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Financial Literacy

Important information about your financial wellbeing and paying for college.

About

Tacoma Community College has teamed up with Solutions at ECMC to provide the following important information about your financial wellbeing and paying for college. ECMC is a nonprofit with a mission to help students succeed. Solutions at ECMC works closely with TCC to provide services that support student loan management and help you focus on success. Conversations with our trained counselors are intended to help navigate paying for school and repaying federal student loans.

Paying for College

FAFSA

Be sure to file your FAFSA each year as early as possible. This will determine your eligibility for federal grants and other forms of financial aid. For more information about the FAFSA, go to https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa.

Options for Paying for College

It’s always best to explore free money to pay for school. Below are some good places to start:

  • The Washington College Grant: This grant is funded by the state of Washington and provides financial aid to eligible students. To see if you are eligible and what the funding amounts are, go to https://readysetgrad.wa.gov/college/Washington-college-grant.
  • Scholarships: Scholarships are sources of financial aid that are usually funded by third parties. You do not need to pay scholarships back. Many of them could be based on need or merit and some might require you to write an essay for consideration. This might sound like a lot of work, but it usually only takes a few minutes to apply and the benefit is worth it. For more information about scholarships, go to https://www.tacomacc.edu/costs-admission/scholarships-funding/.
  • Federal Work-Study: Federal Work-Study is a way to pay for college by working an approved job on or off campus. You’ll be awarded a dollar amount and receive paychecks up to this amount by working. For more information and to see if you are eligible for Federal Work-Study, go to https://www.tacomacc.edu/costs-admission/financial-aid/work-study.
  • Federal Student Loans: Loans are not free money and you will have to pay back what you borrow along with interest. There are different types of student loans available: Federal Stafford Subsidized and Unsubsidized and Parent PLUS loans. For more information on the various types of loans and eligibility requirements, go to https://studentaid.gov/understand-aid/types/loans.

Repaying Student Loans

When you accept a student loan and it is disbursed, you are agreeing to pay it back. There are several ways to do this, as paying back your student loan can be tailored to your ability to pay. For more information about paying back your student loan, go to https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/repayment.

ECMC Solutions offers you free counseling about borrowing and repaying your student loans. To contact them, go to https://www.ecmcsolutions.org.

It’s also important for you to know that failure to pay back your student loan (defaulting) can have serious consequences. It’s very important for you to understand the consequences of default. TCC and ECMC Solutions are committed to helping you avoid these consequences and are here to assist you. Contact TCC Financial Aid office or ECMC Solutions for more information.

I am grateful that my school was able to provide such great support. I truthfully did not know how to go about my student loans and did not know what options I had—nor what steps to take to receive these options—and it was really helpful.”

Student

 

Financial Education and Your Money

One skill that everyone needs in life is personal financial management, yet money is a sensitive topic as there never seems to be enough of it. TCC, the state of Washington and Solutions at ECMC want to provide you with information about how to improve your relationship with your money.

Financial Education Learning Website

ECMC Solutions has an online tool called ECMC Learning. This tool is free and simplifies your money matters. There is a wealth of information, including calculators, budgeting assistance, and tips on saving and spending money. Visit ECMC Learning and start exploring today!

Student Loan Debt and Your Career Aspirations

The state of Washington and TCC want you to have the best information possible about working once you leave school. It’s very helpful to know what the average salaries are for a wide range of careers, and how this compares with your potential student loan debt. For more information, visit ECMC Learning.

Questions?

If you have any questions, contact TCC financial aid office. 
If you have questions about repaying your student loans, contact Solutions at ECMC.
If you feel that you need to provide feedback or lodge a complaint about your student loan servicer, contact the Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Office.