The numbers are concerning, considering that community colleges – the schools that President Obama has touted as the training grounds for our future workforce – are scrambling to try to make ends meet. As more people head to these public institutions in hopes of getting applicable training for recession-proof, lucrative careers, the schools are finding themselves without the necessary resources to teach everyone who wants to be educated. Services and programs have been cut, and waitlists for popular courses are becoming longer and longer. State and federal funding are slim at these schools today.
This video outlines financial aid for community college students.
- In 2009, approximately 1.5 million students in the U.S. attended for-profit colleges. The average annual tuition cost for these schools was $14,000, compared to $7,600 for a public four-year institution. (Community colleges cost even less, ranging somewhere between $2,000 and $4,000 per year.)
- Of the students attending for-profit schools full-time, around three-quarters are receiving some sort of financial aid – which commonly comes from federal funding, rather than the schools themselves.
- Nearly half of the students who receive student loans get at least some of their money from private financial institutions, which charge much higher interest rates than student loans offered by the federal government.
- At least 35 percent of graduates and former students of a for-profit institution must be able to show they can make their loan payments, including reducing principal balances
- Annual loan payments cannot exceed 30 percent of a graduate’s income
- Annual loan payments cannot exceed 12 percent of a graduate’s earnings