Financial Education

For an explanation of the costs to attend TU, see Tuition & Other Costs.

Paying for college may be your first big expense. Planning ahead can help lower your costs and prevent financial problems. The Financial Aid Office and Bursar’s Office can help.

The Financial Aid Office helps current and prospective students find aid programs that can lower college costs. They walk you through the process of applying for aid and their Award Guide explains how to manage financial aid offers.

The Bursar’s Office is essentially TU’s billing center. They provide detailed information about current tuition rates, fees and other costs as well as payment deadlines and payment plan options.

Getting Help

If you have problems paying for college GET HELP right away!  Call or email the Financial Aid Office to explore your aid options and contact the Bursar’s Office immediately if you have concerns about paying your bill.  Addressing the problem early gives you more options and prevents your classes from being canceled or your bill being sent to collections.

Aid Tips

After your apply for aid, the Financial Aid Office will send you an aid notification which lists your aid offers. When you receive your aid notification, it is your responsibility to compare these to your estimated cost of attendance. This comparison will help you make decisions about which college you will attend and how you will pay for all your costs.

When reviewing your aid offers, always accept grants and scholarships first because they don’t have to be repaid.

You should consider whether you can afford to live on-campus, and if so, which on-campus housing option to choose. You can also potentially find cheaper off-campus housing, food and transportation options.

Finally, you must decide if you will borrow loans, and how much you will borrow.

Understanding Loans

Using loans to pay for college may be your first major financial debt.  Student loans are typically not forgiven under bankruptcy and so whether or not you graduate, you will need to repay the money you borrowed. 

Borrow only what you need; you do not have to accept all the loan money that is offered to you and can change the amount of how much you borrow when you accept your award. Accept subsidized loans first because they do not accrue interest while you are in school. If you are a parent who is borrowing money to help your student pay for school, explore other options, such as a home equity loan, to see if you get a better interest rate.

Your student loans will appear as credit in deferred status on your credit report until you start repaying them. 

Reducing Enrollment, Taking a Break From School and Withdrawal 

You cannot simply decide not to attend school anymore without possible serious financial consequences.  Any change in your enrollment can impact your financial aid and whether or not you have to repay some or all the funding.  Before you make any change in your enrollment, be sure you understand the refund policy and deadline and the process for requesting a refund exception. If you need to change your enrollment, do so officially with Enrollment Services and Financial Aid. 

Budgeting 

Each semester you need to determine your budget to pay for direct costs (tuition, fees, housing, meals) and indirect costs (insurance, off-campus housing, transportation, personal expenses). TIP: Calculate how much money you spend on food each month. Did you know that the average student spends $300-$400 a month on food — even if they have an on-campus meal plan! You can better control your budget by tracking and limiting unnecessary expenses, like eating out.

Credit

Student loans are a major form of credit. On average, TU students graduate with about $28,000 in student loans. They remain in deferred status on your credit report until you no longer meet the deferment terms.

If you use a credit card to pay your bill, a 2.75% convenience fee (minimum $3.00) will be charged. Your student loans will show on your credit report but should be in “deferred” status, unless you don't meet the terms of the loan.

View your credit report to see your credit history. Check it closely for accuracy and dispute any erroneous charges.

Debt

Student loans and credit cards are typical forms of debt for college students. But there are other types of bills you may be responsible for paying  a car loan, health or car insurance, rent, cable, telephone, etc. There are many free resources available to you to help you manage your debt. Consider using one of the following:

  • a TU financial coach  email
  • self-help tools to help you set a realistic budget
  • debt relief services, such as credit counseling/settlement
  • debt consolidation

Savings

Many students think it's impossible to save money while in school. But there are three possible sources of income you can use to save money:

  • financial aid rebate
  • tax refund
  • money you earn

Take what you need each semester to pay for out-of-pocket expenses and put the rest into a savings account!

One fact students overlook is that you have time on your side. You have time to let your money grow, even if you start saving with very little money. This is because over time, interest rates allow your money to compound and increase. Use this calculator to see how to grow your savings!

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