How to Pay for College the Smart Way
Learn how to lower your out-of-pocket costs and avoid student debt
Even with low tuition, funding your education can be complicated at times. We’re here to help!
Let’s look at the possibilities to reduce your total costs, pay for college, and support you while attending college. Below you’ll find four scenarios displayed that are typical of many students. Choose the one closest to your situation to gain a better understanding of how the funding all works together.
Already you’ve started at the right place: Colorado Mountain College offers the lowest tuition rates in Colorado.
Federal and State Financial Aid
Commonly referred to as the FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid is your first step. Find out if you are eligible for valuable grants, student loans and work-study jobs. Never assume that you won't qualify! Fill out the form and get informed about your real options. To get started, go to FAFSA.
For complete information, see Financial Aid
Scholarships are a great way to fund your education. More and more are made available every day, and they don't have to be paid back! You can apply for financial need-based scholarships, and/or merit-based scholarships that are awarded for academic and personal achievement. CMC offers several scholarships in both categories, but don't stop there! Visit FastWeb for access to thousands of national awards.
Paying your tuition is easy with CMC's Payment Plan. It breaks your expenses into monthly payments, and by planning ahead, you can pay for a semester's expenses over four or five months.
See Payment Plans
Paying for College: See How It Works in Four Student Scenarios
We made up four different student scenarios — you're probably in similar circumstances to one of them. We used real costs and the most common types of financial aid and scholarships that fit our example students. You'll get a good picture of how it all works to help you pay for college.
Student Scenario: Kiera
Kiera graduated this year from a local high school in the CMC district. She plans to enroll in an Associate of Arts program full-time in the fall and plans on transferring after completing her degree.
Kiera is going to live at home with her mother to save money while attending CMC. As an 18-year-old recent high school graduate, Kiera is considered a dependent of her mother for financial aid purposes. Her mother makes $32,000 per year.
SEE HOW KIERA PAYS FOR COLLEGE
Student Scenario: Adrian
Adrian is a 30-year-old restaurant employee who lives alone in an apartment in Breckenridge, Colorado. He has a tuition classification of in-district. Adrian plans to go to school part-time (6 credit hours a semester) and pursue an Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education. Adrian works full-time and earns about $30,000 per year
SEE HOW ADRIAN PAYS FOR COLLEGE
Student Scenario: Lucy
Lucy grew up on the Front Range of Colorado. She is 22 years-old and has DACA. She has qualified for in-state tuition and is going to attend the Leadville Campus and will live in the residence hall. She is going to attend full-time and is pursuing an associate degree in Outdoor Education. Lucy worked part-time last year and earned approximately $12,000
SEE HOW LUCY PAYS FOR COLLEGE
Student Scenario: Mario
Mario is a recent high school graduate from Austin, Texas. He is going to attend the Steamboat Springs Campus as a full-time student. Mario has to live on campus as a new college student and is going to pursue a bachelor's degree in Sustainability Studies. Mario is a dependent of his parents who filled out the FAFSA and reported an income of $40,000 per year. Mario's father is a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces.
SEE HOW MARIO PAYS FOR COLLEGE