ACC Experts | Paying for School & Life

February is Financial Aid Month! As Austin Community College District (ACC) current and future students work to navigate the new Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, ACC staff are ready to support students.

Financial support for inside and outside the classroom doesn’t stop there for students. ACC experts share tips on all the financial support offered to Riverbats.


Written by: Belinda Peña, ACC associate director of Financial Aid and Veterans Outreach


Feeling overwhelmed by the thought of paying for school and managing your finances? You’re not alone. At Austin Community College District (ACC), we believe that education should be accessible to everyone, no matter their financial situation. Let’s explore how you can access and make the most of the financial resources available to you.

Paying for School: Financial Aid & Beyond

ACC offers various financial aid options tailored to meet your needs. The best part? You’re not limited to just one resource. As an ACC student, you have access to several benefits to make college affordable:

  • Financial Aid: Financial aid comes in different forms, including grants (free money), loans (borrowed money), and work-study (part-time work). Applying for financial aid can significantly help offset day-to-day college expenses.
  • Scholarships: Through the ACC Foundation, there are over 800 scholarships available. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to lighten your financial load with free money.
  • Veteran Benefits: Veterans and their dependents may qualify for education benefits, making their college experience even more affordable.
  • Third-Party Sponsors: Your employer or organizations you are part of might offer tuition assistance. For example, many ACC students have qualified for tuition assistance through Capital Idea.
  • Tuition Exemptions & Waivers for Special Populations: Special groups of Texas residents or nonresidents may qualify for exemptions or waivers, reducing their tuition and/or fees.

Paying for Life: Balancing Education and Expenses

Managing daily expenses can be tough, but ACC is here to help you navigate life as a student. Taking advantage of our free support services allows you to have more flexibility in your budget for other essentials. Remember, free is always the best price. Whether it’s groceries or financial coaching, we provide a variety of resources to support you, all at no cost:

  • Student Money Management Office: Take control of your finances and plan for the future with personalized assistance from our experts.
  • Financial Coaching: Gain valuable insights into budgeting and financial planning through our partnership with Foundation Communities. One-on-one appointments are available online and in-person.
  • Social Support Resources: From childcare to legal aid, we’ve got you covered with a comprehensive list of ACC and community resources to meet your needs.
  • Student Care Center: Life happens, and when it does, we’re here to help. Don’t hesitate to reach out for support whenever you need it, including food, housing, transportation, legal aid, family support, and more.
  • Groceries On Campus: Take advantage of the free food and groceries available to students across the district.
  • Tax Help at Highland: Get help filing your taxes for free with an IRS-certified tax preparer, ensuring you don’t have to spend extra money on tax assistance.

Getting Support: Financial Aid Month

Throughout Financial Aid Month, we’re here to assist you with your FAFSA (or TASFA) and scholarship applications. Visit austincc.edu/fafsa for support. The priority date for financial aid and scholarships for Fall 2024 is May 1, 2024. 

Navigating your finances while pursuing an education can be challenging, but with this list of resources at your disposal, you’re off to a great start. If you have questions or need assistance, remember that support is always available.

For more information, visit austincc.edu/financialaid.

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