85% of parents always expected their child would go to college, but 60% of families don’t have a plan to pay for it.
(How America Values College, Sallie Mae and lpsos, 2019)
How to Pay for College
- Virginia Business College payment plan (with no interest) – Full-time tuition for 1 year = $6,600. We will schedule payment plans for 2-12 months. (For example, a 12-month payment plan = $550 per month.)
- Scholarships and grants – Students are encouraged to check with their school guidance counselor for a list of available scholarships.
Southwest Virginia Alliance for Manufacturing
- Work while you attend school – Our professors have scheduled office hours immediately following each class to maximize opportunities for you to be able to meet with them. All course content and instruction is available online 24/7 for our students. We develop class schedules to provide ample opportunities for our students to maintain a full academic schedule and work a job if needed. We are located within walking distance to downtown Bristol and students have access to public transportation if they do not have a vehicle.
- Work at Virginia Business College – Virginia Business College prefers to hire students for part-time positions on campus. If you are interested in a part-time job while attending college, please email your name and contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org or call Jan Stout at 276-644-3832.
- Student Loans – Private lenders typically require you to qualify for approval. As a result, you need good credit and income to repay the loan. Many students don’t have either, so a parent (or somebody else with good income and credit) often applies for the loan or cosigns the loan with the student.
Student Loan Sources
- Credit Unions
- Sallie Mae
Don’t Forget About Tax Credits
When you file your taxes, you have two options for tax credits available for qualifying college expenses.
American Opportunity Tax Credit
The American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) offers a tax break of up to $2,500 per year based on your qualified education expenses.
Qualified expenses include:
- Tuition and fees
You’ll get a credit of 100% of the first $2,000 in qualified expenses you incurred and 25% of the next $2,000. Keep in mind, though, that only 40% of it is refundable, up to $1,000. So if you get a tax refund, you could get up to $1,000 back from this credit alone.
Lifetime Learning Credit
The Lifetime Learning Credit (LLC) is worth up to $2,000 — or 20% of the first $10,000 spent on qualified education expenses. This credit is nonrefundable, so it might not be worth trying for if you expect to get a refund. Qualifying expenses include tuition, fees and other related expenses that are required for enrollment. That means books, supplies and equipment don’t qualify because they’re not required to attend your university. Also, your qualified expenses must be paid directly to the school.
To be clear, you can’t take advantage of both credits in the same year, so do the math to determine which one is better for you. Also, you can’t claim either credit if your parents plan to claim you as a dependent on their tax return. Double-check with them before you file.