How to pay for college
Start by building a funding plan
Now that you’ve decided that you want to study at Strayer, the next step on the path is figuring out how to fund your education. It’s a good idea to sketch out a plan for how you’ll cover the cost of your education. Here’s what the decision-making process could look like.
Estimate your total cost
Get a personalized education plan with an estimate of how much your program will cost and when you’ll graduate. The plan is yours to keep, modify and share with your admissions officer or student services coach.
The following list is not exhaustive, but here are some of the basic costs to keep in mind:
All financial aid depends on your past grades
Some scholarships depend on your past grades. But the most common forms of financial aid – grants and loans from the federal government – generally don’t depend on past educational performance. However, once you’re enrolled, you will need to maintain satisfactory grades in addition to maintaining a satisfactory pace of completion to continue receiving aid.
Explore ways to reduce your tuition
If the cost of a degree seems overwhelming, here’s the good news:
There are lots of ways to potentially reduce the overall cost of your
education at Strayer.
First, explore how to apply credit you’ve already earned
You may be able to transfer credits from courses you completed at other accredited institutions, potentially reducing the time it will take to complete your Strayer degree. Most programs accept transfer credits, but there’s a limit on the number allowed. The good news is we can estimate your transfer credits in three easy steps right now.
Prior learning experience
At Strayer, we recognize the value of your experience – so we offer ways to leverage your prior education, military experience, work experience, proven skills and more. Talk with an admissions officer to see if your experience can apply toward your degree and find other ways to earn credit here. Fees may apply.
No-cost gen eds through Strayer affiliate, Sophia Learning
As a Strayer student, you can save up to $14,800 on your Strayer bachelor’s degree by accessing your general education courses through Sophia Learning.* Take up to two Sophia courses at a time, then apply them toward your undergraduate degree program at Strayer.
*Savings assumes transferring 10 courses taken at Strayer affiliate, Sophia Learning. Eligibility rules apply. Connect with us for details.
Next, talk to your employer
Many employers offer tuition assistance for eligible employees who go back to school. Check with your employer regarding educational benefits.
Then apply for funding you don’t have to repay
Community organizations, national foundations and professional associations may offer financial assistance to qualified students based on financial need, personal background or chosen field of study. Strayer scholarships do not require repayment at any time and your eligibility for them is not based on financial need.
Finally, look into different organizations you’re affiliated with
Strayer offers special military scholarships for service members – active duty, National Guard and Reserves – and their spouses. We’re also approved for veterans’ educational benefits and participate in the Yellow Ribbon program.
Strayer partners with numerous professional organizations, schools, and employers and offers discounts to members of these organizations. Check with your admissions officer to see if you qualify.
I’ll never meet the qualifications for scholarships
You may not receive a scholarship, but you might qualify for federal loans, grants, employer discounts or other deductions.
After you’ve explored ways to reduce your out-of-pocket tuition expenses with scholarships, grants and discounts, consider some additional ways you can fund your education without borrowing.
Pay out of pocket
Planning ahead so that you know your financial options is key to
success when it comes to paying for college. Our time and tuition estimator can
help you better understand costs so you can decide if you want to
offset any future loans by paying out of pocket.
Borrowing for college
After you’ve reviewed all your options for financial aid and paying from existing resources, you may want to consider borrowing money. It’s important to borrow only what you need to finance your education. Smart borrowing involves making a careful assessment of what you need to borrow and the terms for paying back your loans.
Federal student loans
The U.S. government provides several low-interest student loan options for degree and certificate students. Some loans don’t require a credit check or cosigner and typically don’t require repayment until six months after leaving college. They also have flexible repayment plans.
Take a look at how borrowing impacts your finances with Loan Simulator.
To apply for a federal loan, you’ll need to complete the FAFSA. Use Strayer University school code 001459 when you apply.
Some private lenders, like banks, credit unions or other organizations, offer educational loans. Make sure you evaluate the interest rate and repayment terms carefully before taking out a private loan. Federal loans often have more advantageous terms.
Remember that you can borrow less than what you are offered. Talk to your admissions officer or student services coach to find out exactly how much you need each quarter for tuition.
It’s not worth your time to fill out the forms
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can be completed online quickly and easily. It can be worthwhile to help you understand your financial aid eligibility even if you elect not to take out any student loans. The interactive form includes step-by-step instructions, and if you have questions as you go along, help is available by chat, email or phone.
Create your plan to pay for your education
Now that you have a better understanding of the cost of your degree and ways to reduce that cost and find available funding options, let’s put a plan together. Use this checklist to map – and regularly track – the costs of your education. (Don’t forget, we have a team here to help you if you have questions.)
- Document your total program costs (tuition, fees, resource kit, etc.).
- Apply all tuition reductions.
- Apply all funding source options.
- What are you willing to pay out of pocket?
- Determine what amount is left, and that’s what you should borrow.
Want to know more? Sign up with Strayer Start.
Get access to our financial planning resources. Plus, you can take no-cost college-level courses through our affiliate, Sophia Learning. Get support along the way and earn credit hours accepted by Strayer – before you enroll. Sign up today for one of two Sophia course bundles.
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