For families with high school seniors, it can feel like the marathon is over. They have chosen their school and are getting ready for the transition to college. Transitioning includes being ready for the first tuition bill.
As with so many pieces of the college project, it is not as straightforward as you would expect. Here are four things to figure out about your student’s college tuition bill:
1) When will the tuition bill arrive?
The first thing to find out is when the bill will arrive. This may be available on the school’s academic calendar or you may need to check with the Student Accounting Office, also known at some schools as the Bursar’s Office. This is who sends out the bill.
2) Who will receive the tuition bill?
At most schools, the bill goes directly to the student and not the parents. It is often delivered electronically via email or a student portal. It is important to make it clear to your student to let you know as soon as they receive the bill.
3) When is the tuition bill due?
This information should be available on the academic calendar or from the Student Accounting Office. The payment due date should then be compared to payments from any grants, loans and scholarships. The payments from these sources may not align with the due date. So, you may need to talk with the college about timing.
4) Who will pay the tuition bill?
Work out a plan, in advance, to be clear on what your student is paying for and what parents are paying for. This includes the tuition bill as well as books, day-to-day living expenses, and miscellaneous fees. You can also find out if the school offers tuition payment plan. This allows you to spread out payments over several months instead of having to pay in a lump sum. If you think this is something you want to use, check on it soon. You may have to sign up for it before the first payment is due.
If you found the college process challenging and have a younger child who is entering the process, I would be happy to help.