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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An In-Depth Guide to Financing Options for Community College
Attending college is expensive but there are options for financing beyond just student loans. Keep reading to learn more.

College tuition is not cheap, and the cost seems to rise with each passing year. According to College Board, the average yearly rate for in-state tuition at a public college is over $25,000. At a private college, tuition can cost upwards of $50,000 per year.

If you are determined to go to college but you don’t have an extra $25k to $50k per year to spend, you might want to consider community college as an alternative. The average cost for community college tuition is under $5,000 for in-state students and under $10,000 for out of state students. Even if you complete your general education requirements and then transfer to a four-year school, you’ll still be saving a lot of money.

While attending community college is much more affordable than paying for a four-year university, it is still a significant expense. Keep reading to learn about your options for financing community college including common myths about scholarships, the different kinds of grants, and tips for reducing your costs while in school.

Debunking Common Myths About College Scholarships

The word “scholarship” is a dangling carrot for high school students preparing for college. While most colleges and universities offer them, they often seem like they are just out of reach. Though you may not realize it, many community colleges offer scholarships as well and there are always private scholarships to consider.

Unfortunately, many students misunderstand certain facts about scholarships which could prevent them from obtaining one. Here are five common myths about college scholarships and the truth

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What Are Your Options for Refinancing Student Loans in 2017?
Many recent graduates are crippled with student loan debt, are you one of them? If so, keep reading to learn about refinancing options that could save you thousands.

If you are one of the millions of college graduates struggling with student loan debt, you might be considering an option to refinance. Even though community college is often more affordable than a traditional four-year university, school is never cheap. Depending how much debt you have and how much you are able to pay, you might be able to consolidate and/or refinance your loans to make your payments more affordable – keep reading to learn more.

Save Money by Refinancing Your Student Loans

Refinancing your loans means that you will be repaying your existing debt by taking on a new loan with new terms, often from a new creditor. Two of the most common options for refinancing your student loans are private loan refinancing and federal loan consolidation. Again, it depends on the type of loans you have and how much debt you have as well. If you are able to refinance through a private lender you might be able to get a lower interest rate while federal loan consolidation is usually a good option for people who are looking to simplify the repayment process by lumping multiple loans into a single payment plan. Loan consolidation may or may not give you a better interest rate.

If you’re thinking about refinancing your community college student loans, there are a few questions you should ask yourself first:

  1. Why are you refinancing?
  2. What are your options?
  3. What rate can I get?

The first question about why you are refinancing is very important – your goals will help you

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Common Financial Mistakes Community College Students Make and How to Avoid Them
College is expensive, there is no way around it. But you can save money by attending community college as long as you avoid these top six financial aid mistakes.

Many students choose community college over a traditional four-year university because it is the more affordable option. With each passing year, however, college tuition costs are rising across the board. Attending community college may still be the more affordable option, but it is by no means cheap.

If you are thinking about attending community college, take the time to do some research to learn what kind of costs you can expect and how much financial aid you might quality for. You should also familiarize yourself with some of the most common financial aid mistakes that community college students make so you can avoid making them yourself.

How Much Does Community College Cost?

When you think about the costs for attending community college you have to consider more than just tuition. Most community colleges charge for tuition on a per-credit-hour basis, though that is not always the case. The average cost for one year of tuition and fees to attend a public 2-year college is around $3,500 for in-state students. For a public 4-year college for in-state students, the average yearly cost is closer to $9,500. In addition to the cost of tuition and fees, you also have to think about things like school books, housing, and various living expenses like food and transportation. Many community college students are able to minimize these costs by continuing to live at home.

Financial Aid Options for Community College

To help you cover the cost of community college, there are a number of different kinds of financial aid

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Tips for Cutting Costs on Textbooks to Save Money
Many college students are concerned about the rising cost of tuition but there is another price that rises with each passing year - textbooks. Keep reading to learn some simple ways to save on textbooks next semester.

There is no denying that college is becoming more and more expensive with each passing year. According to a recent study, the average annual cost for tuition at a 4-year college is more than $30,000 – and that doesn’t even cover everything! Paying for college is like signing a contract with a new cable service provider. After doing the research you finally choose a provider based on a specific published price. But when it comes time to sign the contract you find out that there are all of these unexpected fees involved – service fees, taxes, etc. And then the price for service skyrockets after the first year!

With college, hidden costs are everywhere. The amount you pay the school each semester (or each year) probably only covers your tuition, maybe even room and board. But there are so many other things you are going to need to make it through the year – basic school supplies, clothing, transportation and, of course, textbooks. Many students underestimate the cost of textbooks but they actually end up being a significant expense for many students. Keep reading to learn just how much you should expect to pay for textbooks during school and how you can cost those costs a little bit.

How Much Do Textbooks Really Cost?

Though there are certainly some college classes that do not require them, most classes are based around one or more textbooks. This means that in addition to paying tuition and room and board, many students must also pay

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The Top Online Jobs to Help Students Earn Money for Tuition
With the cost of tuition increasing each and every year, more students are looking for jobs to help cover the cost of their education.

In 1975, the total cost of tuition at a private non-profit college was just over $10,000. In 2015, that total more than tripled to an average cost of more than $32,000. With the cost of tuition rising with each passing year, it is becoming more and more difficult for students to pay for their education. If you are worried about the cost of your own tuition, you may be considering taking a part-time job while you are in school. Traditional jobs come with set hours, however, which can be difficult to work in around your class schedule. One option you might consider is an online job – there are plenty of online jobs for students that pay $15 an hour or more!

Online Jobs for Students to Earn Tuition Money

Several decades ago when college tuition was still fairly affordable, it was possible for students to earn enough money with a summer job to pay their tuition during the school year. Today, however, this is not the case. More and more, students are graduating from four-year universities with a crippling amount of debt and many of them never make their way out from under it. Attending a community college for part or all of your education can save you a lot of money, but the cost is still significant. To help cover their tuition costs, many students are taking online jobs both during and outside of the school year. Below you will find an overview of some of the top online

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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.