Kenai Peninsula College would like to plant a seed in the mind of anyone who has counted themselves out of the college experience because of the inability to come up with an entire semester's tuition and fees prior to beginning classes. If a student has difficulty meeting the current semester's tuition and fee charges and has a good credit record at the college, he or she can take advantage of KPC's EZ Payment Plan. For the cost of an administrative fee for the initial contract, this financial service is available at zero percent interest.
The program requires one-third of the cost down, one-third due 30 days into the semester and the final one-third due 90 days into the semester. Note that the following examples apply to lower division (100-200 level) course tuition rates and the EZ Tuition Payment Plan can be applied only to KPC courses (meaning it does not apply to distance-delivered classes from other University of Alaska campuses). For example, for the upcoming spring semester beginning Jan. 10, a one-credit class including tuition and fees would plug into the EZ Payment Plan as follows: $35 down, $35 due 30 days into the semester and a final payment of $35.50 due 90 days into the semester. For a three-credit class, which most are at KPC, it is helpful to look at that cost breakdown in the KPC EZ Payment Plan: $105.50 down, $105.50 due 30 days into the semester and a final payment of $105.50 due 90 days into the semester. With a full load of 12 credits, students would pay $422 down, $422 due 30 days into the semester and $422 due 90 days into the semester.
One 2004 Alaska Permanent Fund dividend will cover more than two-thirds of the cost of a full load of courses at KPC.
Research reported by the American Association of Community Colleges shows that education pays. According to a study done in 2000, students who complete associate degrees and certificates are more likely to move into higher-status management and professional positions with higher earnings. An investment of a few thousand dollars now may pay lifelong dividends, as students who earn associate degrees average lifetime earnings of $250,000 more than people without degrees, based on material from the "National Profile of Community Colleges: Trends & Statistics," by Phillippe & Patton, 2000.
Success at college must be broadly defined to include not just those who attain associate degrees and earn certificates, but also the many students who take noncredit and work force training classes.
KPC encourages all students to seek out all forms of available financial aid to help with education-related expenses. The financial aid office encourages students to apply now for grants and scholarships for the upcoming spring semester. These awards are based on students' financial status or academic standing and do not require repayment.
Part-time and full-time students are eligible to apply for these forms of financial aid. Applications for a variety of scholarships and grants, including full tuition waivers, are available in the financial aid office and the deadline to apply for awards granted in the spring semester is Dec. 21.
Last year, KPC had a number of scholarships that had no applicants.
Loans state, federal or from banks also are available to students, but they must be repaid with interest upon graduation. This extended obligation gives students the opportunity to leverage their career positions into higher salary ranges that allow them to repay loans quicker. Information regarding a variety of loan programs also can be obtained in the financial aid office.
KPC invites you to talk with a tuition loan officer in Campus Services about the EZ Tuition Payment Plan (262-0310) and to make an appointment with the financial aid office (262-0332) to explore your financial options.
Consider the words on this page to be a wake-up call. How can you afford to not get a college education?
This column is provided by Suzie Kendrick, community relations coordinator at Kenai Peninsula College.
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