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.
View the most popular articles in Financial Aid:
- Federal Work Study Programs: Pros and Cons for Community College Students
- Loans and Free Tuition for Community College Students
- How to Maintain Your Financial Aid
- Simple Mistakes Cost Community College Students Millions
- Short End of the Stick: Why Some Community College Students Can't Get Federal Loans
Learn how you can find financial aid and support in spite of troubled economic times
As the market steadily slows, and credit, banks, and loan institutions are forced to tighten their budgets, students and schools express concern about affording community college, especially in light of the rising cost of tuition paired with the plummeting availability of funds.
Andy Rosen, in his article “Students, Colleges Prepare for the Private Loan Slowdown,” further explores this issue in asserting: “Area colleges and students are concerned that it will get harder to bridge the gap between federal financial aid and the total cost of education, as a troubled credit market threatens to make private loans harder to get.”
Since many lenders are becoming increasingly cautious in regards to student loans, intuitions are striving to prepare students with additional tools and resources to obtain funds for school.
Can I Obtain Loans When Attending Community College Next Year?
If you’re seeking funds to attend college next year or in the upcoming future, it is still relatively uncertain as to how much support students will have access for tuition costs. Essentially, as Rosen reveals, “Nobody really knows the magnitude of the problem because many students have already secured their financing for this year.”
Since an economic recession has been predicted for quite some time, many students held onto anticipatory savings; however, this may not be the case in the upcoming semesters over the course of the next few years. As a result, “It is less certain what is going to happen next year, when students begin to look for ways to pay for their education around March.. . .read more
Learn more about how community colleges and federal loans can help you affordably finance your community college education.
When the economy slows down, individuals across the country struggle to cope with layoffs. Even after the economy begins to grow again, it takes some time for employment levels to rebound. As a result, many workers find that their once-desirable resume is no longer up to par in a fiercely competitive job market.
To help unemployed workers stay at the forefront of training, some states offer free community college tuition. Specifically, states such as Kentucky and New Jersey are 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.
Kentucky Community Colleges
The Kentucky Community and Technical College System offers extra tuition support to Kentucky residents who have recently encountered job loss. Dubbed the “Career Transitions Initiative,” the program seeks to provide workforce training in high-demand, high-wage jobs. Set into motion with the support of Governor Steve Beshear, newly laid-off workers are provided with a 50 percent tuition reduction for up to 6 credit hours each semester. This discount is available at 16 colleges and 67 campuses throughout Kentucky, and students can utilize it for a full year of education or training. Additionally, this program is 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. . .read more
Learn about the benefits of a work study program for community college students.
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. . .read more
Learn how college learns work and how you can use them to finance your education.
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 in
Learn about the different financial options you have for affording community college.
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 increases. . .read more