Financial Planning (Text Version)
- About the Money
- Quick Test
- CCC Student
- Additional Costs
- The Bottom Line
About the Money
When it comes to college, is it all about the money?
This is Chris, and this is Taylor. Like most other college students, they have some money concerns related to earning their degree.
Chris: How will I ever pay for college?
Taylor: How do I finish my degree without being saddled with huge debt?
Luckily for Taylor, Chris, and every other community college student, the internet is an extremely valuable resource for learning about Financial Aid.
Learning about how Financial Aid works can be overwhelming at first, but trust us, it's worth investing your time and energy in it. Here's a quick test—you decide whether this statement sounds like a good idea or a bad one.
Example Student: This financial aid information is really complicated… I've got a job, I'd rather just work more hours and pay for it myself.
Bad idea! You've already invested in yourself as a student by deciding to go to college. Focus on school so you can complete your academic goals in a timely manner.
Luckily, you are or are about to become a California Community College (CCC) student. The CCCs have simplified the process from beginning to end. Please allow us to introduce you to ICanAffordCollege.com.
On this website, you can find help for each step of the process.
Step 1 will answer the question, "Am I eligible for financial aid?"
Step 2 will help you get ready to apply.
Pro tip: the application process will be much easier if you gather the necessary information and documents you need (like your social security card, permanent residency card (if you have one), W2 forms and other tax records) ahead of time.
Step 3 will guide you through the application process for The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and few other common California grant opportunities you should investigate as you look for money.
Step 4 will let you know where you can get help at your local community college financial aid office.
Step 5 will let you know what happens once you submit your FAFSA application.
And this is really just the beginning of how you can use ICanAffordCollege.com. On this site you'll also find:
- descriptions of the different types of aid available,
- special resources for Veterans
- information about the Dream Act
- and more ...
Two pages you won't want to miss are:
- Important Dates/Deadlines page, and
- Board of Governor's Fee Waiver page
So why not start today?
After you've figured out what kind of financial aid you qualify for, keep in mind that there are additional costs during your time as a college student. Not only is there a wide range of incomes among community college students, but there is an equally wide range of expenses. Some students are only supporting themselves, while others are also supporting large families. Whatever your income and expenses, you are in good company among other community college students.
After you've learned more about Financial Aid and how it can help you, you'll want to start thinking about the best way to manage your funds and school-related expenses. The California Community Colleges can help with this too! At www.cashcourse.org, you can register for the CCC's free comprehensive money management tool. You'll also find videos, quizzes, and financial tools that will help you learn the basics of budgeting and how to complete your education without running up a huge amount of debt. We'll teach you how to manage your funds and estimate how much money you may need to earn to support yourself during college and beyond. The site provides practical financial skills without selling any financial products or services—there's no "catch"!
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is this: one of the biggest reasons students don't complete their academic goals is that they spend too much time and energy at work. But if you take advantage of the various kinds of financial help that California Community Colleges offer, you can make the most of your time as a student and save money at the same time.
In this module we've introduced you to a couple of important websites you won't want to miss, but there are numerous other resources you'll want to investigate to get the most bang for your buck! Be sure to visit the Financial Aid office at your local community college for assistance as well. They are experts in this area and will have additional information on scholarships and grants that you'll want to check out too!