The Value of Community Colleges

If your high school students are in the thick of college visits, then itís probably time for you to be making a financial plan as well. There are so many resources for loans, grants, scholarships, and work studies, but your financial considerations should also extend to your choice of school. Whether or not the scholarships are lining up as you had hoped, donít discount the value offered by community colleges.

For many students, going directly into the four-year on-campus experience is the ideal. With the rising cost of education, however, exploring one of the greater Greenville areasí community colleges can be a very savvy decision. After the economic recession of the last decade, many Americans had to recalibrate their spending habits, particularly regarding post-secondary education. This climate has finally allowed the value of community colleges to come to the forefront, revealing a long tradition of academic excellence, career placement, and transfer rates to four-year colleges and universities.

The standard repayment plan for federal student loans is 10 years to pay off the debt, but this is rarely the reality faced by most borrowers. In a study funded by the One Wisconsin Institute and in partnership with the ProgressNow Education network shows that the average bachelor's degree holder takes 21 years to pay off his or her loans. Under federal income-based repayment options, remaining debt is forgiven after 20 years.

In light of this study, and the personal experiences of many facing long years of student loan repayment, the value of community and technical colleges and the role they play in our economy deserves consideration. As you and your students make the choice that is best for your needs and situation, take a moment to explore one of our local community colleges. You may be pleasantly surprised.

 

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