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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Published July 01, 2010 |
Free Community College Textbooks
Textbooks can be a financial burden for community college students, but there are ways you can obtain textbooks for free.
Students who enter community college today might be dismayed to find that hefty tuition payments are just the beginning of a potentially expensive college career. In addition to the annual tuition costs, textbooks have become a major expense for many students, with some books easily costing more than $100 to bring a grand total for a single semester well into the $500-$1,000 range.

Cash-strapped students are often on the lookout for affordable solutions to the textbook issue, and fortunately, help is available. Through a variety of programs offered on community college campuses and across the Internet, students are finding they can save a bundle on the textbooks they need.
 
Affordable Options
 
A report last year on U.S. News and World Report cited a number of options students could explore to save money on college textbooks, including:
 
       ·         Using textbook rental services
 
       ·         Borrowing textbooks from libraries
 
       ·         Participating in textbook exchanges
 
       ·         Getting textbooks for free or nearly free online
 
       ·         Finding used textbooks at a reduced price

While all of these options offer their own advantages and drawbacks, using a variety of methods to secure all the textbooks you need for any given semester can reap serious rewards in terms of saving money. In addition to the tried and true savings programs, some college professors are getting involved in the affordable textbook cause to find resources for students that provide them with the information they need to ace a class without going into the red to do so.
 
Freebies
 
Someone once said that "the best
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Published April 15, 2010 |
Community college health insurance can save you more than $1,000 each year. Learn more about the coverage and policies offered right through your community college campus.
While those on Capitol Hill continue to debate the pros and cons of the proposed national healthcare plan, community college students need to find affordable options for health coverage today. Most community colleges offer or even mandate health coverage plans for qualified students – but are these plans a good choice for your health and pocketbook? In fact, depending upon your specific community college, enrolling in your campus’ health insurance plan could save you $1000 or more annually!
 
Community College Health Insurance vs. Individual Policies
 
Community colleges are able to offer their students group policies, which typically translate into more affordable premiums and better coverage than individual health insurance policies. However, just how much can you save by opting for your community college’s coverage? 
 
Some states leverage a large number of their community colleges to provide their students with the best health insurance rates. For example, the Community College League of California (CCLC), which currently has 69 campuses in its league, allows students to purchase health insurance at $88 per month. 
 
In evaluating CCLC’s insurance benefits, the policy is a PPO with a low yearly deductible of $250. While there is a maximum lifetime benefit per each accident or sickness of $50,000, the other benefits are very comprehensive. For example, the policy pays for 100% of ambulance service and 80% of most medical services, and the co-pay for a standard doctor visit is only $25. 
 
If a non-smoking male California student between the ages of 18 - 22 was to obtain the same type of health insurance
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Published March 25, 2010 |
See Clearly with Community Colleges' Free Eye Care Clinics
Free eye care is only one community college visit away. Learn about community college programs around the country that offer free eye care to local residents.
Health insurance is notoriously expensive in the United States, and as Americans struggle to maintain their basic health insurance coverage, many have eliminated their vision and dental insurance policies.  However, proper eye care is an essential part of overall health. A person who does not have the proper eyeglasses can suffer from a severely compromised quality of life.
 
Fortunately, a number of community colleges with optometry training programs are beginning to offer free clinics, which provide training for community college students and free or low-cost services to local residents in need.
 
Free Services Benefit Local Residents on a Budget
 
Ophthalmic technician Joy Fountain, who organizes a Community Eyecare Day along with Michigan eye care chain Advanced Eyecare Professionals, tells the Grand Rapids Press that seeing people in need who are helped by the free clinic days makes all the planning and extra effort worth it. She tells the story of one woman who came to the clinic wearing her son’s taped-together glasses, despite the fact that her son’s glasses were for a nearsighted person while the woman herself was farsighted.
 
Another woman, whose free exam revealed that she had glaucoma and who was able to receive corrective laser surgery from the clinic, tells the Grand Rapids Press that if it weren’t for the volunteers at the Community Eyecare Day, “I wouldn’t have glasses, and I probably would have lost my eyesight.”
 
The American Optometric Associations says that regular vision exams are an essential part of preventative health care. Because, as the
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Updated March 03, 2015 |
Smile at Free or Low Cost Dental Services at Community Colleges
While dental procedures are typically expensive, preventative services at your local community college is very affordable - if not free! Learn about how you can get low cost dental services through your community college's dental hygienist training program.
In difficult economic times, many people may delay visits to the dentist because they cannot afford to pay the accompanying bill. Many college students, who struggle to pay for tuition, books, housing and other educational expenses also often put off dental work. While this plan may seem wise in the short term, neglecting one’s oral health can lead to serious health and financial consequences down the road. Those who do not get regular dental cleanings and check-ups put themselves at an increased risk for gum disease and cavities, both of which can lead to future financial and physical pain when the problems eventually need to be treated.

Fortunately, for college students who may not have the finances to pay for dental work, or for those whose health insurance does not include a dental plan, a lack of funds does not necessarily mean one’s dental health care needs to suffer. Community colleges that have dental hygienist training programs often offer low-cost or even free dental services to college students, as well as children and adults in the general public.
Dental services at community colleges are fairly comparable across the nation. To help you get an idea of the kinds of services offered, as well as potential pricing, we will examine a few college-based dental clinics.
 
Normandale Community College
 
The Dental Hygiene Clinic at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minnesota, provides comprehensive services to adult patients from the college, as well as to children and adults in
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Published December 23, 2009 |
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,
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