Your financial aid package is your first step in financing your education.  But managing your educational expenses also requires a sound academic plan and a wise use of resources.  You can help manage your overall costs by keeping some basic points in mind as you design your academic plan.​
Undergraduate
Students

Tuition Package Plan

It is important to understand your tuition rate. Most full-time undergraduate students in DePaul’s traditional colleges are billed based on a tuition-package plan. This means you will be charged the same price whether you enroll for 12, 15 or 18 credit hours (in other words, the cost doesn't change if you take more or fewer credits in the 12 to 18 range). You can find out more about tuition rates at the Student Accounts website.

Once you understand your tuition plan, you will want to take advantage of it by planning wisely. Meet with your academic advisor early and often in your program. Make sure that you understand your program requirements and the required sequence of courses. A sound academic plan is the cornerstone of good educational financing.

Avoid costly withdrawals: Withdrawing from courses prolongs your education and dramatically increases the cost of education because of lost tuition dollars and delayed graduation. Don’t withdraw or drop courses if you can possibly avoid it.

Estimated Cost of Attendance

When determining your financial aid eligibility, our office calculates an estimated cost of attendance, including both direct and indirect costs. Direct costs are items that will be charged directly by DePaul. Direct costs include tuition and fees and, if you plan to live on campus, room and board. Indirect costs such as books and supplies, off-campus housing, transportation and personal expenses have been estimated based on average expenses for the Chicago area. Indirect costs are not payable to the university; they are estimated to assist you in budget planning.

The estimated budgeting items are calculated as follows:

  • tuition and fees are based on projected enrollment in the college to which you are admitted
  • books and supplies represent an estimate of the annual costs you will incur for these required materials
  • room and board costs are estimated for all students based on the housing plan indicated on the FAFSA. Only students who live on campus will be responsible for paying their room and board costs directly to the university
If you indicated that you plan to:

  • live on campus, this figure is an estimate based on average residence hall room and board rates. Please refer to your housing contract and/or university bill for actual charges
  • live in an off-campus apartment, this figure is an estimate based on average living expenses for the Chicago area
  • commute from home, this figure reflects an estimate of costs associated with commuting from home.
You can view your estimated cost of attendance on Campus Connect. It is a good idea to review the estimated cost of attendance along with your actual expenses and set up a budget to make sure that you are not spending too much on non-essential items.

Budgeting

It is extremely important that you carefully monitor your expenses and spending while you are in school. Although it may seem relatively easy to borrow loan funds or use credit cards to cover all of your expenses, it is wise to make a budget and stick to it. Keep in mind that every dollar that is borrowed must be repaid after you leave DePaul. Do not burden yourself with unnecessary debt (student loans or credit card) that will negatively impact your lifestyle after graduation. It will be much easier to live like a student now rather than being forced to live like a student once you are a working professional.

There are a lot of helpful budgeting tools available online. An excellent resource is the U.S. Department of Education’s Financial Awareness Tool at StudentLoans.gov. The Financial Awareness Tool offers five interactive tutorials covering topics ranging from managing a budget to avoiding default. You can access your individual loan history and receive personalized feedback that can help you better understand your financial obligations.

We encourage you to use these budgeting tools, and to remember that financial aid counselors at DePaul are always available to help you. We are here to help you with your questions about managing your costs and budgeting, and to help you with the fundamentals of responsible borrowing and debt management.

We also encourage you to take advantage of DePaul’s free Financial Fitness Program for financial management tools and techniques that will help you in college and beyond.

Aggregate Federal Loan Maximums

The federal government has set lifetime loan maximums for the Federal Direct Stafford Loan programs. Dependent undergraduate students can borrow up to $31,000 (of which no more than $23,000 can be subsidized loans). Independent undergraduate students can borrow up to $57,500 (of which no more than $23,000 can be subsidized loans). You will need to be sure that you complete your degree requirements before you reach loan maximums. By maintaining steady progress toward your degree, avoiding costly withdrawals, and wisely using DePaul’s tuition package plan​, you can save thousands in student loan debt.
SNL
Students

Tuition Package Plan

It is important to understand your tuition rate:

  • SNL degree progress is measured in competencies, but your registration and financial aid is calculated based on the credit-hour equivalency of your competencies. You need to pay attention to credit hours when calculating your costs and your financial aid payments. Most of your classes will be based on your credit-hour costs. Visit the tuition rates web site to find out more about tuition rates
  • Many SNL students attend part-time (fewer than 12 credit hours). If you are attending part-time, be sure to maximize your tuition and external resources. Try not to use more loan than you need so that you can “stretch” your loan eligibility across your program length. Remember, too, that grant eligibility is calculated at full-time costs: therefore, most grants reduce the payment amount if you enroll for fewer than 15 hours.
  • Not all academic credit is eligible for financial aid payment: To receive a financial aid payment or defer a loan, you need to be actively enrolled at least halftime. Transfer Credit, Credit for Life Experience, most forms of ILP Credit, and Active Status Continuation Courses do not constitute active enrolled credit hours. Be sure you are actively enrolled in at least six credit hours per quarter to maintain half-time enrollment status.
  • Transfer Credit, Credit for Life Experience, most forms of ILP Credit, and Active Status Continuation Courses: As explained above, most of these courses do not constitute active enrolled credit hours for financial aid purposes. However, satisfying degree requirements through Transfer Credit, Credit for Life Experience and ILP credit can significantly reduce your overall educational costs and thus represent good avenues to reduce your program expenses.
  • Once you understand your tuition plan and its relationship to your competency-based educational plan, you will want to take advantage of it by planning wisely. Take the time to meet with your academic advisor early and often in your program: Make sure that you understand your program requirements and the required sequence of courses. A sound academic plan is the cornerstone of good educational financing.
Finally, avoid costly withdrawals: Withdrawing from courses prolongs your education and dramatically increases the cost of education because of lost tuition dollars and delayed graduation. Don’t withdraw or drop courses if you can possibly avoid it.

Estimated Cost of Attendance

When determining your financial aid eligibility, our office calculates an estimated cost of attendance. Included in the estimated cost of attendance are both direct and indirect costs. Direct costs are items that will be charged directly by DePaul. Direct costs include tuition and fees and living expenses. Indirect costs such as books and supplies, off-campus housing, transportation and personal expenses have been estimated based on average expenses for the Chicago area. Indirect costs are not payable to the university. They are estimated to assist you in budget planning. The estimated budgeting items are calculated as follows:

  • tuition and fees are based on 12 credit hours (full-time) enrollment in SNL. If you enroll for fewer than 12 hours, you will need to adjust this figure to reflect your actual credit hours.
  • books and supplies represent an estimate of the annual costs you will incur for these required materials.
  • room and board costs are estimated for all students. We estimate these expenses into your cost of attendance because federal regulations require that we look at all expenses (direct and indirect) that you might have while you attend school. Most SNL students have housing and board estimated with a standard figure that represents the average monthly living expenses (rent and food) for the Chicago area. Your own actual monthly expenses, of course, may vary from this average.
You can view your estimated cost of attendance on Campus Connect.

Aggregate Federal Loan Maximums

The federal government has set lifetime loan maximums for the Federal Direct Stafford Loan programs (combined subsidized and unsubsidized limits) : Dependent undergraduate students can borrow up to $31,000. Independent undergraduate students can borrow up to $57,500. Note: undergraduate students who demonstrate sufficient financial need may borrow a maximum lifetime limit of $23,000 in subsidized form of the above-stated combined limits. You will need to be sure that you complete your degree requirements before you reach the maximum. By maintaining steady progress toward your degree, avoiding costly withdrawals, and wisely using DePaul’s tuition package plan​, you can save thousands in student loan debt.
Law/Graduate
Students

Helpful Tools

It is extremely important that you carefully monitor your expenses and your spending while you are enrolled as a graduate or law student. Although it may seem relatively easy to borrow funds to cover all of your expenses, it is wise to try to limit the amount you borrow. Keep in mind that every dollar that is borrowed must be repaid after you graduate. Don’t burden yourself with unnecessary debt (student loan or credit card) that will negatively impact your lifestyle after graduation.

There are a lot of helpful budgeting tools available online. The U.S. Department of Education offers a simple worksheet to track expenses and financial aid. Kiplinger Magazine’s “Budget for Today and Tomorrow” helps you to track both your current expenses and set up a proposed budget. You also can make use of DePaul's free Financial Fitness Program to help with budgeting and other financial issues.

Using all the tools available can make your path to graduation much smoother. The online resources list below can assist you in keeping track of your budget and your credit score and help estimate how much your loan payments will be after graduation:

  • The SmartStudent Guide to Financial Aid has dedicated part of its web site to the education of borrowers. The site includes interactive calculators for in-school and out-of-school budgeting and loan repayment estimates, along with articles about maintaining good credit.
  • National Student Loan Data System and Direct Loan Online are national websites that allow students to log in for complete information about the federal loans they’ve borrowed. The Direct Loan site includes information about repayment of student loans and loan consolidation.
  • myFico​ offers information about consumer credit scoring. An analysis of your credit score along with tips for improvement is available for a fee.
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