When Monyce Fleming decided to enroll in college she wasn’t sure where to go or how to start. As the first person in her family to go to college, she had a lot of questions.
“There was a ton to learn, but the big thing that I had to work through was paying for college,” says Moynce. “You have to figure out more than just paying tuition and fees. It’s about juggling those expenses with life. I needed financial aid and guidance to get started.”
Monyce isn’t alone in her struggle. Data show finding money for college is one of the top reasons students put off enrolling in higher education. Austin Community College District (ACC) has a team of specialists to help students like Monyce find the support they need. “We’re charged with getting students as much money as possible,” says Belinda Peña, ACC financial aid manager. “That’s our goal. We want to help alleviate as much financial burden as possible so that no student struggles with trying to stay in college because of money.”
Belinda and the Financial Aid team worked with Monyce to help her apply for financial support and find cash for college. She was awarded multiple types of financial aid from scholarships to work-study.
“I didn’t think I’d get anything, but I’m glad I did,” she admits. “I would have missed out on money that was there and ready for me.”
Popular financial aid support options at ACC include grants, scholarships, loans, work-study, and payment plans. The average award for ACC students is $6,141
Grants & Scholarships: Grants and scholarships are free money, and as long as you meet and maintain eligibility criteria, students can apply every year. The ACC Foundation makes it easy to apply for scholarships, through the General Scholarship Application. Students complete a single application, with a short, personal statement, to be connected with hundreds of opportunities. The average award is $2,500.
Loans: Loans are borrowed money that students will need to pay back after they stop attending college.
Payment Plans: To help spread the cost of tuition, making paying for tuition more affordable and manageable, ACC offers an interest-free payment plan. Payments can be split into three equal sums during the spring and fall semesters and two payments during the summer semester.
Additional Support: Students at ACC get free tutoring, free academic coaching, advising, and counseling. The college also offers multiple support options throughout the year for additional expenses:
Work-Study: ACC’s Work-Study Program provides eligible ACC students with the opportunity to work part-time in a community service position or a field related to their area of study. Work-study employees work up to 19 hours per week and receive a semi-monthly paycheck.
Student Emergency Fund: The Student Emergency Fund at ACC provides immediate financial assistance to students who experience unexpected emergencies during the semester.
Zero-Cost Textbooks:ACC offers courses that use open educational resources known as OER. These courses use textbooks and online resources that are zero-cost for students. OER eliminates the burden of paying for books and many other classroom study materials.
Capital Metro Green pass: ACC students and employees can get financial support with life expenses including transportation. The Green Pass allows students to ride Capital Metro free of charge. It offers students, faculty, and staff unlimited rides on the Capital Metro transit system for one semester.
Save time and money to transfer: ACC offers dozens of articulation agreements with four-year universities to provide seamless pathways to a bachelor’s degree. The college’s Transfer Services team provides year-round support to help students make the move from ACC to another institution.
All of the financial aid options are available for eligible students, and it begins by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Undocumented Texas residents may complete the Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA) to apply for grants and work-study: austincc.edu/undocumented. ACC’s in-house experts review all applications and connect students with the best options for them.
For more information on ways to get and save money for college, visit austincc.edu/payforcollege.