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How to Reduce Your Educational Expenses

Your education is one of the most important investments you’ll ever make.  It’s lifetime value and benefits can be enormous,  offering opportunities to advance your career, increase your earning potential, and enhance your life and your family’s future. 

We understand that it can be challenging to plan for these expenses and we’d like to help.  The following resources, available at Fontbonne, as well as outside the university, provide options to assist you in achieving your degree.  The Fontbonne Evening/Online staff can offer guidance and will work with you to design a financial plan that meets your specific needs.

Educational Assistance

Employer Tuition Reimbursement
Check with your human resource department to see if your company offers education benefits such as tuition assistance or reimbursement.  Many large employers will cover a portion of employee educational expenses which generally includes tuition, and sometimes books or fees.  Policies vary widely from company to company but this is a valuable resource and worth exploring further.

Federal Financial Aid
Federal Grants (PELL and SEOG) and Federal Direct Loans are available to assist you with your education.  Grants are available at the undergraduate level only and do not have to be repaid.  Need-based loans are available for undergraduate students.  Need-based loans are interest free if enrolled at least half time.  All students may apply for non need-based loans.  Filling out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is your first step.

Access Missouri Financial Assistance Program
Access Missouri is a need-based program providing additional grant funds to Missouri residents pursuing undergraduate studies full time at Missouri schools.  Eligibility is determined by the student's expected family contribution (EFC) as calculated through the FAFSA.  A paper application is not required but your FAFSA must be filed no later than April 1 of each year.  For more information, visit http://www.dhe.mo.gov/accessmo.shtml.

Alternative/Private Loans
These are unsecured loans provided by lenders based on credit worthiness.  Interest rates are higher than those for Federal Direct Loans and a co-signer may be required.  They’re an option for those who need supplemental assistance beyond federal loans.  Please ask our financial aid advisors for more information.

Veteran’s Benefits
The Veteran's Administration offers a number of programs to those who have served, as well as eligible survivors and dependents of veterans. For further information and assistance in determining eligibility, please go to the Education Benefits page of the Federal website.  You should also notify your academic advisor that you are eligible for VA benefits.  If you are unsure about your eligibility for a program, please apply for education benefits to receive an official decision.  For additional assistance, please contact our VA Certifying Official at 314-889-46513.

Private Scholarships
There are a myriad of private scholarships.  Some are intended for selected fields of study, while others exist for specific students such as older adults, minorities, and females.  You can begin your search with these websites.

Tax Credits and Deductions
There are several tax credits and deductions designed to help finance a college education, for those who qualify.  These include the Lifetime Learning Credit, American Opportunity Credit, and Hope Credit, only one of which can be claimed per student per year.  A tuition and fees deduction is another option.  Additionally, a portion of student loan interest paid each year may be deducted.  Consult your tax advisor or www.irs.gov (publication 970) for specific eligibility requirements and exceptions.

Educational Assistance at Fontbonne University

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Credit
PLA is based on accepted principles of adult learning and validates that what’s been learned outside of a traditional classroom is equivalent to college-level learning.  Fontbonne will award a maximum of 30 credits at the undergraduate level.  There are several types of PLA, each with its own requirements, credit maximum, and fee (if any).  Please consult your academic advisor for specifics. 

  • CLEP exams 
  • Proficiency exams
  • Military – includes military service/training documented on form DD214 (U.S. Veterans), DD295 (Active Duty personnel), and AARTS (Army), SMART (Navy and Marines), CCAF (Air Force) transcripts.
  • Professional training approved by ACE – includes licenses/certificates (ie: Real Estate Salesperson, Real Estate Brokers, Securities Series 6, 7, 24, 27, 65) and courses taken through the Center for Financial Studies or POST Academy.  
  • Portfolios

Alumni Tuition Discounts
Effective Spring 2014, students who graduated with a bachelor's degree from Fontbonne and are entering a Fontbonne graduate program for the first time might be eligible for a 15% discount on their graduate tuition. This discount may exclude some laboratory and studio courses and must be requested each semester.

Payment Plans
Fontbonne University has contracted with Tuition Pay to provide a payment plan that will allow monthly payments without incurring interest charges. You can enroll in an online payment plan with Sallie Mae at https://tuitionpay.salliemae.com. Enrollment forms may also be obtained from the Fontbonne Options business office.

Employer Direct Billing
Tuition may be deferred at Fontbonne University if the student’s employer has been approved for direct billing. Approved company tuition vouchers must be received by the Fontbonne Options Business Office prior to the start of each course or semester. Tuition may be deferred for 30 days after each course or semester end date.

Corporate Partnerships
Fontbonne has partnered with several corporations to offer tuition discounts on undergraduate and graduate programs.  For information on specific partnerships, please contact your admissions counselor.

Book Rentals
Fontbonne is now offering the option of renting your textbooks which can save you money over purchasing.  You still have the choice to purchase new or used texts online or onsite at the university.  You can also inquire about selling books back to the bookstore at a reduced rate at the end of the term. 

E-Billing and Online Payments
Fontbonne offers the convenience of e-billing so you can receive your monthly statements electronically and even pay online. An email notice will be sent to your Fontbonne e-mail address whenever a statement is generated for your account. You may also provide any third-party payer with their personal log-on so they can have access to the bill and make payments.

Questions?
Contact Evening/Online Admissions: 314-863-2220 | eveonline@fontbonne.edu | 1300 Strassner Drive, St. Louis MO 63144