Monthly Archives: December 2019

Financial Motivation for Two-Year Education

When it comes to college, you are considering an expensive proposition any way you look at it. There are however, ways in which you can greatly reduce your overall expenses when it comes to getting your college degree. The first method, which in many cases is the most preferred, is by attending a community college for the first two years of your college educational experience. Believe it or not you can literally save thousands of dollars over the course of spending two years on the community college level.

You will hear all kinds of arguments on why it is better to attend all four years at a university. The universities almost always make these arguments. Unfortunately, their opinions are a little bit biased in these matters. Most universities offer equivalent courses with community colleges meaning that the first two years of study should transfer with no problems or snags along the rocky road to your degree.

The universities make money each semester you begin class as a student. It is in their best interest financially to have you from the beginning rather than as a transfer. In fact, many universities offer lower level classes as auditorium classes. They pack more students into classes and have fewer professors or graduate students teaching the courses and maximize their money off the first and second year students rather than those in upper level courses. Yet another reason to consider a community college for the first two years of you education.

Getting back to the expenses of a community college, most community colleges are largely commuter campuses. This means you won’t face the high housing costs that are associated with universities, particularly if you are attending college close to home. Community colleges also offer far less distractions that cost additional money than most major universities. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t ample social opportunities; it simply means that there are fewer of them. This also leaves fewer distractions than universities present when it comes to studying.

Community colleges simply cost less all around. While it would be nice if you could receive a full four year education at this level, they are able, for the most part, to keep expenses down by not requiring the level of qualification that universities require of their professors for upper level courses. You will have excellent, if not superior quality of education at lower levels than you would have on the university level, but you will also eventually need to move on to the university level in order to complete your education.

For this reason, you would do well to save half of your savings over university costs for each of the two years you are attending community college and apply it to your university education. This will ease the burden of the additional costs of the university and feel as though you are paying the same amount for tuition throughout your education regardless of the fact that you are literally saving thousands of dollars on your educational expenses.

Some states have educational savings plans that allow parents to save for tuition at current costs by enrolling. These plans cover two years of community college education and two years of university education. By locking in today’s prices you are eliminating the inflation. When you consider the fact that college tuition is increasing at an alarming rate this is by far an excellent way to go. You should check with your state and see if they offer a similar plan to parents of younger children and what the requirements are in order to enroll your child today.

If you are looking for a real value in education whether or not you only go for your two year degree of move on to a university in order to finish your four-year degree you should find that a community college education offers a significant value for the money. Most people find that every penny they spent in a community college was a penny well spent.

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Financial Aid Options for Students

When it comes to financial aid for college there are primarily two sources: privately funded financial aid and federally funded financial aid. When applying for or receiving either you need to make sure that you are fully aware of all the fine print involved. Most people find that the expenses of college are much too great to afford without assistance of some sort. If you are a parent chances are that you will some day face the need to pay college tuition along with the worry of how on earth you will manage to accomplish that goal.

The problem is that not every student who wishes to attend college qualifies for either federally funded student aid or the vast majority of scholarships that require either exceptional grades or a specific and exceptional talent in order to receive. For those students thinking outside the box may be necessary in order to receive the much needed educational assistance or financial aid.

If you do not qualify for federal financial aid for your children, then you may want to consider the benefit of other scholarship options. One common scholarship option that is often overlooked is the ROTC program that most universities offer. There is a price to pay for these scholarships but many find that price provides valuable experience and is well worth the education and the experience received during the process. If your child is interested in the possibility of a military career or becoming a military officer, this is a great way to go.

As a parent you may want to see what sort of, if any, flexible spending accounts your state has set up that can help you set aside money for college expenses for your children. Many states have these and there are programs such as Upromise that allows you and others to dedicate the spending from a credit card to be used as a ‘match’ program for your child’s college funds. While it isn’t a dollar for dollar match of your credit card spending every little bit helps. The real beauty of programs like Upromise is that you can enlist the help of family in friends when saving for your child’s college educational expenses. Regardless, it is never too early to begin saving for your child’s college education and these expenses seem to be rising exponentially.

There are many programs that exist to help minorities and women pay for their educational expenses. Some of these scholarships are needs based while some of them are solely merit based. On all levels competition is fierce, however, if you qualify for any of these scholarships you would be doing yourself a disservice not to apply for them. You never know when your application might be the one that captures the attention of the scholarship committee. The one thing you should keep in mind is to read all the instructions, make copies of everything, and follow the directions. You’d be amazed at how many worth applicants are denied scholarships each year because they did not follow the directions on the application properly. Another thing you should keep in mind is neatness. You are much more likely to win a scholarship if the committee can actually read your application.

There are many great opportunities for financial assistance when it comes to college. The trick is typically in finding the great sources. Your college’s financial aid office is an excellent source of information for financial aid as is your high school counselor. See what your options are before you sacrifice the dream of a college education.

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