1. Not starting at one of Virginia’s Community Colleges: Tuition and fees at Virginia’s Community Colleges are 1/3 less than Virginia’s public four-year universities. Students who first complete their community college associate degree save as much as $45,000 on the cost of earning a bachelor’s degree when they transfer to one of Virginia’s public four-year colleges and universities.
2. Not Applying for Financial Aid Early: Although students can submit their FAFSA forms anytime between Oct. 1 and Jun. 30, it is best to file early because financial aid is distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis! Contact your college’s admissions or financial aid office for more info.
3. Not Pursuing Scholarship Funds: In addition to federal financial aid, students may also be eligible for a host of college scholarships that will lower the cost of college. Talk to your guidance counselor, college admissions/financial aid office, employer, or any professional and social organizations to which you belong to see what college money is available.
4. Not Taking Advantage of Transfer Grant Funds: Through Virginia’s College Transfer Grant Program (CTG), qualifying students who complete their associate degree at a Virginia two-year public college and then transfer to a participating Virginia four-year college or university may receive up to $3,000 annually to help defray costs!
5. Borrowing Too Much Money: Unlike financial aid or scholarships, student loans must be repaid, with interest! Why not earn an associate degree at one of Virginia’s 23 community colleges, then transfer to a four-year school to pursue a bachelor’s degree? You’ll save thousands, and along the way, financial aid and scholarship money can help you avoid taking on unnecessary debt.
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