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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With reduced tuition costs, shorter program requirements, and flexible course options, community colleges have provided students across the country with immeasurable benefits. To extend their global reach, some United States community colleges are now offering opportunities for international students to earn tuition-free credits.
 
As VOA News reveals, the US government and participating community colleges have established a program titled “The Community College Initiative.” With this program, the government and community colleges pay the tuition-costs for accepted and qualified international students. In the past two years alone, six countries partook in this program, including Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, South Africa, and Turkey. Recently, Cuba, Ghana, and the majority of Central America also joined with their participation.
 
The Community College Initiative Program

Established in 2007, the program started as a small and focused effort to boost international education and opportunities. As VOA News further asserts, “The program provides job training for people who otherwise could not attend college. They learn skills their countries need, like agriculture and health care.” Additionally, vocational educators from around the world are able to take advantage of US professional development training and instruction. With just 84 participants in 2007, the number of current participants is now over 500, as students have the option of attending any of the 37 participating community colleges across the country.
 
With 37 unique locations and programs, the destination for students most significantly depends on each learner's desired academic pathway. Once the school is chosen, international students are able to gain
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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
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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
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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,
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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
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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.