Paying for College
Understanding College Costs
How and When Do I Pay for College?
College expenses are due at a variety of times. For example, schools generally charge by the academic period (semester, trimester, quarter, or some other time period). This would include tuition and fees, as well as room and board if you live on-campus. Colleges will bill you directly, usually through the student portal.
Most colleges offer a variety of payment plans and accept a variety of payment methods, but you must have all outstanding balances paid before you can enroll in a new semester. Be sure to request specific payment deadlines, payment options, and other applicable payment processing information directly from the school that you plan to attend.
Other college expenses, such as rent if you live off campus, are typically paid monthly. Most other payments are generally due when you buy something you need, like food.
- Financial aid
Funds from grants, scholarships, work-study, and government loans are typically applied to your school bills first, one academic period at a time (no lump sum). Any remainder (sometimes called a financial aid refund) is released to you to pay for other expenses.
- Installment plan
Tuition and fee costs can be divided into smaller payments throughout the semester, which can be helpful if you are using work income to help pay your college expenses.