Student loan debt is currently a national crisis. In fact, the average college student graduates with $37,172 in loans. That’s a hefty price tag!
While an increasing number of graduates are starting their careers in the red, that doesn’t have to be the reality for everyone. Here are five simple ways community college can help you graduate college debt free.
1. A lower tuition cost
In the US, every college class is worth a specific number of credit hours. For example, a standard course is 3 credit hours. Each college’s tuition cost per credit hour, however, varies greatly.
At North Lake College tuition is $59 per credit hour, or $177 for the typical semester-long college class. Meanwhile, those costs can be a whopping 13 times higher at public four-year institutions.
2. Fewer hidden fees
Parking passes, tickets to athletic games and art shows, a visit to the health center: there are a number of unexpected college costs that can quickly empty your wallet. At North Lake, student events, parking, and student services are free. In fact, even the college application is free. Fewer hidden costs means less debt. Also, less stress.
3. Flexible class schedules
Many community colleges offer classes during the days, evenings, and weekends. This flexible schedule allows you the opportunity to work – full or part-time – and earn some extra money while you earn your degree.
Jobs are also available on campus for incoming students. Opportunities range from working in the college bookstore or cafeteria, to serving as an orientation leader or student worker.
4. More financial aid
Community colleges exist to help the community. That’s why North Lake College offers one-on-one financial assistance to those who need it. Trained financial aid experts help students find the grants, scholarships, and support they need to enroll. A tuition payment plan is even available for students who want to pay for their education with installments.
Students who start at North Lake and transfer to a four-year college or university are also eligible for a wealth of transfer scholarships. This enables students to enrich their future, without spending a fortune.
5. An affordable jump start
Students who plan to attend a four-year college or university can save money on their first two years of school by beginning at a community college and then transferring. Community college is an affordable springboard to a great education. Core class credits easily transfer to state colleges and universities within Texas.
Many students decide to spend their first two years at North Lake—crossing dozens of core classes off their to-do list—before transferring to a four-year institution to finish their bachelor degrees. Not only does this approach allow students to save tens of thousands of dollars in tuition fees, it also allows them to build up their GPA and apply for a wealth of transfer scholarships.