Jaya working on her computer. Photo by Kenan Grier

The Cost of an Education

By: Kenan Grier

Let us get a couple of things straight. College is important. It is also expensive. Fortunately, at Frederick Community College, the annual tuition is relatively modest compared to four-year colleges.

However, the cost is still daunting for a sizable portion of the FCC student body. Thirty-four percent of students received some form of financial aid in the fall of 2018.

One student who received financial aid this semester is Jaya Wales. She is a recipient of a Pell Grant and is currently taking nine credits. Wales was encouraged by a friend to attend FCC to gain more experience in graphic design. She said that without financial aid she couldn’t afford to attend FCC.

Wales is legally blind. She said applying for financial aid was not very difficult. Her friend told her about FAFSA, or the federal student aid form. There are several types of financial aid offered at FCC, which include grants, scholarships, work study, and student loans.


Jaya working on her computer. Photo by Kenan Grier.

If you, like many other college students, are concerned about accruing debt from student loans, here is some information you should consider. Susan Stitely, assistant director of financial aid, said that during the 2017-2018 academic year the average debt for students who completed their degree requirements was $9,357.

Student loans are also a popular form of financial aid with 749 students receiving loans over the same academic year. $5,500 is the maximum amount of money that can be a awarded to a first-year student for the year, and $6,500 is the maximum amount of money that can be awarded to a second-year student for the year. These loans can be subsidized up to certain amounts.

It is clear to understand how students like Jaya Wales can benefit from financial aid, and some of you probably have questions about it. If you do, you can visit FCC’s website. There is a plethora of information on the financial aid offered. If you still have questions, you can email or visit the Office of Financial Aid at J336 in Jefferson Hall.

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