May 2021
Five Ways to Pay Your College Bill

For students heading off to school this fall, college tuition bills will typically arrive starting in early July. Before paying the tuition bill, review the details carefully, make sure that all the items listed are correct, and make a plan to pay the remaining balance. Here are five tips to keep in mind.
1. Maximize Financial Aid
All students should file the FAFSA and be sure their college has everything needed to provide a financial aid offer. If the information on your FAFSA does not accurately reflect the current financial situation, connect with the financial aid office to provide that information and discuss an appeal. You could get additional financial aid.
2. Apply for Scholarships 
Students can still apply for scholarships! There are a number of scholarships with due dates in June and July with awards that can be applied to the fall bill. Additionally, there are even more scholarships with deadlines in the fall that can be used to cover spring expenses. Applying for scholarships takes time and effort, but the hard work can pay off and can help pay the college bill.
3. Explore Summer Employment Options  
Fall bills are typically not due until August, providing time for students to work and save a portion of their earnings to help cover the bill. If students can find a job that also provides work experience in their field, that provides a double bonus. Once in college, check with your academic department or the career services office to learn more about paid internship opportunities.
4. Consider enrolling in a tuition payment plan 
Most schools offer tuition payment plans that allow you to pay some or all of the remaining balance over a period of months, instead of in a lump-sum payment. Savings, family income, monetary gifts, and summer earnings can help cover the monthly payments. Tuition payment plans are not loans and no interest is charged, though there is usually a small enrollment fee. Contact the Business Office for additional information.
5. Investigate Financing Option 
Most students who file a FAFSA have the option to borrow a Federal Direct Student Loan. For students who need to borrow, these are the loans that should be considered first. If all other options have been pursued and additional funds are needed, a variety of educational loan options exist. These loans are typically credit-based and have varying terms and conditions. To learn more about these loans, visit When borrowing, it’s a good idea to keep “return on investment” in mind and only borrow what can comfortably be repaid in the future. One rule of thumb: Don’t let total student loan debt exceed the predicted starting salary after graduation.
If you need more help applying for financial aid or determining how to pay the college bill, contact FAME. Email us at, call us at 1-800-228-3734 or click here to set up FREE, virtual, one-on-one Financial Aid Coaching session.
Want more information about Financial Wellness?
Join us for this month's FREE Wednesday Webinar:

Wednesday, May 12, 2021
1:00–2:00 p.m.

Colleges want to provide financial aid to their students, but don’t always have enough funds to meet the full need of every student. If schools don’t offer students enough financial aid to cover all their college expenses, there are a number of ways that students can fund their education. In this session we’ll discuss the various strategies that students and families use to cover college costs. We’ll also share some of our favorite tools and web resources that can support you in helping students pay the bill for college.
For additional helpful information and resources, find previous issues of 5 on the 5th on our website.

FAME's College Access and Financial Education Team:

Mary Dyer, Financial Education Officer
Maria MacDougal, College Access Counselor
Floreka Malual, College Planning Advisor
Nikki Vachon, College Access Counselor
Jessica Whittier, College Access Counselor
Mila Tappan, College Access and Outreach Manager
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