Financing

Paying for community college can be overwhelming. Use the tools, resources and tips within this section to help you finance your education. From student loans to scholarships, we’ll cover the most common financial aid options available to community college students. Get money saving tips, learn more about Pell grants, and explore the federal work-study program.
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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

As a response to the weakened economy, workplaces across the country are cutting back on their employees and salaries. While this may come as a devastating and unexpected surprise for many workers, some community colleges view this unfortunate downturn as a potential time for new opportunities.  
 
Some community colleges are providing students with "insurance" against unemployment, while others are outright giving free tuition to students.  While many community colleges have independently been offering residents free or reduced tuition, federal legislation may give unemployed individuals across the nation free access to further education. 
 
Pending Legislation for Greater Support  
 
In light of recent job cuts across the United States, many residents and leaders support plans to offer reduced or free tuition for unemployed citizens. As The Pittsburgh Gazette reports, Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senator Bob Casey is one of the many senators and government officials proclaiming that reduced tuition may help foster an improved workforce for the future. Casey hopes to pass legislation that would create an Unemployment Tuition Assistance Program in the Department of Labor, wherein individuals who are receiving unemployment payments will be automatically notified as to whether or not they could also receive tuition assistance. If all goes as planned, the legislation could help reimburse schools a maximum of $1,000 per student. 
 
While this plan sounds optimistic, many experts opposed to the plan argue that there are not enough funds to cover the costs of free tuition. Casey, however, argues that the proposed legislation would force the Labor Department to reimburse colleges that are registered with . . . read more

As workers face a bleak economy with high rates of layoffs and low rates of new employment, President Obama has initiated new plans to help workers become more educated to compete in the job market. 
 
In fact, in Obama’s recent 2009-2010 budget proposal, he clearly made college education a focal point for the improvement and success of the United States. Titling this budget proposal “A New Era of Responsibility,” Obama is seeking to provide students with additional financial aid support through both student loan programs and Pell Grant programs. With this approach, current and future college students may be able to save money while preparing for their futures.
 
An Increase in Aid
 
Through the proposal, President Obama asserts that the path to an enhanced economy and society is achieved through education.  As the document states, college should be more properly funded and supported to, “Make sure that we have a highly-educated workforce and that the opportunity to go to college is not determined by how much money you have.” 
 
To allow all individuals, regardless of income, to gain access to higher education opportunities, Obama’s proposal to increase student loan and Pell Grant financial aid support should stimulate an almost immediate benefit.  Essentially, the 2009-2010 budget proposal allows for an increase in the maximum Pell Grant amount for each student.  Currently, the Pell Grant maximum was capped at $4,731 per person; Obama has proposed to raise this maximum to $5,350 per person.   
 
In addition to boosting the provisions for Pell Grants, Obama . . . read more

As individuals across the country struggle to cope with layoffs in a dwindling economy, many workers are finding that their once-desirable resume is no longer up to par in the fiercely competitive job market.
 
As a result, many states are offering laid off workers free community college tuition!  Specifically, states such as Kentucky, Oregon, and Michigan are all seeking to stimulate their community’s knowledge and job application appeal by providing free classes and affordable tuition to workers in need. Depending on each school’s programs, laid off employees can either benefit from completely free tuition or significant tuition discounts.
 
 
According to reports from The Business Courier, Kentucky Community College (KCC) and Kentucky Community Technical College System are offering extra tuition support to Kentucky residents who have recently encountered job loss. 
 
Set into motion with the support of Governor Steve Beshear, Kentucky community schools now offer a “Career Transitions Program,” where newly laid-off students are provided with a 50 percent tuition reduction for up to 6 credit hours each semester.  Providing this incredible discount at 16 various Kentucky community colleges, students who have been laid off can utilize this discount for a full year of education or training.  Additionally, this program is also designed to help provide newly laid-off individuals with personal support to navigate the process for financial aid or student loans. 
 
The main goal of this program is to provide high quality, low cost and convenient education and training to individuals who are struggling to . . . read more
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Financing

Financing Basics

Build the foundation needed to navigate the community college financial aid system. Learn which schools are the most affordable, get money tips on reducing college costs, and explore the latest initiatives to make community colleges even more accessible.

Tuition

This section will help you prepare for the costs of attending community college and any future increases. Explore pricing plans, learn where you may be able to attend community college tuition-free, and examine the latest initiatives to make higher education more affordable.

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.

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.

Grants & Scholarships

There's nothing better than free money, and these articles can help you get grants and scholarships for your community college education. Acquire information on Pell grants and why you should take advantage of them, learn how you can earn money through community college writing and get the latest news on scholarships and funding.