Ask any student what one of the most difficult aspects of college is and funding is bound to be discussed.
College tuition continues to increase in price, making community colleges like Community College of Aurora an attractive choice. Still, students can make financial decisions that can make moving forward difficult, if they’re not careful.
“Being the debt and default management advisor, I try to help prior CCA students from going into default,” said Judith Anderson, financial aid advisor at CCA. “I stress keeping their payments current and communicating with their lenders.”
To help current students start on the right financial path, Anderson created financial literacy courses for students so they can better manage their resources. The Dough Main Financial Literacy Courses cover budgeting, credit, identity theft, debt, life events, and spending and savings. The courses include monthly zoom sessions, videos, and helpful brochures that are available both virtually and in the CCA Financial Aid Office. Anderson also offers sessions to assist CCA graduates complete their Student Loan Exit Counseling for upcoming loan repayment.
“The Financial Literacy courses are available 24/7 to all CCA students, staff & faculty. It is of great importance, especially now coming out of the COVID pandemic and during this time of economic uncertainty, that everyone learns financial responsibility”.
“Financial Literacy is a topic that should be taught in all levels of education as well as in the home environment,” Anderson said, pointing out that is why she is committed to offering this information. “We have to be aware of the whole situation for the student. We need to ask what their long-term goals are for the future and to think about what their future holds for them financially.”
To help offset the cost of tuition and to rely less on loans, Anderson recommends students research scholarships, utilize campus resources like CCA’s loaner laptop program, and food pantry, and seek student employment opportunities on campus. She notes that many CCA Financial Aid full-time employees who have worked at CCA for years started in a work-study program.
Anderson started in student loan services in 2000, working with the State of Colorado. There she adjusted financial aid for students, moving on to accounting after several years where she disbursed daily funds from lenders to the schools. She later conducted audits for outsourced collection agencies at Nelnet, Inc., making sure they were in compliance and was the Ombudsman for the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and Student Assistance Corporation.
When she first came to CCA, Anderson worked as a Financial Aid loan processor but moved to become an advisor so she could work more closely with students. In her current role, Anderson has in depth discussions with students about using their financial aid wisley, especially if they will transfer to another school to pursue a bachelor’s degree.
With COVID relief funds drying up and inflation increasing the price of nearly everything, Anderson stresses budgeting is more important than ever for students.
For students who have questions about Financial Aid and Financial Literacy Education, Anderson can be reached at (303) 360-4709. Students can ask to schedule a meeting when they call with any Financial Aid Advisor. Navigate appointments as well as drop-in Zoom availability are also available from Monday through Friday.
All Financial Literacy Course offerings and other resources can be found on www.ccaurora.edu/getting-started/paying-college/financial-aid/references