Tags: Financial | Aid | Community | College

Financial Aid Means Community Colleges Pay Students $800 a Year

By    |   Friday, 17 Aug 2012 09:57 AM

Students are being paid to attend public two-year colleges, according to data from the College Board, the nonprofit group that administers the SAT and other tests. In fact, the cost of attending public or private schools has decreased over the past five years despite a 5.1 percent annual increase in published tuition rates.

Every year, the College Board examines the costs to attend school and the typical financial aid received by students. The most recent study shows that the average costs of attending college have gone up by $3,730 in the last five years, but the average student is paying $550 less because of increased financial aid.

In regards to community colleges, they found, “On average, grant aid from all sources plus federal education tax credits and deductions cover tuition and fees for full-time students enrolled in public two-year colleges, leaving about $810 for other expenses.”

Tuition and fees at public, two-year schools averages about $2,960 a year. The College Board estimates that financial aid covers 127 percent of that amount. Yet, almost 40 percent of students at these schools are taking loans and leaving school with debt averaging $10,500.

Although student-loan debt totals almost $1 trillion, few are questioning how much needless debt students are taking on. Community colleges offer an example of affordable education, and the College Board documents that financial aid is generous.

There are many people who need student loans. However, if the loans are truly a financial crisis needing government intervention, greater scrutiny over how the loans are being used is needed.

The example for community-college students indicates that some debt is unnecessary and unneeded loans should not made by a government that is itself borrowing $1 trillion a year.

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