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How to Read Your College Bill

Last updated August 10, 2020

Your college bill, or statement, can be overwhelming to look at. With so many pieces of information you may not know where to start or how to make sure it is accurate. Check out our Get Schooled example bill to better understand how much you owe, when it’s due, and how the amount came to be!

  1. Due Date - The bill or statement may have a due date on the top. It is important you pay your balance by this date, or set up a payment plan, to ensure you are ready for class on day one.
  2. Charges or New Activity - This is where you will see the total amount you owe to the school before financial aid.
  3. Tuition - This is how much you owe for the classes you are taking! In-state, out of state, part time… make sure you are being charged the college rate for your status.
  4. Fees - Some fees are not included in the tuition and will be listed out on the bill. These charges may be for all students like facility fees to cover campus maintenance and services or technology fees to pay for WiFi. Other fees may be connected to classes you are registered for such as a lab fee for a science class.
  5. Health Insurance - Most colleges require students to have health insurance while enrolled. You may be able to submit proof of outside health insurance for a waiver or must pay for insurance through your school.
  6. Room and Board - If you are paying for a dorm room, meal plan, or other on-campus housing service, this is where you will see these charges. The different on-campus rooms and meal plans have varying costs so make sure you explore all your options.
  7. Financial Aid - Any grants, scholarships, or loans you have accepted will appear in this section. If anything is missing make sure to reach out to your school’s financial aid office!
  8. Payments - Any payments that have already been made, including the enrollment deposit, will appear as a negative balance and be subtracted from your total charges.
  9. Balance Due - By subtracting your financial aid package and any payments from the total charges your bill will list a final balance due. This can be paid in full by the due date or through a payment plan set up with your school.  

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