By Ken O’Connor, Director of Student Advocacy at CU Student Loans
The 4th of July weekend is known for beach trips, BBQ’s, fireworks and lots of fun. However, families with college bound students will find an important piece of mail come today: The College tuition bill. Take a look at an example….
Tuition statements are notorious for not making sense the first time you look at it. It feels like people need to attend college just to learn how to read the schematic that is a billing summary, but more often it is the pure shock of the costs that gets families nervous. In order to help families deal with their bill I have put together some money saving, and sanity saving tips that can help students and their parents with the most important transition thus far; going to college!
Quick tips: Is the student being billed for medical insurance? If so it may be able to be waived as long as the student is covered through the parent’s insurance program. However, this must be settled before the schools deadline or the charges stick, so don’t miss your chance to save some money.
Can I pay with a credit card? The answer at most schools is generally “Yes” however, it may come with additional charges. Many colleges have changed their agreements with credit card payment providers to shift the fees to the student/parent. The extra fees can be costly, so take a look before you pay with a credit card.
I don’t understand this bill and I demand service! I am calling the school first thing on Monday! Indeed calling the school is the first thing that many parents do as soon as they get the bill. However, Mondays are explosively busy at college bursar offices. The phone lines are jammed with calls, and lines for tellers can stretch out of the building. If you are seeking detailed answers, you should contact them when they are less busy later in the week to get full attention.
For more tips on dealing with your college bill check out the full article “Eliminate Tuition Shock & Awe: Translate Your Billing Statement” from the College Resource Center.