ESCC encouraging college applicants to think local

Enterprise State Community College Director of Counseling & Student Success Dr. Felisha Ford (standing) helps students plan their class schedule for the spring.

Alabama’s College Application Week, Nov. 4-8, is here, and Enterprise State Community College and the Alabama Aviation College are ready to help people take the next steps in their education.

Community college is a great option for those interested in furthering their education or receiving technical training. It is also a great resource for students currently in high school or those who have completed their high school graduation credits early.

Especially for early completers, taking classes at their local community college can help them save time and money while receiving a quality education.

“The benefit of taking general education courses at ESCC is not only the cost — classes cost at least half of what students will pay for the same course at a four-year institution — but also the opportunity to study with instructors with the same credentials as those at the four-year institution in a much smaller, one-on-one environment that fosters student development and a village of support,” Associate Dean of Students/Financial Aid Director Dr. Kevin Ammons said.

For those students who wish to complete their college education at a university or would like to complete required courses between semesters at a four-year institution, their local community college is a resource to turn to.

In Alabama, community colleges provide transferable credits through the Statewide Articulation Reporting System, making it even easier for students to complete their first two years at their local community college and transfer those credits to another institution.

One method that ESCC uses to provide a strong foundation for transfer students is ensuring the classes students take at ESCC will actually transfer. ESCC can stand by this agreement when students follow the Alabama Articulation Program. The program is designed to inform students about degree requirements and course equivalents from colleges from each state-funded four-year institution.

“Start your college journey at ESCC before transferring to a different school,” ESCC President Matt Rodgers said. “This will allow you to possibly stay at home with no room-and-board fees or rent while earning college credits. It also opens up the opportunity to work and start saving money for when you move out or go to school.”

Community colleges like ESCC are a resource to take advantage of when taking those next steps, whether it be toward a degree program or technical training. All it takes to start is to apply.

ESCC and AAC have an open-door admissions policy to ensure that every person can attain a college education. There is no application deadline and no ACT/SAT or GPA score required.

There are just a few steps to complete the application process at ESCC and AAC, which are to complete the general application, residency form and identify verification form; submit a copy of the applicant’s driver’s license and all transcripts; and provide any test scores from the last five years.

All application information may be found on www.escc.edu/admissions/.

For many students, deciding how to pay for college is an important part of the college process. College applicants are encouraged to complete the now open Free Application for Federal Student Aid to see if they qualify for federal or other financial aid.

Completing the FAFSA is important. Many college applicants do not always complete it, missing out on thousands of dollars per applicant available to them. According to the Federal Student Aid website, more than $150 billion is available to applicants for college.

Before filling out the FAFSA, applicants will need to apply for a Financial Student Aid ID, which is used as a signature on financial aid forms, at www.fsaid.ed.gov. Parents of dependent students will need their own FSA ID.

When completing the FAFSA for ESCC, list the ESCC school code, which is 001015.

The 2020-21 FAFSA, for students planning to attend college in August 2020, will use information from the their or their parents’ 2018 tax return. Applicants can use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool within the FAFSA to provide federal income tax return data.

To apply for financial aid as an early high school completer, the 2019-20 FAFSA application must be completed. This application will use the applicant’s or their parents’ 2017 tax return information.

At ESCC, the college application must be before an aid application will be considered at ESCC. The deadline to apply for ESCC financial aid and scholarships is March 1, 2020.

ESCC financial aid information is available at www.escc.edu/admissions/financial-aid-admissions/.

No matter where a person is in their educational journey, a community college like ESCC/AAC can provide a quality education or training to anyone.

“It does not matter if the student is a high school senior who just graduated, a transient student who already attends another university, a current ESCC student or a nontraditional student who just wants to pick up some courses to advance a career,” Rodgers said. “ESCC/AAC has something for everyone.”

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