Millions of college students deal with some form of financial hardship, and the thought of paying tuition leaves many feeling on edge.
Salt Lake Community College offers alternative solutions for students who need help paying their tuition. The different types of support can vary from student loans to free assistance through Pell grants and tuition waivers.
All students are advised to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, to determine what aid they may qualify for.
“I work part time and my husband is in the military. I applied for financial aid and they were able to pay for my tuition with Pell grants,” says SLCC freshman Iliana Alfaro. “They even gave me extra money to help me with school books!”
SLCC will also launch the SLCC Promise this fall. The school will pay the remaining balance of tuition and fees of full-time students who receive Pell grants.
In most cases, dependent students will receive less financial aid than those who are considered independent. Dependent students must also list income from one or both parents on the application, even if they do not contribute to their child’s education.
A student who falls between the cracks and does not qualify for Pell grants may have to turn to other forms of aid.
“I have had to take out a few loans since my parents make too much and I still live at home,” says 20-year-old sophomore Michael Hansen.
Instead of paying tuition in one lump sum, students can apply for the Semester Tuition Installment Loan, which offers a monthly tuition payment plan.
There are other types of loans available to give students some flexibility on how soon they can repay a loan. Exit counseling is required for individuals who take out federal student loans.
“I don’t really have a plan on paying off my student debt right now since my payments are deferred,” Hansen says.
Scholarships offer a glimmer of hope to those who want to avoid more debt.
“I apply for every scholarship possible,” Hansen says.
Scholarship winners do not have to pay back any funds as long they meet all the requirements.
Eligibility information is provided in each application.
Any student who has questions about the different types of aid or the application process can talk to a financial aid representative at one of five SLCC campuses.