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.
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How to Pay for Community College as a Single Parent
Being a single parent is difficult (and expensive) but it shouldn't stop you from furthering your education. Read on to learn how to pay for community college as a single parent.

Life as a single parent is tough enough without the added burden of going to school. If you’re already shouldering the load of parenthood by yourself, you’re probably hesitant to add more to your plate. Furthering your education, however, could provide opportunities both for yourself and for your children that could change your lives for the better.

Getting a degree can open doors for you, but it does come with its own challenges and many of those challenges are financial. Raising a child is expensive, and so is going to school! Student loans are available for single parents, but they may not be the best option.

In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of community college in particular for single parents and we’ll provide some tips for making it more affordable.

The Benefits of Community College for Single Parents

Whether you’re starting college for the first time or continuing your education, community college provides many unique benefits over traditional 4-year schools, especially for single parents.

The way community colleges are structured is much more flexible than the typical college or university. Many community colleges offer both in-class and online courses with tuition prices that are much lower than traditional schools. Classes are offered both during the day and in the evening, making it easier for busy single parents to find a class schedule that fits their lifestyle. Plus, this flexibility enables single parents to keep working while attending college.

Another benefit of community college for single parents is that you can customize every aspect

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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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Managing Student Loan Debt: How to Budget for Affordability
Student loan debt statistics continue to shock. Just two years ago, the average student loan debt in America was estimated at about $27,000. Now, a recent study from Fidelity Investments reveals that 70 percent of students who graduated college in 2013 borrowed money from various federal, state, and private sources to help pay for their education. And they left school with an average debt of $35,200. That's a 35 percent increase.

The Fidelity study also found that 50 percent of those 2013 graduates who had taken out student loans expressed surprise by just how much debt they had accumulated. That's another shocking statistic that clearly demonstrates just how difficult it is for many college-age students to visualize what their lives will be like when the borrowing phase of their student loans is over and the dreaded repayment phase begins. And that's not a good place to be.

The bottom line is that student loans are not optional arrangements between you and your lenders. They have to be repaid. They cannot be ignored or put off and federal law stipulates that they cannot even be discharged via bankruptcy. If you default on your student loans you can have your tax refunds intercepted, a portion of your wages garnished, judgments or lawsuits issued against you or collection fees added to your loan balances – not to mention harassing calls and tactics from aggressive creditors.

 

That's why it's absolutely critical that if you are a student loan borrower,

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Wealthier Students Taking Community College Path
A recent study by Sallie Mae shows that many of the families choosing community college for their students today are in income brackets over $100,000. We’ll explore possible reasons for the demographic change.
The face of the community college student appears to be changing in more ways than one, as a slow economy and skyrocketing tuition rates at four-year schools have begun to take their toll. A recent study by student loan provider Sallie Mae found that more students from high-income families are moving to community college right out of high school, thanks to lower tuition costs and better career options. It also seems that the attitude toward community college education is improving, as more students see this path as a viable option to a bright future.
 

The Changing Demographic

The report on the Sallie Mae website, titled, “How America Pays for College 2011,” explains that in the past four years, many families across the country and from all income brackets have shifted from four-year institutions to two-year community colleges. This shift could be a factor in why middle- and high-income families have been able to reduce education costs and take less money from income and savings to pay the price for higher education.

The study found that during the 2009-2010 academic year, 12 percent of high-income families (families making $100,000 or more) sent students to two-year colleges. The following school year, that percentage went up to 22 percent. That increase correlates with a drop in four-year college enrollment during the same time frame, which shifted from 56 percent during the 2009-2010 school year, to just 48 percent the following year. This group also reported paying 18 percent less
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The College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007
Learn more about The College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 ("CCRAA" or the "Act"), which was enacted to make college more affordable for low- and moderate-income students by phasing in increases in government grants.
The College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 ("CCRAA" or the "Act") was enacted to make college more affordable for low- and moderate-income students by phasing in increases in government grants. For example, in 2007 the maximum Pell Grant was limited to $4,310, whereas the maximum for 2012 is $5,400. The Act also decreases interest rates on government-backed loans and even cancels outstanding debt in certain situations. The favorable terms for grants and loans represent an important step forward in achieving universal access to higher education. This report examines the problem of inadequate college assistance, the enactment of the Act, the major provisions affecting college student borrowers, and the funding of the new benefits.
 

Rising Cost of Higher Education Leads to Massive Student Loan Debt

Federal student aid has not kept pace with the escalating cost of higher education and the reduced state support of public colleges and universities. As a result, some students decide that a college education is out of their reach. Other students and their families borrow increasing amounts to pay tuition and other expenses. Students who graduate with unpaid loans are burdened with thousands of dollars of debt that they must usually begin repaying shortly after graduation. Studies show that about 39 percent of college graduates under the age of 35 say it will take them more than ten years to pay off their loans. For graduates with low- or moderate-paying jobs, the monthly principal and interest due may far exceed their ability to
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Recent Articles
Complaints about the current system of accrediting community colleges, combined with the quickly changing scope of community college education and how it’s delivered, may soon necessitate changes in the way that community college programs are accredited.
Community college enrollment is in decline, but some schools are refusing to roll over. Read on to learn the factors impacting enrollment rates and what some schools are doing to stay afloat.
In a time of change, the LGBTQ community is receiving more support than ever and the world is changing with each passing year. As a young adult member of the LGBTQ community, you have unique opportunities to take advantage of when preparing to enter college if you choose to. Keep reading to learn what you can expect to see during your college search and how best to prepare for your freshman year.
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Financing Basics