What To Do Before The First Tuition Bill Arrives
Before your student’s first tuition bill arrives, here are five things for families to find out first.
When will the tuition bill arrive?
First, know when the school will send out the first tuition bill. Most schools will make this information available on their academic calendar, or check the Bursar’s Office or Student Accounting Office. (Hint: This is the office at the college or university responsible for the billing of student tuition accounts. It is separate from the Financial Aid Office, which determines student aid awards. Click here for a glossary of helpful college terms).
Where will the school send the tuition bill?
Second, find out where and how the school will send the tuition bill. This may seem obvious, but most colleges and universities send the tuition bill directly to the student, not the parent. Also, most schools send the tuition bill electronically either via email or through their online student portal, rather than mailing the bill. This often causes confusion for families.
How will the tuition bill be paid?
Third, develop a plan with your son or daughter about how the tuition bill is going to be paid. Are they going to be responsible for all of it? For some of it? Make sure you talk through this with your son or daughter, and that they know how important it is for them to let you know if/when they’ve received the bill, and that you’ve set expectations on how you will all make sure that it is paid on time, and according to plan.
When is the first tuition payment due?
Fourth, find out when the first payment is due. This information should also be available from the academic calendar or the Bursar’s Office. Once you have this date, you’ll be able to confirm the timing of payments from any applicable grants, loans, or scholarships. Many families are surprised to find out that the timing of when the tuition bill is due does not line up with when they’ve received all of the funds they’d expected.
Does the school offer a Tuition Payment Plan?
Fifth, find out if the school offers a tuition payment plan. This is different from loans and grants, and may just give you a little more time to spread out payments at a smaller interest rate than a loan. This can also cover timing gaps in scholarships that may not have funded your tuition on time. But, it is crucial to find this out as early as possible, because in some cases, you have to sign up for the plan before the first tuition payment is due.
For many families – grants, scholarships and other financial aid may be enough to pay for tuition, books, room and board. However, they may not be enough to cover other expenses such as other day-to-day living expenses, miscellaneous fees, a computer and other needed tools.
As tuition bill deadlines approach, you can make sure all costs are covered by securing a private student loan.
Use LendKey to help your son or daughter find a low-rate student loan for the upcoming school year. You’ll be matched with the best loan options from LendKey’s network of not-for-profit lenders – all online!
Unlike loan comparison websites, LendKey handles student loans from application to final payment, meaning cosigners like you always know where to turn for information and assistance.