to pay medical and prescription drug bills, community college clinics are playing a large role in helping to fill the financial void.    
 
How Can Community Colleges Provide Free Services?
 
Free healthcare services at your local community college may seem too good to be true. After all, how can community colleges afford to provide free medical treatment?  The answer lies in innovation.  Through creative programs, community colleges leverage student support to create opportunities for free healthcare.  
 
For example, students who are enrolled in dental programs, health care classes, and other medical fields are often required to participate in hands-on field practice. Community college clinics provide students in the medical fields with realistic training experiences – which translate into a mutually beneficial situation for both the students and community. 
 
In these clinics, students often hold the responsibility of providing examination and health services to any incoming patients. These students, of course, are highly qualified in their area of study, and they are also required to be supervised by a certified and licensed professional. This translates into solid medical care for the community. 
 
Free Health Services at Local Community Colleges
Many community colleges recognize the rising struggle to balance one’s budget with demanding health care costs. Subsequently, more schools are implementing free health . . . read more

In a slow economy, single parents often feel the brunt of financial difficulties first. To help all students achieve their academic goals, a rising number of community colleges are providing single parents with special financial support. In fact, single parents may qualify for reduced or even free tuition that can help them increase their skills and competitiveness in the job market.
 
The Tremendous Costs of Single Parenting
 
Many community colleges across the country are recognizing that single parents face a greater set of financial difficulties than other students. Examining the struggles of single parents, Stamford Plus and the Connecticut’s Fairfield County Community Foundation (FCCF) found that a single parent with one child, living in the Fairfield area, requires a minimum income of $58,000 each year—and this estimate only covers a parent and child’s basic costs! 
 
Adding to this, the FCCF reports that 21,000 local households are comprised of single female parent with a child or children under the age of 18. To respond to this large population’s needs, Norwalk Community College (NCC) has become a leader in the education field, providing new and innovative programs to support single parents. 
 
On Campus, Single Parents Are Not Alone
 
Located in Norwalk, Connecticut, NCC has created a new Family Economic Security Program (FESP). With support from the Fairfield County Community Foundation’s Fund for Women and Girls, along with the NCC Foundation, eligible students will have access to NCC’s budget of $25,000 per year for the next five years! 
 
Designed to specifically help low income families who are supporting children, . . . read more

Many community college students juggle various personal responsibilities along with their academic requirements. Specifically, many community college students have young children and families to care for and support. Recognizing the importance of family and the lack of quality, affordable childcare in some cities, community colleges are implementing programs to offer support for their student-parents.
 
Community Colleges and Financial Support
 
Many state and local governments provide student-parents with financial aid, grants, and support, depending upon each student’s needs and family dynamic. For example, students at Wake Tech Community College can apply for the Childcare Grant. To be eligible, student-parents must demonstrate high financial need and be able to qualify for the federal Pell Grant. Additionally, they must be a single parent or a stay-at-home parent who is returning to school.

If awarded the grant, the student-parent will receive $650 per month to pay for childcare services. To maintain eligibility, student-parents must adhere to the following regulations:

  • Maintain at least a 2.0 GPA.
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and be eligible for the Pell Grant.
  • Must be enrolled in a degree, diploma, or transfer credit program.
  • Submit monthly attendance sheets documenting class attendance.

By following these guidelines, students can focus on their coursework and not have to worry about the financial strain of paying for childcare.
 
Am I Eligible for the Childcare Grant?
 
As Wake Tech explains, “Funds for the Childcare Grant are limited and eligibility standards will be strictly observed. Students with the greatest need will be served first.” According to reports, . . . read more

With the dramatically rising costs of tuition, many families are turning towards the financially-savvy decision of starting on the higher education path first at a two-year community college.   Many universities, both public and private, have articulation agreements with local community colleges. Therefore, attending a community college for two years before transferring to a four-year institution can save significant amounts of money – while still providing you with an excellent bachelor’s degree from the university of your choice. 
 
According to the College Board, for the 2007 – 2008 school year, community college’s average tuition and fees are $2,360. This is in contrast to $6,185 at a public four-year institution, or $23,712 for a private four year institution. 
 
Calculating the specific academic savings
 
For example, let us calculate the savings if you begin your academic career at Pasadena City College, which has articulation transfer agreements with the public UC campuses and the private University of Southern California. 
 
If you are a resident of California and attend Pasadena City College full-time, which is based upon 12 units, then you have the following annual academic costs:
 
- Tuition and Fees: $508
 
- Books and school supplies: $1500
 
In contrast, at the private University of Southern California, you have the following full-time annual academic costs:
 
- Tuition and fees: $30,850
 
- Books: $1,000
 
At a public, University of California campus, the annual full-time academic costs for a California resident are:
 
-  Tuition and Fees: $8,385
 
- Books: 1,300 
 
If you attended Pasadena Community College for the first two years, your tuition and books would only cost $4,016. At a . . . read more
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SAVING MONEY