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.
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Learn about the opportunities available for international students to pursue tuition-free education through American community colleges.
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
In a time of economic uncertainty, more community colleges have begun to offer reduced or free tuition. Learn about the national movement and proposed legislation that may make all community colleges tuition-free for the unemployed.
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
Learn about the free and reduced-fee tuition offered at many community colleges, who are hoping to help unemployed individuals advance their job skills to re-enter into the workforce.
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
Learn about movements around the country to make community college courses tuition-free for qualifying students.
Due to the financial challenges incoming students face, many local and state leaders are advocating for tuition-free community college programs. As community colleges strive to provide local residents with programs for certification, degrees, and training, many community leaders argue that tuition-free programs will help students to more effectively prepare for the job market without being subjected to excessive educational costs during difficult economic times.
The Tuition-Free Debate
As Diverse Community College reveals in their investigation, the county majors of both Knoxville and Memphis assert that residents of their communities should have access to free public education at local community colleges. Mayors A.C. Wharton and Mike Ragsdale of local Tennessee counties argue that, in utilizing the resources of scholarships and grants that are currently available, local community colleges can shift their current programs to create tuition free pathways for incoming and current students. As Tennessee, along with most states across the country, are struggling with job losses and a struggling economy, Wharton argues that the shift for tuition-free programs is Tennessee’s attempt at creating a more effective and prepared work force: “‘We want to blast our way into being able to produce a world-class work force. You can't do that with merely a high school diploma.’”
By collaborating with community college and local political leaders, the Tennessee mayors are working to establish a proposal that will provide residents with tuition-free access to higher education. As the leaders describe, “The community college program, as envisioned, would provide public and
Learn about how the community college tuition hikes in the next year may be greater than the rate of inflation.
According to recent press release from the College Board, the cost of college courses during the 2008-2009 school year did not rise faster than the Consumer Price Index. As reporter Kim Clark from the US News and Report reports, “In the academic year starting in the fall of 2008, for the first time in six years, most college prices rose by less than inflation. Even better: After subtracting out the typical amount of scholarships and tax breaks, the average community college student paid only $101 for a year's worth of classes, down from $122 last year.”
Although the dwindling economy poses new struggles for academic institutions and students, the silver lining may be seen more clearly as the analysis of tuition hikes and the rate of inflation is evaluated.
How to Handle Potential Tuition Increases
Although the rise in college costs poses challenges to students and families, Gaston Caperton, the College Board President, asserts that understanding “information in the trends reports will help families to make better educational decisions.” As Gaston further reveals, “‘A college education is the passport to opportunity and success in today’s global economy. In this time of financial uncertainty, it is essential that students and families have the most up-to-date information on the true costs associated with making this important investment in their future.’”
Caperton advocates that families should review and evaluate information in the College Board publication “Trends in College Pricing 2008,” as the trends report will help inform individuals and families with greater details regarding issues of higher