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.
View the most popular articles in Saving Money:
Updated |
10 Essential Money Management Tips for Community College Students
The cost of obtaining a college degree is high, especially at private universities. Students can save a great deal by choosing community college, but there are still other costs to consider. Read on to learn what costs to expect in community college and to learn some essential money management tips.

It’s common knowledge that community college is more affordable than tuition at a private university, but that may not be universally true. The average cost of tuition at community college is $3,660 per year, a cost that is twice as high as it was 30 years ago. Even if community college is less costly than a traditional four-year college, it isn’t cheap and there are other costs to consider.

In this article, we’ll determine whether community college is really the most affordable option and what costs other than tuition students should plan for. You’ll also receive some helpful tips for managing your money while attending community college.

The True Cost of a College Degree

Over the past few decades, a college degree has changed from a luxury that only the privileged were able to obtain into a necessity if you want to obtain anything more than a minimum wage-paying job. A strong work ethic is no longer enough to land a job or to keep it and many fields have begun to require an associate’s or bachelor’s degree for even entry-level positions.

Statistics show that college graduates earn 66% more than those with only a high school diploma and, over the course of a lifetime, earn about $1 billion more. It is important to consider, however, at what cost this benefit comes. A college degree has never been more necessary if you want to succeed in the workforce, but it has also never been more expensive.

Since 1992, the average amount a student

. . .read more
Updated |
Tips for Minimizing Educational Debt While in School
Education becomes more expensive with each passing year so it is important to make smart use of your student loans and to minimize your debt while you are in school whenever possible.

Many people will tell you that you can’t get a good job without an education, specifically a college education. Unless you are lucky enough to receive a generous scholarship or help from family, you may be left paying for school on your own and you may need to take out a few student loans, or a lot of them. Unfortunately, the cost of tuition continues to rise each year and the average salary for an entry-level job just isn’t enough to pay off student loans for many people. If you are thinking about starting school, or if you already have, do yourself a favor and follow some of these simple tips for minimizing your educational debt while you are in school so that your loans are more manageable when you graduate.

Shocking Student Loan Statistics

According to the most recent reports for 2016, the total amount of student loan debt in the United States is about $1.23 trillion and that number is divided over more than 43 million Americans. The average graduate for the class of 2016 will be graduating with more than $37,000 in student loan debt, that number is up by a full 6% from last year. When it comes to student loans, there are a wide variety of different types and each type of loan has its own interest rates and rules for repayment. Direct loans make up the largest chunk of student loan debt with a total of over $840 billion divided over nearly 30 million borrowers.

. . .read more
Updated |
Simple Mistakes Cost Community College Students Millions
Are you receiving the full financial aid you should? The process of applying for financial aid can be both time-consuming and confusing, especially for first-time college students. Learn about common errors to avoid in order to maximize your financial aid opportunities.
For many students, community college is the most affordable option for obtaining a higher education. The cost of tuition, fees, room, and board at a two-year institution averages a little over $8,500, while the same expenses for a four-year institution cost nearly double that at just under $17,000 per year. Yet, despite the cost savings, some community college students still need financial assistance to pay for their education. The financial aid application process can present a number of barriers, especially for first-time college students who are unfamiliar with the process. However, these barriers can easily be overcome when armed with the right information.
 
Always Apply For Aid
 
Each year, millions of college-bound students apply for federal financial aid. Yet, millions more eligible students don’t apply at all. During the 2011-2012 academic year, an estimated 2 million students who would have qualified for a Federal Pell Grant didn’t even fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Even more surprisingly, approximately two-thirds of those students would have qualified for a full grant award that would have paid for all of their college expenses.
 
Instead, for a variety of reasons these students did not bother to apply. Nearly half the students who would have qualified for the Pell Grant simply believed they were not eligible for those funds. Another 34 percent reported that they didn’t want to take on debt, even though Pell Grants do not have to be repaid. Many more maintained that they did not have a financial
. . .read more
Updated |
Community College Students Offer Free Tax Help
Many community college students provide tax help during these months, through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. We’ll highlight some of the schools where these services are available.
April may still seem like a long way off, but it’s not too soon for many Americans to begin thinking about filing their tax returns. Tax preparation can be a complex business, and not everyone can afford to hire the services of a CPA to help them with the process. The good news is that help is available for those who cannot afford professional assistance, and it may be as close as your neighborhood community college. By enlisting the help of a college student who is majoring in the accounting field, you can get expert advice without paying a fortune for the service.

About VITA

Tax assistance at the local community college is generally offered through the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, also known as VITA. According to the IRS website, this program is available to anyone who earns $50,000 or less and requires assistance filing their tax returns. The volunteers that work with VITA are trained in IRS guidelines and are IRS certified to offer tax advice on issues such as earned income tax credit, child tax credits, and other tax deductions.

Those that work on the community college campus are often accounting students from the school, but other volunteers may be working in that particular office as well. Many of this year’s VITA programs are already up and running, allowing many who qualify for the services a head start on this year’s tax return. Many offices provide free electronic filing, so those that use their services can
. . .read more
Updated |
Free Tax Filing Help at Your Local Community College
April 15th is looming, but your local community college can help you file your taxes - for free! Learn about the programs that may be in your area to help with your filings with Uncle Sam.
With tax day just around the corner, many Americans are scrambling to get their documents in order and their forms completed. For those who need help with the return but can't afford to hire the services of a CPA, there is an alternative. The IRS offers volunteer tax assistance in a variety of communities to help low-income families get the help they need before April 15. The benefits are even more far-reaching, as many community college students aspiring to accounting careers can get the training and experience they need to work in this volunteer program.

We'll give a brief overview of the volunteer program and who it helps, as well as list a few of the community colleges that have come alongside the IRS to help Americans get their taxes filed on time.
 
What is VITA?
 
According to the IRS website, VITA, also referred to as the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, is designed to offer free tax help to low to moderate-income Americans who are unable to complete their own tax returns. The service utilizes certified volunteers sponsored by a number of organizations to provide the assistance people need to file their basic income tax forms.

Most of the VITA stations are located at community places like libraries, schools and shopping malls. Community colleges are another option where VITA services might be provided.
 
VITA helps many different groups of Americans file their taxes accurately and on time. Some of the people that qualify for VITA services include:
  • Families with incomes
. . .read more
View Pages:<<Prev  1 2 3  Next>>
Recent Articles
Should you undergo the risks associated with paid drug testing trials both on and off your community college campus? Learn about the benefits and risks associated with these testing trials.
The Online Education Initiative will greatly expand course offerings for community college students, while making the transfer process between institutions much more smooth. The Initiative has its critics, however, who decry the loss of local control over education.
In light of a string of school shootings in recent months, a number of community colleges are considering arming security officers on campus. What do students and faculty think of the idea?
Financing

Saving Money