2 years ago
Admissions Advice

How can I pay for community colleges as an international student?

Hi! Once again I'm here. A few days ago I asked if it was possible to receive a full-tuition scholarship with a 3.0 GPA and a great score on the SAT test. Well the answers were not positive, but I'm not discouraged. My question today is: how can I pay for community college as an international student? Is it possible to work 20 hours per week during my time in the CC?

Also, if you guys know community colleges that offers financial aid for international students I would be very thankful and very happy if you could list them below. (The cheapest ones too). 😃

I'm from Brazil.

Thank you in advance!


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3 answers

2 years ago[edited]

As an International Applicant, financial aid is not readily available to for those applying to community college. If you want to apply to even low cost community colleges, they will ask you to provide proof that you have the funds to cover most of the costs including room and board. Often these supplemental costs exceed the cost of tuition which averages about $10,000 for tuition and $15,000-$20,000 for room/board/health fees/other costs. So I would conservatively budget $25,000 per year to attend an American College. This is why its better to improve your academic narrative in Brazil and attend college there and hope for a transfer admission or apply as a grad student.

I would also look into attend college in other countries where the government funds the tuition and you would be only liable for room and board. Most Eurozone countries have this set up.

Good luck.

2 years ago

I recommend taking a look at this CollegeVine blog post that lists the cheapest community colleges in the US. You may be eligible for some of the scholarships they offer.

Besides choosing a cheap school, you make community college easier to afford and fit into your schedule by taking less classes than a full load each semester. This would, however, mean that you would have to spend more semesters to earn your Associate's Degree. As the blog post explains, you can also take out loans to pay less money for community college upfront.

E se você quiser falar mais sobre essas possibilidades em inglês ou português, a gente pode discutir durante uma consulta 1:1!

2 years ago

Hello @PedroCorreia,

It's great that you're considering a community college and then transferring - it's a rarely suggested, but incredibly cost effective approach. And it will give you the chance to shine and improve that GPA, showing 4-year colleges that you have the moxy to succeed.

The first thing I would check is if you live in a state with free, or highly reduced, community college tuition. https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertfarrington/2020/03/25/these-states-offer-tuition-free-community-college/?sh=6047d45e14cf

But let's say you don't, or you're ineligible: Yes - it is entirely possible to work 20 hours per week and succeed in college. The trick is time management. You'll need to become a lot more intentional about scheduling your time, avoiding procrastination, and breaking big deadlines into smaller, more manageable ones. Plenty of students I know work 20-hours per week and succeed. Plenty of students I know don't, because of a lack of time management abilities. Source: I'm a professor at a college where most of our students work part-time, and many work full time!

I have some other suggestions: It would be worth your time to talk with the transfer office of the school you're interested in eventually transferring to - ask them, directly, what the best courses for you to take at CC would be so that you don't accidentally take courses that won't count! Also, in terms of your job, try to find something that aligns with your future career goals - for example, if you are hoping to be pre-med, working a simple desk job at a local health office would be great. This will add more value in the long term than working any old job.

If you have any more questions, feel free to book a consultation (even a free one!) with me on the 1:1 adviser page.

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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


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