Should community college be free?
Side Score: 4
Side Score: 8
Should Community College be Free?
Community College already is free (if you're wise). Students qualify for Pell Grants up to $6000 per year from the federal government, and possibly a single or couple thousand dollar worth of grants from their state, if applied. Then, as long as a student is enrolled at least half-time in school, they are eligible to receive about $6000-$8000 per year--no strings attached. My local Community College is $1500 per semester for full-time students, or $3000 per year.
Then, a student could go to Community College for 3 years, earn multiple associates degrees in disciplines that credential them for post-graduation jobs in the $40,000-$75,000 range; all free of charge, plus the government pays you $12,000 which you are able to invest in anyway you please--which, if you are savvy, is a strong basis for building more money, credit score, etc. etc.
The bigger question is; what is everyone complaining about? Why are they so unable to see the 'chess board' accurately and play a good game?
Side: why not
I. Apply to Community College
-Apply to your local community college
-Figure out full-time semester tuition & fees rates as well as per credit hour
--Example: My local community college is $1600 flat tuition rate per semester for full-time students (i.e. 12-18 credits), or $3200 per year
--Note, full-time status is not required for the Pell Grant, only half-time, in which case yearly costs would be $1600
--Pell Grant goes toward tuition first, and then the rest is reimbursed to you by check in mail or direct deposit to bank account. So, the less money spent on tuition, the more in your pocket.
-See what programs are offered
--Example Associate Degree programs with salaries in the $40,000-$75,000 range:
b. Computer Science
d. Dental Hygienist
j. PTA (Physical Therapy Assistant)
k. Software Development
m. Multimedia, Web Development, and Gaming
n. Architecture and Drafting
o. Aviation and Flight Training
II. File for FASFA
-Each year, you must file for Financial Aid with the Federal Government for school. This is very easy, takes maybe 30 minutes. Website here: https://fafsa.ed.gov/
-After file for federal aid, file for State level aid (the link for your state should be emailed to you after completing your federal fasfa)
-This information will be provided to the school(s) you send it to, who will offer you a Financial Aid package.
-Federal Pell Grant is nearly $6000 per year, and State is typically $1000-2000. Students qualify for 6 years.
-Then, if used properly, no-strings-attached College money offered to students by the State over the 6 year period is between $36,000 to $48,000. If you attend low cost tuition schools, then you can 'pocket' a sizeable chunk of that money--the rest will automatically go toward your tuition and fees.
III. Build your Credit
-Young people with no prior credit history have neither good nor bad credit--just 'no real credit'. Then, there is typically a bit of a 'chicken and the egg' problem with how to build credit as it (often) requires credit in order to apply for cards
-However, attending College (including Community College) helps bypass this issue. Start with 1 or 2 basic Secured cards where you put a small security deposit down (which the Pell Grant cover), form very minor credit history (only a few months required). Then, a number of credit companies offer student cards, as College kids are viewed as a more promising return then average. These are typically unsecured cards (i.e. no money down required), with higher credit limits. College students can potentially (easily) get 5 or so such cards, opening up various lines of credit with different institutions, and raising their credit limit. This combined with low utilization rate and on time payments could easily get a young persons credit score over the 700+ mark by the time they graduate. Another way the Pell Grant helps build up credit in this way is through opening various banking accounts with the money directly deposited in from the Grant. (A) It is much easier to get a credit card through a bank that you do business with (B ) Banks almost always have opening promotions somewhere between $100-350. Additionally, credit cards will often have similar promotions. Then, if you shift the money around wisely, you can make extra thousand to few thousands simply for shifting money around in a strategic manner. This process can be repeated in a years time, by which time the banks will want you to come back and re-offer such promotions.
-With this new credit score and extra money, one could easily put a down-payment on a condominium and qualify for good mortgage rates, which is another safe investment rather than renting for years--which is just lost money.
If you just want the money, you can enroll in as little as a few/several online 'fluff' courses at your local community college and still get the full Pell Grant for 6 years.
Side: why not