Financial Planning Checklist
How to build 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
The total cost of a Strayer degree depends on many factors, so we recommend talking with an admissions officer who can help you estimate costs – and potential savings – easily and efficiently.
The following list is not exhaustive, but here are some of the basic costs to keep in mind:
Tuition rates apply to new and returning students and may differ based on the original date of enrollment. For continuing students and the full list of tuition rates, please visit our University Catalog.
Include some money in your budget for books. Plan to spend approximately $150 per course for textbooks and supplies. Textbooks and supplies that are not included as part of the Course Materials Fee in select JWMI classes must be purchased separately.
You’ll pay a technology fee of $65 per term. (The fee is included in your tuition per course for new JWMI students.) But the good news is that if you enroll in any bachelor’s program, we’ll equip you with a new laptop pre-loaded with Microsoft software.*
You’ll pay a Final Academic Requirements Evaluation Fee of $150 ($25 for certificate or diploma programs) per degree awarded. (The fee is included in your tuition per course for new JWMI students.) Additional fees may apply as you progress through your program.
* This offer is not available to: (A) continuing students; (B) employees of Strategic Education, Inc. and its subsidiaries, and family members residing in the same household of such employees; or (C) students enrolled through Strayer@Work or Degrees@Work for all other students, laptop available only to Strayer University students who: (1) are a new or readmitted student in a Strayer University bachelor’s-level program; (2) have at least six (6) courses to complete in their program; and (3) enroll for classes starting winter 2020 quarter or later. Students must complete three of their first four quarters of enrollment, or return the laptop to avoid a $350 charge. This offer is subject to change at any time. Only one laptop will be provided per student. In the event the laptop is damaged, lost, stolen, or incapacitated, Strayer will not provide a replacement. All returns subject to return policy. Complete details are available in the Bachelor’s Laptop Agreement or the Bachelor’s Laptop Verizon and Verizon Wireless Loaner Agreement, as applicable. Students receiving tuition assistance from Verizon or Verizon Wireless may only borrow and use a laptop subject to the terms of the Bachelor’s Laptop Verizon and Verizon Wireless Loaner Agreement. Limitations for other corporate-sponsored programs may also apply. Please contact your home campus or Strayer online for more information.
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 – 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 reduce the overall cost of your education at Strayer.
First, explore what you can apply to your program
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.
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. Fees may apply.
Strayer’s affiliate, Sophia Learning, for no-cost gen eds
Strayer and our affiliate, Sophia Learning, offer bachelor’s students an opportunity to complete general education classes at no cost and apply them toward their Strayer degree program. Learn more about Sophia Learning.
Next, talk to your employer
Many employers offer tuition assistance for employees who go back to school. Check with your employer regarding educational benefits.
Then start looking for money that doesn’t need to be repaid
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.
Grants are distributed based on financial need. Grants can be used to pay for educational expenses including tuition, fees, books, supplies, equipment, transportation and rental or purchase of a personal computer. Federal grants given out by the U.S. Department of Education, are the most well-known. The federal government will determine your grant eligibility after you complete and file your FAFSA.
Finally, look into different organizations you are 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.
There’s no money for people like you
You may not receive a full scholarship, but you might qualify for federal loans, grants, employer discounts or other deductions.
Pay out of pocket
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.
Federal work study
The federal work study program provides part-time employment to students to help meet their educational costs. Unlike loans, federal work-study aid is paid to you directly based upon the hours you work – with no repayment obligation.
Funding is only available to bachelor’s students
Many forms of scholarships are available for bachelor’s and master’s students.
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.
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 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.