College Tuition

Paying for community college shouldn't be a lifelong commitment

One of the most stressful aspects for community college applicants is the looming cost of tuition. You may be thinking to yourself, "Even if I do get into college, how am I ever going to pay for it all?" It's true, tuition is rising every year and some students do graduate from college programs saddled with significant debt.

College has always been expensive, though, so dealing with debt is nothing new. Paying for an education may not be easy, but it's certainly a worthwhile investment in the long run. A college degree will, on average, increase your income by about 35 percent over simply having a high school degree (which works out to more than $400,000 over the course of your entire career!). From that perspective, the sacrifices you make now will pay off in a big way.

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How Much Will it Cost?

The average annual tuition for two-year community college programs is around $2,300. This figure rises every year. According to recent reports, schools are seeing their tuition increase anywhere from $150 to $1,000, per year, depending on the program. Reports of declining costs are sadly lacking.

It's also important to keep in mind that tuition isn't the only cost associated with a post-secondary education. Students are also expected to buy things like school supplies, textbooks and computers. Students who choose to live on campus must also pay for their housing and food.

Getting Help

Very few students manage to pay for their education on their own. Most receive assistance from at least one source, including parents, financial institutions and the government. Though tuition is rising, there's also some good news - more scholarship and grant money is available to students now than ever before. This year, over $125 billion in grant and scholarship money was made available. On average, this figure rises nearly 10percent per year, thanks to an increasing number of generous donors nationwide.

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