Skip to main content

Home

A tree with monkey as leaves growing out of an open book A tree with monkey as leaves growing out of an open book

Smart Choices

to create a financially successful future!

Educational Credit Management Corporation (ECMC) Learning

Visit ECMC Learning for financial wellness courses, resources and tools

Paying for College

school house illustration with leaves growing out of the topFAFSA

Be sure to file your FAFSA each year as early as possible. This will determine your eligibility for federal grants and other forms of financial aid. More information about the FAFSA.

Options for Paying for College

It’s always best to explore free money to pay for school. Below are some good places to start:

  • The Washington College Grant: This grant is funded by the state of Washington and provides financial aid to eligible students. More information about eligibility requirements and funding amounts.
  • Scholarships: Scholarships are sources of financial aid that are usually funded by third parties. You do not need to pay scholarships back. Many of them could be based on need or merit and some might require you to write an essay for consideration. This might sound like a lot of work, but it usually only takes a few minutes to apply and the benefit is worth it. More information about scholarships.
  • Federal Work-Study: Federal Work-Study is a way to pay for college by working an approved job on or off campus. You’ll be awarded a dollar amount and receive paychecks up to this amount by working. More information and eligibility requirements for Federal Work-Study (SCC | SFCC)
  • Federal Student Loans: Loans are not free money and you will have to pay back what you borrow along with interest. There are different types of student loans available: Federal Stafford Subsidized and Unsubsidized and Parent PLUS loans. More information on the various types of loans and eligibility requirements.
Financial wellness illustration of a laptop, check list, money coin, calculator and stick figures

Repaying Student Loans

When you accept a student loan and it is disbursed, you are agreeing to pay it back. There are several ways to do this, as paying back your student loan can be tailored to your ability to pay. More information about paying back your student loan.

Solutions at ECMC offers you free counseling about borrowing and repaying your student loans. Visit their website to contact them.

It’s also important for you to know that failure to pay back your student loan (defaulting) can have serious consequences. It’s very important for you to understand the consequences of default. Community Colleges of Spokane and Solutions at ECMC are committed to helping you avoid these consequences and are here to assist you. Contact the financial aid office or Solutions at ECMC for more information.

Here are some perspectives from students on financial aid and the process:

“I am grateful that my school was able to provide such great support. I truthfully did not know how to go about my student loans and did not know what options I had—nor what steps to take to receive these options—and it was really helpful.”

“[ECMC Solutions] has helped me two years in a row with managing my student loans. He is an EXCELLENT resource: knowledgeable, helpful, kind and so easy to work with! I made sure this year [that] I contacted him, specifically, to help me.”

“My experience was great. Most importantly, I was treated with the utmost respect and kindness.”
“I turned in my application to college and go accepted for this fall! I am excited to let you know because we have been in communication for a long time. Thank you for being supportive.”

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be able to attend college. This scholarship has helped me so much.”

“Approaching repayment of student loans can be stressful and scary, but [they] reassured me that there are plenty of resources that can assist with to help me with my repayment process. I appreciate [their] time and detailed explanations that allowed me to better understand the student loan process. [They] also helped me register [my loan servicer] account and explain to me my interest rates.”

Financial Education and Your Money

two light bulbs and a dollar signOne skill that everyone needs in life is personal financial management, yet money is a sensitive topic as there never seems to be enough of it. Community Colleges of Spokane, the state of Washington and Solutions at ECMC want to provide you with information about how to improve your relationship with your money.

Financial Education Learning Website

Solutions at ECMC has an online tool called ECMC Learning. This tool is free and simplifies your money matters. There is a wealth of information, including calculators, budgeting assistance, and tips on saving and spending money. Visit ECMC Learning (SCC | SFCC) and start exploring today!

Student Loan Debt and Your Career Aspirations

The state of Washington and Community Colleges of Spokane want you to have the best information possible about working once you leave school. It’s very helpful to know what the average salaries are for a wide range of careers, and how this compares with your potential student loan debt. For more information, visit ECMC Learning (SCC | SFCC).

Questions

About Solutions at ECMC

ECMC Solutions Logo
ECMC is a nonprofit with a mission to help students succeed. Solutions at ECMC works closely with the Community Colleges of Spokane to provide services that support student loan management and help you focus on success. Conversations with our trained counselors are intended to help navigate paying for school and repaying federal student loans.