Online Colleges with Tuition Payment Plans

Home » Online Colleges with Tuition Payment Plans
Ready to start your journey?

The traditional financial aid package – grants, scholarships, and loans – isn’t your only option when it comes to paying for college. Tuition financing and payment plans can help make overwhelming tuition bills more manageable, and help you avoid long-term debt.

Online Colleges with Monthly Payment Plans

A college degree is worth it for many students, so it’s a good idea to learn how to pay for the costs of your education. If you’re searching for online colleges with payment plans and low monthly payments, this might be a great option for you!

Editorial Listing ShortCode:

Let’s explore the questions: How do online colleges work with students needing tuition payment plans? What are the pros and cons? What are your options?

What Is a Tuition Payment Plan and How Does It Work?

A tuition payment plan is just what it sounds like: a payment plan to help you pay for college. With online colleges with low monthly payments, you can avoid paying a huge tuition bill at the beginning of each year or semester, and instead pay smaller, more affordable installments over a longer period of time.

Imagine that after your grants and scholarships are applied, your annual tuition cost is $10,000. Most students or families cannot come up with $10,000 all at once, or even $5000 at the start of each semester. With a tuition payment plan, you won’t have to make the entire payment at once; instead, you can spread it out.

Editorial Listing ShortCode:

For example you may be able to pay $1000 each month for 10 months. Whether the payments are broken up into monthly installments, into semesters or by percentages will vary by school and/or payment plan, but the idea is the same: to make your tuition payment more manageable.

Tuition payment plans generally do not charge any interest, but instead may have a small enrollment fee (usually $30 to $100). Payments can be made automatically, directly from your bank account, for your convenience. Some plans also allow you to pay by credit card, but they often charge a steeper fee.

What Expenses Do Tuition Payment Plans Cover?

Student researching tuition payment plan coverage

Most tuition payment plans cover only the direct costs billed by the school (i.e. just the tuition). However, there are some plans that will assist with the costs of any books, supplies and equipment necessary for your online education.

Be sure you understand the limitations of a plan before enrolling.

Why Choose a Tuition Payment Plan Rather than a Loan?

If you’re able to make a sizable payment (but can’t necessarily pay the whole tuition bill), a tuition payment plan is a much better option than taking on student loans.

Let’s again imagine your annual tuition payment is $10,000. If you took out a 10-year student loan at 5%, you would pay a total of $12,727.86 over the course of the ten years. If you opted instead to pay the $10,000 in monthly installments with a $100 enrollment fee, you would total $10,100. That’s a savings of $2627.86.

In addition to saving thousands of dollars on interest, payment plans ensure you are able to graduate debt free. That peace of mind is incredibly valuable, and something you will thank yourself for later!

When Should I Start Looking for a Tuition Payment Plan?

College student writing down tuition payment plan options

Once you begin to narrow down your list of colleges and compare tuition and financial aid packages, it’s a good time to consider tuition payment plans.

Editorial Listing ShortCode:

Make note of the most affordable online colleges with payment plans, and what kind of schedule they offer, so that you can accurately compare your options. If you choose an online college that does not offer a tuition installment plan, ask the financial aid office if they can refer you to a tuition management company that offers an independent third-party tuition installment plan.

Who Should I Talk to About Enrolling in a Tuition Payment Plan?

It depends. If the tuition payment plan is offered by and administered by your school, then the school’s financial aid office should be able to help answer your questions.

However, if the school contracts its payment plans through a third party, contacting that company directly may be the best way to get accurate information about the plan.

Are Monthly Payment Plans a Good Idea?

Tuition payment plans are a good solution for many students, but other students may find they just can’t work it into their budgets. Check out these pros and cons to see whether a payment plan is right for you.

Pros of College Payment Plans

  • Enables you to spread a large tuition payment over several months
  • The enrollment fees are lower than the interest rates on student loans
  • Convenient payments (often by automatic withdrawal)
  • No interest
  • No credit check necessary
  • No debt to follow you after graduation

Cons of College Payment Plans

  • Having to pay while still in school, rather than after you have graduated
  • Enrollment fees (usually $30 to $100)
  • Some plans do not accept payments via credit card, or charge an additional fee for them
  • Fees are not tax deductible (whereas student loan interest is tax deductible)

As you can see, there are many advantages in a tuition payment plan. If you are able to work the payments into your budget comfortably, this option can be a great savings for you and help you graduate without long-term debt.

But if the payments are a stretch or present a financial hardship, don’t do it! Instead, you should look for additional grants and scholarships, talk to the financial aid office, and resort to student loans if necessary. You should never agree to a payment plan that you can’t afford!

What are the Different Types of Tuition Payment Plans?

A student choosing College Standard Payment Plan

There are four different types of payment plans that may be offered by your online school.

  1. Standard Payment Plan – The standard tuition payment plan is just what we have been talking about, which is sort of a “pay as you go” college plan. The overall cost is broken down into smaller installments, such as monthly payments, and you pay an upfront enrollment fee.
  2. Deferred Payment Plan – A deferred payment plan can be one of two things. It could just be the name the school uses for its standard tuition payment plan. Or, it could be a slightly different variation in which you pay two or three payments on scheduled dates, rather than small monthly payments. For example, at New York University, the Deferred Payment Plan breaks the semester into three payments: a 50% initial payment that’s due before the semester starts, a 25% second payment due mid-way through the semester, and a 25% final payment due before the semester ends.
  3. Tuition Stabilization Plan – This plan is designed to protect you from future tuition increases. It allows you to pre-pay for four to eight semesters, at the current tuition rate. This can save you a lot of money in the long run, but will require you to have a lot of money upfront. If you want to “lock in” the current tuition rate for the next two years, you will have to pay for two years of your education immediately; you cannot make partial payments with the Tuition Stabilization Plan.
  4. Direct Bill Plan – This simply means that the school will directly bill a third party, such as your employer, for your tuition. If the third party is not covering the entire tuition amount, you will be responsible for the remainder of the tuition, and must pay that before classes begin.

How Do I Choose a Plan Provider?

A student checking colleges with Payment Plan options

You probably won’t have to make this decision. While some schools offer their own payment plans, most use the services of outside providers.

Editorial Listing ShortCode:

Most schools contract with just one provider and offer only one plan, so you won’t likely have to do any shopping around. For reference, some of the most popular tuition payment plan providers include:

Remember, though, just because a school does not offer payment plans doesn’t mean they aren’t an option! If the online school you choose does not offer tuition payment plans, ask the financial aid office to refer you to a tuition management company that can help you set up an installment plan.

List of Online Colleges With Payment Plan Options

Online Colleges with Payment Plans Annual Tuition
Academy of Art University  $23,412
Alamo Colleges $2,580
Alfred State College  $8,075
American College of Education $5,500
American Public University  $6,880
American Sentinel University $9,120
American University – Washington D.C. $44,853
Andrews University  $27,684
Arizona State University  $10,370
Arkansas State University  $8,200
Arkansas State University-Beebe $3,480
Athens State University  $5,730
Bellevue College $3,624
Benedictine University  $32,170
Bluefield College  $24,380
Boise State University  $7,080
Boston University  $50,240
Bowie State University $7,880
California Intercontinental University $8,385
California Southern University  $9,000
California State University, Monterey Bay  $6,379
California State University, Northridge  $6,587
California University of Pennsylvania  $10,339
Carl Albert State College  $3,160
Casper College  $2,832
Cedarville University  $28,110
Central Arizona College $2,520
Central Christian College of the Bible $13,700
Central Michigan University  $12,150
Chadron State College  $6,510
Champlain College  $38,660
Charter Oak State College  $7,671
Clarion University of Pennsylvania  $10,287
Clarkson College  $15,780
Clayton State University  $5,340
Clemson University  $14,708
Cochise College $1,896
College of Lake County  $3,780
College of Southern Maryland  $3,631
College of the Mainland $1,773
Colorado Christian University  $29,360
Colorado Mountain College  $1,768
Colorado State University  $11,052
Columbia Southern University  $5,175
Concordia University $29,390
Concordia University – Irvine  $32,780
Cornerstone University  $26,860
Cowley College $2,759
Dakota County Technical College $5,662
Dakota Wesleyan University  $26,050
Dallas Baptist University  $26,180
Dallas Theological Seminary $15,450
Del Mar College  $3,846
Delta State University  $6,418
DeSales University  $34,850
DeVry University  $19,948
Doane University  $30,434
Drury University  $25,905
Eastern Florida State College $2,496
Eastern Mennonite University $34,200
Eastern New Mexico University  $5,618
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania  $9,984
Elmhurst College $35,500
Emory & Henry College  $33,700
Endicott College – Massachusetts  $31,312
Fairfax University of America (FXUA) $9,608
Ferris State University  $11,290
Fisher College Boston $30,389
Fitchburg State University  $10,135
Florida Institute of Technology $12,240
Florida State College at Jacksonville  $2,878
Fordham University  $49,073
Fort Hays State University $4,884
Franklin University  $11,881
Fresno Pacific University  $29,320
George Fox University  $33,730
George Institute of Technology $8,250
George Washington University  $51,950
Georgia Southern University  $6,273
Georgia Southwestern State University $5,262
Georgia State University  $8,974
Gonzaga University  $39,730
Goshen College $33,200
Governors State University $10,516
Great Basin College  $2,910
Gwinnett Technical College $2,796
Harvard University $47,074
Huntington University  $25,400
Indiana State University  $8,746
Ithaca College $41,776
Jackson College $5,640
Jacksonville College $7,900
Jacksonville State University  $7,500
Jefferson College of Health Sciences  $25,150
Kansas State University  $9,874
Kean University $11,870
Kentucky Wesleyan College $24,050
Kettering University  $39,790
King University  $27,276
Lakewood University $11,104
Lamar University  $8,146
Lehigh University  $48,320
Lesley University  $25,875
Lewis University  $30,050
Liberty University  $21,292
Lindenwood University $16,332
Linfield College  $40,175
Lone Star College $3,232
Lynn University  $36,650
Malone University  $29,422
Marshall University $7,154
Master’s University $31,970
Medaille College  $27,276
Merrimack College $38,825
Metropolitan State University $7,566
Middle Georgia State University $3,890
Midlands Technical College $4,064
Minot State University $6,568
Missouri Valley College $19,750
Montana State University  $6,887
Moody Bible Institute $12,630
National Louis University  $10,380
Navarro College $3,870
Niagara University  $30,950
Nicholls State University  $7,641
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University $3,600
North Carolina Central University  $6,132
North Carolina State University  $8,880
North Park University $27,210
North Seattle College $3,819
Northcentral University $10,368
Northern Arizona University  $10,764
Northland Pioneer College $1,760
Northwest Technical College  $5,428
Northwestern University  $50,855
Nova Southeastern University  $28,736
Oakland University $25,524
Ohio Christian University  $19,540
Ohio University  $11,744
Old Dominion University  $9,750
Pace University in New York  $42,772
Peninsula College $4,344
Penn Foster College $2,069
Pennsylvania State University  $17,900
Philadelphia University  $37,950
Phoenix College $2,094
Piedmont Technical College $4,913
Plymouth State University  $13,472
Point Park University  $29,030
Portland State University  $8,337
Prescott College $28,943
Queens University of Charlotte  $32,560
Regis College  $39,040
Regis University  $34,450
Rend Lake College $5,700
Roosevelt University  $28,119
Rowan College at Burlington County  $4,065
Rutgers University  $14,372
Sacred Heart University  $38,300
Saint Joseph’s College of Maine $33,600
Saint Peter’s University $35,192
Salem College $27,406
Sam Houston State University  $7,762
San Jacinto College – North $2,580
Santa Fe College $2,563
Savannah College of Art and Design  $35,690
Savannah Technical College $2,704
Seattle University $41,265
Sessions College for Professional Design  $8,100
Seton Hall University, New Jersey  $39,258
Simmons College  $38,590
Snow College  $3,592
South Seattle College Arboretum $2,684
South Texas College  $3,606
Southeastern Technical College  $2,784
Southern Arkansas University  $8,196
St. Petersburg College $3,385
Syracuse University  $45,022
Texarkana College $3,388
Texas A&M University $11,036
Texas State University  $9,605
Thomas Edison State University  $6,350
Tiffin University  $23,125
Towson University  $9,408
Trident University $9,000
Trinity International University $30,130
Unity College $27,960
University at Buffalo $9,574
University of Akron  $10,270
University of Arkansas at Little Rock  $8,061
University of California, Berkeley  $13,509
University of Central Arkansas  $8,224
University of Denver  $46,422
University of Houston  $9,519
University of Houston–Downtown  $5,978
University of Houston-Victoria  $7,369
University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign $15,058
University of Illinois Springfield $11,413
University of Illinois System
University of Kansas  $11,455
University of Louisiana at Lafayette  $9,450
University of Louisville $11,264
University of Maryland – College Park $10,181
University of Massachusetts – Boston $13,435
University of Massachusetts – Lowell  $14,307
University of Michigan–Flint $10,344
University of Minnesota  $12,846
University of Nebraska at Kearney $6,844
University of Nevada, Las Vegas  $7,183
University of Nevada, Reno $7,142
University of New England  $35,630
University of North Carolina at Greensboro $6,971
University of North Dakota  $8,136
University of Phoenix  $9,690
University of Saint Mary  $26,650
University of San Diego  $46,140
University of Southern Mississippi  $7,659
University of Tennessee – Martin  $9,088
University of Texas of the Permian Basin $5,774
University of the Cumberlands  $23,000
University of the Southwest  $15,456
University of Washington – Tacoma  $10,831
University of West Florida  $6,360
University of West Florida  $6,360
University of Wisconsin Colleges $5,159
University of Wisconsin–Green Bay $7,878
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee $9,493
University of Wyoming  $5,055
Utah State University  $7,426
Virginia Commonwealth University  $13,130
Walden University  $12,075
Washburn University $7,754
Webster University  $26,300
Wesleyan University $50,912
West Virginia University at Parkersburg $3,384
Western Governors University  $6,070
Western Michigan University  $11,493
Western Oklahoma State College $3,561
Westfield State University $9,275
Wilkes University  $33,568
William Paterson University $12,574
Wright State University $8,730
Ready to start your journey?
Elizabeth Abner
WRITTEN BY Elizabeth Abner

Elizabeth is pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Foreign Policy and earned her master's degree in business administration. For her undergraduate studies, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in international business. Elizabeth's research is focused on universities offering online degree programs.