LBW begins new funding venture to help students

Published 10:48 am Monday, August 3, 2015

LBW Community College is beginning a new venture to help students gain the finances they need to pursue a college education at any of its four locations.

“We are constantly seeking ways to assist students in their higher education goals. That is why we decided to contract with Great Lakes Educational Loan Services, Inc. (Great Lakes), a non-profit organization that provides private student loan management,” said LBWCC President Dr. Herb Riedel.

“The role of the college in this student loan application process is verification of enrollment and approval of loan amount based on cost of attendance. The student deals directly with the company, which provides online private loan counseling. By giving students a side-by-side comparison of different loan options, the company’s selection tool helps students make the most informed choices on which lender and which loan is best for them.”

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LBWCC and all other colleges in the Alabama Community College System are required to obtain payment for all tuition and fees before students begin classes, said Riedel.

“Although LBW’s tuition and fees are less than half of the cost of most four-year institutions, we know it is hard for many families to make full payment upfront each semester. Some parents charge the payment to credit cards, which carry a high interest rate,” he said.

Great Lakes provides lender and loan options, handles all the loan processing and makes payment to LBW in time for the student to begin classes.

A link to Great Lakes’ “FASTChoice” is available on the LBW website.

“This can prove to be a tremendous help for qualifying students,” said Riedel.

LBWCC also partners with a company that works with students on a semester-by-semester tuition payment plan with a small processing fee, with all payments due within the semester.

“By offering these two financial payment options, we hope more students can get started on obtaining their college education,” said Riedel.

LBWCC offers classes in degree transfer programs and career technical training programs with locations in Andalusia, Opp, Greenville and Luverne.

For more information, call 334-222-6591 or visit