Many people decide to attend community college over a four-year university for many reasons. One reason is because community college can simply be cheaper than going to a four-year university. In order to save money, many students begin their studies at a community college and then decide to transfer to a four-year university.

Just because community college may be cheaper, does not mean that funds to attend community college are less available or accessible. In fact, community college financial aid may offer better options than if a student attended a 4-year university.

Here are several community college financial aid options:

Perkins Loan- The Perkins Loan may be a good choice over the Safford or other types of loans because it has low interest rates and appealing repayment options. To receive the Perkins Loan benefits, you must be a part time community college student and fill out your FAFSA.

Stafford Loan- The Stafford Loan has over $100,000 available to community college students. As with the Perkins loan, you must be a part time student. If you show that you and your family are in financial need, there are interest rates and repayment options available to help cater to your needs. You must also complete your FAFSA. Use the FAFSA calculator to help you get an idea of how much financial aid you may need.

Just when you thought it was all about the student, something called Plus Loans is a remarkable twist to helping students with community college financial aid. Plus Loans basically help parents pay students to attend college. Instead of the student paying back the loan, parents pay back the loan. This is wonderful for the student! However, some downsides for the parents are that Plus Loans interest rates and repayment options are not as desirable as the Perkins and Stafford Loans. Parents must also pass a credit check to apply for this loan. In addition, as with the Stafford and Perkins Loans, parents must first fill out the FAFSA.

Pell Grants and Scholarships are great options for students simply because they are grants and scholarships, which means they do not need to be paid back like loans. Full and part time students are eligible for Pell Grants; however, part time students will get a reduced amount of award money. Students must also complete the FAFSA to be eligible. Many churches, businesses, non-profits and other organizations offer scholarships. Seek out what’s available to you in your area and even in other places around the world.

Be sure to ask your school’s financial aid office if they have or know of any other types of community college financial aid to help you with your schooling, including scholarships, fellowships, grants, or state programs.

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