Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Saving Money for School

Finishing college can help you earn more money in the future. The difference in earnings from a high school graduate to getting an Associate's degree is about $7,000-8,000 a year, or over $250,000 over a work career. From an Associate's degree to a Bachelor's is another $7,000-8,000, or another $250,000. That’s a half-million dollars more you’ll earn with a Bachelor’s degree! Stay in school! Those who have actually finished a degree earn significantly more than those who start college and drop out.

Here are some tips to help you save money for school:

Spend Less Than You Make
Many people do not know how much they spend each month. Take a month to carefully track your spending, noting every penny you spend. You’ll be surprised how much you spend on frivolous things. Use the Student Budget Worksheet to help you assess your income and expenses.
Pay Yourself First, Save!
Get in the habit—as early as possible—of putting something aside each month. The wonderful principle of “compounding” lets your money grow as it earns interest.
Pay Off High-Interest Credit Card Debt
This is the second KEY investment you can make. NEVER, EVER – unless it is an emergency – maintain a balance on credit cards. Pay them off, and keep them paid off.
Invest Early
The earlier you invest, the more your investment compounds. Do your homework investigating investments, then take a risk. Remember, any deal that seems “too good to be true” probably is.
Join a Credit Union
Credit unions in general give you better interest on your deposits and charge you less interest on loans than banks. Join one early, open a CD or two and stay with them – it's a great way to establish credit.

PCC Resources

Check out these resources all located on the Paying for College and PCC Life tabs in MyPCC.

Financial Aid

Use the Financial Aid homepage to help you fill out your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and submit it online to start the Financial Aid process. You can also check your financial aid status and find out what scholarships PCC offers.

Your Student Account

Get information on the Tuition and Fees website about payment deadlines and options, hardship petitions and tax credits.

Veterans’ Services

If you are using Veterans benefits for the first time or are transferring to PCC, you must apply through this office and complete an intake interview. Call the office to find out which documents to provide for the certification process at 971-722-4502. A Veterans Advisor can help you complete your packet.

Student Employment

The Student Employment program staff can help you locate jobs or internships both on and off campus. They can also help you with interview and job seeking skills. Keep your eye on recruiting and other job related events.

Cooperative Education

Earn college credit while gaining valuable on the job experience in your major area of study.