by Quang Nguyen
Most people would think that community college students have a much easier time than their peers when coming to financing for their education. However, the fact is that they struggle as much as any four years college students, if not more. Community college students made made up of 25% of all college students and they generally have less access to college fund than a full time students in a four year school. For those who applied for financial aid, 80% of them do not get it. Although the tuition is much lower than the average university, the costs for books, fees, and other expenses for these students are pretty close to the normal student. This resulting in these students have to borrow high interest loan from private funds and credit card debts to pay for their education.
According to the Institution for College Access and Success, 24% of full time undergraduate students spent their time at community college before attending university. The study also points out that even after receiving financial aid, 80% of community college students still need more aid in comparison to 54% of public four year schools and 53% of private four year schools. The most important fact that the Institute was able to find is that the amount of money that community college students face in financial gap is very close to those in public four year schools, which is $5,277 for community and $5,286 for public. The Institute suggests that community college students do not have enough information to access to financial aid since the number of students who applied to funds they are qualified is much lower than those in four year schools.
Overall, community college students should have as much opportunity as any other college students for their education. We usually think of community college students as working while take a couple of easy classes when comparing to four year schools students. However, most community college students are full time students who spend as much time studying as any other four year students. The issue would be solved if there are more resources at community colleges showing their students how to get access to funds.