Community College

Don’t Miss Out On The Money

Community colleges have come into their own the past 10 years. The soaring cost of traditional four-year colleges have led a growing population of students to begin their college careers at community colleges, at a fraction of the cost of the first two years at a traditional school. And student loans have expanded to meet the needs of these students.

As long as you are enrolled at least half-time, you have access to the following types of loans:

  • Federal student loans
  • State student loans, and
  • Private student loans.

Types of Government Student Loans

The Federal government offers three types of student loans: The Stafford Loan, the PLUS Loan (for Parents) and the Perkins Loan. Graduating students can also take advantage of a Federal Consolidation Loan to combine all of their college loans into one manageable loan package.

State Student Loans

All states have an extensive program of student loans, grants and scholarships. To find out what your state offers, go to the website of the state higher education authority. The site will have the links to the information you need. A list of the state authorities, their websites and contact information can be found on the Department of Education website at

Private Loans for Community College Students

Private student loans are student loans you get from a bank or from a student loan lender, such as Sallie mae. Used judiciously, private student loans are an excellent way of rounding out your funding picture. But that is precisely how they should be used – to round out the picture. Students should only consider private loans once they have exhausted their federal and state loan options. In general, private student loans carry higher interest rtes than government loans, they have stricter repayment terms than government loans, and they are likely to have much higher, and often hidden, fees than government loans.