- Keeping College Affordable
- Funding your Education
- What is Financial Aid
- Complete Your Free FAFSA Application
- Other Ways to Pay For College
- Contact Financial Services
A lot of students are concerned about how they are going to be able to afford to pursue their dream of higher education. We want you to know that there are several ways you can invest in your future. Don't worry. We know that the process may seem overwhelming, but our staff is here to help you step by step. There are many ways to fund your education.
The best way to keep your education affordable is to find free sources for funding, such as scholarships and grants, that you don't have to pay back after graduation. Other payment options include obtaining student loans, accessing money that you've saved in a college fund, signing up for LCCC's Interest-Free Payment Plan, or working and paying your tuition as you persist semester to semester. Most students combine these options to pay for their education.
The most common forms of paying for college include applying for and receiving scholarships from LCCC, local non-profits, businesses, and private organizations, applying for grants like the Federal Pell Grant, through completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, being employed by LCCC, through the federal student Work-Study Program, working with your employer, through tuition assistance programs as part of employee benefits, borrowing student loans from the federal government, which need to be paid back in time with interest, using savings and a college 529 plan, or using LCCC's convenient payment plan, to pay for school out of your pocket, as you attend each semester. It all starts with completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.
Federal Student Aid is a part of the US Department of Education. They are the largest provider of student financial aid, providing more than $120 billion in federal grants, loans, and work-study funds each year to over 13 million students.
Remember, if you don't apply, you won't know if or what you may be eligible for. In order to find out what federal grants and loans you may qualify for, make sure you have completed your FAFSA @www.fafsa.gov. Make sure you are on the right website, because others may try to charge you for this free application.
Completing your FAFSA is free, quick, and easier than ever. It will give you access to the largest source of financial aid through the federal government. The friendly staff at the Financial Services Office on the first floor of the Bass Library is here to help you complete the FAFSA anytime during our open hours.
Grants like the Pell Grant are considered gift aid, because they are free money that do not need to be repaid. Grants are often need-based and students are able to use the funds to pay for tuition, books, housing, and other school-related expenses. Scholarships-- a scholarship is a gift. It does not need to be repaid.
There are literally thousands of scholarships offered by secondary and post-secondary schools, employers, private companies, non-profits, local community groups, religious groups, professional and social organizations, and even online through sites like Fastweb, and Zinch, or Scholly, which is a mobile application.
Each scholarship will have its own requirements and application process. Be sure to pay attention to the details. You may be asked to write an essay, submit a high school transcript, or obtain a letter of recommendation.
Make sure that your application and all supporting documentation is received by the scholarship deadline. Lorain County Community College is proud to offer hundreds of scholarships to our students to help offset the cost of college.
You can browse our scholarships by Pathways or specialty groupings online @www.lorainccc.edu/scholarships. We encourage you to be careful when applying for scholarships. And watch out for scams. Remember that scholarships are free, and you should not have to pay money up front to find scholarships.
Federal Work-Study provides part-time jobs for students, allowing them to earn money to help pay their educational expenses. Students are encouraged to seek out opportunities that are work-related to their program of study or in civic education. Federal Work-Study positions begin at the current federal minimum wage.
However, some positions may pay more. Based on your level of financial need, you will be allotted a maximum number of hours you can work a semester. Remember that you will need to complete your FAFSA as part of the Federal Work-Study application process.
When you complete your FAFSA, you may be eligible for Federal Direct Loans as part of your financial aid package. A student loan is money you borrow and must pay back with interest. Federal Direct Loans are supported and guaranteed by the United States government.
Students can borrow money to pay for their tuition, fees, books, and other educational expenses, including room and board. The first step in the process is to complete your FAFSA and then complete the LCCC Online Federal Direct Loan Request Form @www.lorainccc.edu/directloans.
It's important for students to borrow what you need and not always the maximum amount. While student loans are an investment in your future, you will have to pay them back. So keeping your total amount and debt down is also important.
With federal student loans, you will begin to repay your student loans six months after you leave college, or drop below half-time status. If you have any questions regarding borrowing money to pay for college, please do not hesitate to contact one of our friendly Financial Services staff team members.
Remember, our Financial Services Center is located on the ground floor of the Learning Resource Center in the Bass Library building. You can always visit Financial Services, and a friendly staff member will gladly assist you with completing your FAFSA.
Please call ahead, so we can help you identify the right documents needed. Also, if you have questions, concerns, or just want to make sure you've got all your i's dotted and your t's crossed, you can walk in or schedule an appointment to meet with a member of our Financial Services staff by calling 440-366-4034.