Community College (or Two-year college) can be a great choice for education for students who want to stay close to home, who want to enter a specialized vocation program, or who aren’t quite sure that they are ready to commit to four (or more) years of school. While more community colleges cost much less than their four-year counterparts, finding the money to finance your community college education can still be a challenge. However, there are still community college scholarships to be had, if you know how and where to look.
- Start at the Financial Aid Office
The first place to look (as with most scholarship searches) is to look within your college, through the financial aid office. There are fewer national and third party opportunities for community college funding than there are for four-year or graduate programs. Endowments and grants are usually made directly to a school, and they financial aid office disburses scholarship funds to qualifying students, many times without the students having to fill out a separate application. It’s always helpful to do some Internet research first, then know which scholarships you should ask about.
- Think about Transfer Scholarships
Another popular type of scholarship for Community College students is the transfer scholarship. Through the many transfer scholarship programs out there, which are sponsored by private foundations, universities and state governments, community college students can take advantage of low-cost or free tuition is they transfer into a four-year degree program. Programs like the Alabama Education Trust Fund’s Transfer Education Scholarship offer Alabama students a full ride to local colleges Alabama State University and Alabama A&M.
- Try Government Programs
There are many federal and state programs that are designed to suit the needs of community college students looking for scholarships. States like Alabama and Florida have millions in financial aid dollars earmarked for students in two-year programs, as well as for students looking to transfer from a two-year program into four-year programs. Community college students are also eligible for Pell Grants, Stafford Loans and PLUS loans, which you can apply for by filling out the FAFSA.
It is also important to remember that many of the scholarships listed here at FinancialAidFinder.com are general scholarships that apply to two-year and four-year colleges alike. This includes scholarship contests, national scholarship programs, and corporate-sponsored scholarship programs. Make sure that you do lots of research about community college scholarships is order to get the most help possible to pay for college.