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Columbia MD, 21044
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Laurel, MD 20707
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Bill (Jiaqi)

Bill Li
HCC is very uplifting to students who need a lift, especially if tuition is one of their concerns.
A top student from Spencerville Adventist Academy, Bill (Jiaqi) Li was on a mission when he arrived at Howard Community College (HCC).

Bill wanted to take advantage of HCC’s value – academically and financially – while also giving back to his fellow students.

Li succeeded in every way, earning an associate degree in business management while also serving as a peer leader in HCC’s Open Accounting Lab and working with students through the Learning Assistance Center.

“Being peer leader is basically like being a teaching assistant at a four-year university,” says Li, who transferred to the University of Maryland with a double major in accounting and information systems. “But we created more learning environments for students struggling with accounting questions. We also built different workshops for students to study for exams and do homework. I had a ton of fun doing it.”

Working with peers proved beneficial to him, too. He says he learned to study more effectively and find a balance between work and life. “English wasn’t my first language; I had to learn on the side,” he says. “After getting to HCC, I learned how to teach other people at the same time I was learning. I was able to absorb more knowledge.”

Another prime example of giving back came through HCC’s Ellicott City Project. Li was among the students who volunteered to help storeowners who suffered catastrophic flood damage in 2018. Many of the brick-and-mortar businesses were devastated and had to shut down completely until the HCC students came along.

“We helped business owners create websites and move their stores online,” he says. “We had a team of people and interviewed owners. Then we designed the websites for them.”

Li was drawn by the quality and affordability of an HCC education, something a couple of friends had experienced. He also took advantage of his academic achievement, which enabled his entry to the Frederick K. Schoenbrodt Scholars Program. During his time on campus, Li was a member of Phi Theta Kappa, serving as vice president of research.

“HCC is very uplifting to students who need a lift, especially if tuition is one of their concerns,” he says. “It’s definitely a place worth going to. All the professors I had were positive and eager to teach you. The way they deliver was very helpful, too.”

Li says there’s one more important reason for prospective students to consider attending HCC.

“The whole environment is very nice.”

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