The idea of providing free community college nation-wide has received a lot of attention lately.
But let me tell you a secret: Community college is already free, or nearly free.
Here at Southwestern Michigan College the average net cost (the price after grants and scholarships) of tuition and fees is just $169 for the whole year.
The case is the same for almost all two-year schools.
In fact, this report by College Board indicates that the net cost at public two-year colleges is, on average, less than zero. They point out, “Since 2008-09, full-time students at public two-year colleges have, on average, received enough grant aid and tax benefits to cover published tuition and fees as well as a portion of other expenses.”
Earning a degree doesn't have to be expensive. You just have to consider all your options and know how to manage your expenses (more on that in upcoming posts).
So before you dish out thousands of dollars at a university, make it a point to price-check the net cost at your local community college and compare the cost difference. It could save you tens of thousands of dollars.