College Tuition & Fee Payment Options
Last updated May 2, 2023
While there are a variety of ways to pay for college, some options are easier than others. Whether you're using scholarships, grants, loans, or your own personal funds, it's important to know your options to avoid taking on unnecessary debt. We'll explore the different ways to pay for college tuition and provide tips for making the process as smooth as possible.
Set up a checking account
Setting up a checking account will allow you the option to pay with a debit card, checks, or directly from your account. You can receive funds from family and be able to use payment apps like Venmo or Cash App. Tip: set a pin for payment apps and password lock your bank apps.
Consider payment plans
If a one-time tuition payment is not financially possible, check with your school to see if there is an option to start a payment plan. With a payment plan, you pay a monthly interest-free amount over a certain period, in most cases, for the length of the quarter or semester. Ask the financial aid office as soon as you can because it might take time to set up.
Log in to your student account, and review any final steps on your end to receive your scholarship award(s) or grant(s). Keep track of the conditions you must meet to stay eligible for any scholarships or grants you’ve received. Common eligibility requirements involve being enrolled for a certain amount of credits, or not going below a certain GPA.
If you received a work study award, be sure to review the details of your work study program. What steps do you need to take? Which jobs can you apply for? Where can you find positions that will count as work study? Your department may also have part-time positions available. Keep in mind that you will need to balance hours between work, class, and studying.
Check your FAFSA account and student account for information about your federal loans. In general, your student aid offer will include directions on accepting aid. Follow these directions carefully. In most cases, you will sign a promissory note (a contract between you and the lender) that specifies the terms and conditions of the loan. If you are accepting a loan, you will need to finish a loan education program, known as entrance counseling, before receiving any aid.
Taking out private loans should be a last-resort plan, after you have tried all other ways of paying for tuition. Private loans have higher interest rates than federal loans, and the terms and conditions are usually not as good. Read all the fine print and borrow only the amount you need and can reasonably afford to pay back.
It's important to know your college payment options and choose the ones that work best for you. Want to learn more about paying for college? Check out our FAFSA resources or text #Hello to 33-55-77 to chat with one of our advisors. If you're using a mobile device, click here to have the text message set up for you!