Blog Post | May 19, 2009

New Facts About Community Colleges and Financial Aid

The Institute for College Access & Success has updated the fact sheet “Quick Facts About Financial Aid and Community Colleges, 2007-08,” where we focus on community college students who apply for financial aid and attend full time.

About one in four full-time college students in the U.S. — 2.2 million students — attends a community college. Of full-time community students who applied for financial aid, 80 percent did not get as much aid as they needed in 2007-08. We also found that although a relatively small percentage of community college students take out private student loans, these borrowers were much more likely than their peers at four-year institutions to miss out on cheaper federal loans.

Additional findings from the fact sheet include:

  • While community college students are more likely to receive federal Pell Grants than four-year college students because of their lower incomes, they are less like to receive state or school grants, or federal work-study.
  • Community college students are most likely to have “unmet need” after taking advantage of available sources of financial aid. For these students, the gap between what they can afford, including aid, and the full cost of college is similar to students at public four-year colleges.
  • Federal Stafford loans, which any student can qualify for regardless of income, are safer and more affordable than private loans. Relatively few community college students borrow student loans of any type, but those who do unnecessarily turn to private loans more frequently than students at other types of colleges.

Read the fact sheet here