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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Learn about a new option students are using to finance their community college education: savings-matching programs.
While financial aid, scholarships, and student loans are the most common ways to finance higher education, new savings-matching programs are helping more students attend community college. Imagine each dollar you save matched by a free dollar that you can use towards your college tuition!  
 
Savings matching programs help low and middle-income students pay for college by matching the money that participants put in a college savings account. For example, the state of Virginia’s Department of Housing and Community Development runs a savings matching program called New Visions, New Ventures, which will match $2 for every $1 that eligible low-income participants deposit in a savings account. The program will provide up to $4,000 in matching dollars to participants. Participants must use the money to pay tuition, buy a first house, or start a business.
 
How Savers Can Benefit Even More through Philanthropy Websites
 
Recently, savings matching programs have begun partnering with philanthropic websites to increase the savings power of their participants even further. One such pioneering website is SaveTogether.com. At SaveTogether, individual donors can read the stories of low and middle-income individuals who are participating in savings matching programs and working towards savings goals that involve post-secondary education.
 
Individual donors choose individual savers to “match,” and donations made by individuals through SaveTogether are tax deductible.
 
How the Program Works
 
By working with a variety of programs that sponsor savings-matching efforts for community college tuition, SaveTogether furthers the power of these programs.   
 
Profiles on SaveTogether Allow Donors to Choose
 
Potential donors can browse profiles of . . . read more

How to Find Cheap Textbooks for Community College Classes
Are you paying too much for community college textbooks? Learn about how you can save money on your textbooks, ranging from tips on how to find the best used deals to even renting your textbooks.
College textbooks are notoriously expensive. Community college students, especially those who are just beginning college or returning to school after years in the workplace, may experience sticker shock upon their first visit to the college bookstore.

A Business Week article on textbook prices reports that the General Accounting Office (GAO) says that textbook prices have increased at twice the rate of inflation since 1986! College students are estimated to spend an average of between $700 and $1,100 per year on textbooks, according to a Washington Post article on the issue.
 
The issue of textbook affordability exists for community college students as much as it does for students at four-year institutions.  Most community college classes require textbooks that are similar in price to those required at the most expensive four-year colleges and universities.
 
Thankfully, today’s community college students have a number of resources at their disposal for cutting down on the cost of textbooks. Before you pay full price for textbooks at your campus bookstore, try some of these ideas.
 
Smartly Prepare for Your Textbook Bargain-Hunting
 
Before you begin your search for cheap textbooks, you’ll need to know which books are required for your courses. Many community colleges have websites for their bookstores online where you can look up the required textbooks by entering your course ID numbers. Check to see if your college offers this service, and use it to make a list of the textbooks you need. By writing down the ISBNs as they are listed on the website, you’ll . . . read more

If you are facing a DUI, your community college can be an excellent resource for affordable legal assistance and counseling programs.
If you face potential DUI (driving under the influence) charges, you will need to seek immediate legal aid. The legal consequences for a DUI can include severe fines, mandatory jail time, and alcohol abuse treatment classes. 
 
Fortunately, if you are a student facing a DUI charge, your community college may be able to offer support. With many community colleges hoping to help students avoid future DUI incidents, your campus may offer preventative programs, alcohol and substance abuse treatment options, and additional resources.
 
The Dangers of Impaired Driving Among Community College Students
 
In examining the current alcohol-related crisis among college students, statistics compiled by drunk driving lawyers reveal that approximately 2 million college students chose to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol every year. Researchers have also found that over half a million people ranging from ages 18 to 24 experience injuries due to alcohol related incidents. Furthermore, approximately of college students admit to experiencing poor academic performance due to their drinking-related choices.
 
With the awareness of these serious issues related to alcohol abuse, students who are facing a DUI or drinking problem should speak with their community college counselor to find out about specific on-campus treatment programs.
 
Legal Services at Community College

Some community college students in need of legal support may struggle to find the financial means to pay for a professional lawyer. Fortunately, many community colleges have programs that provide current students with free or reduced cost access to lawyers and paralegals. For example, students enrolled . . . read more

Earn Money and Accolades Through Community College Writing Competitions
Students who enjoy writing can earn published recognition, cash prizes and scholarships through community college writing competitions. Learn about local and national contests, as well as how you can find local writing competitions near your community college.
If you have a passion for prose, you can earn money by putting your writing talents to good use - even while you attend community college. Whether you enjoy composing essays or creative pieces, autobiographies or non-fiction work, community college students can participate in writing competitions to not only be published, but to earn accolades, gifts, and monetary prizes as well. Some national competitions exist, but many more local competitions are available at community colleges across the country.
 
National Contest - Norman Mailer Community College Writing Award
 
Each year, the Norman Mailer Center, the Writers Colony, and the National Council of Teachers of English co-sponsor a national essay contest for community college students. The contest is specifically for authors of creative non-fiction writing. The competition is open to all full-time students at community colleges, technical schools, and junior colleges across the nation. The winner of the contest receives a $2,500 cash award, as well as free travel and lodging to attend the Writers Colony award ceremony.


 
Contest submissions are reviewed by a panel of teachers and writers who judge the entries on the artful treatment of originality, subject matter, voice, and style. Additionally, judges examine the entry’s overall aesthetic and emotional impact. Finalists selected by the panel will have their work reviewed by a distinguished author or panel of authors who will make the final determination of the winner.
 
Local Contest - John F. Kennedy Profiles in Service Essay Contest
 
John F. Kennedy University . . . read more

How to Earn Extra Discounts As a Community College Student
Are you taking full advantage of your status as a student? Learn where you can show your student ID to take advantage of discounts that add up to hundreds, if not thousands, annually in savings.
Every college student is familiar with the challenges of managing finances amidst the pressures of tuition and book costs. Burdened with tests and assignments, many community college students have little time to earn supplementary income while enrolled in courses as a full time student.
  
Fortunately, that seemingly simple college ID stowed away in one's wallet can actually help students save hundreds of dollars each year! With nearly endless discounts offered specifically for college students, showing your community college ID can help increase the amount of cash in your wallet immediately.
 
Technology on the Cheap

If you're in the market for a new laptop, cell phone, or other form of technology, it will financially benefit you to shop with companies that cater to students' needs. Many of the companies that offer technological products strive to attract buyers with enticing college discounts.
 
For example, Apple Computers gives college students, instructors, administrators, and college staff members "Apple Eduction Pricing" on select products. You may be able to save hundreds of dollars on your next computer simply due to your community college student status. In addition, Apple also offers occasional promotions specifically for students. For example, when an eligible student purchases a computer, he or she may be able to receive a free iPod Touch.
 
Other technology-based companies that offer various student discounts include Dell Computers.
 
Almost Free Entertainment

Before paying for the rising cost of a movie ticket, always remember to show your student ID. Movie theaters often offer significant savings for students, with some . . . 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.