Managing Unmet Cost

For many students, their financial aid award will leave them with some amount of unmet cost. Covering this gap often involves combining multiple types of aid. Available resources include private scholarships, Parent PLUS loans, private student loans and student employment. Researching all options will help you determine the best strategy to finance your DU education.


4 Steps to Managing Out-of-Pocket Costs

Step 1: Determine Out-of-Pocket Costs

This step requires you to compare the full amount of your financial aid against your tuition, fees and other expenses. Whatever's left of those expenses after subtracting financial aid is your total out-of-pocket cost. Get an idea of what your bill might be after all aid has paid by using our estimated cost worksheet.

Step 2: Consider Non-Loan Options

Before taking out any additional loans, consider your other options.

  • Part-time employment: Think about earning money through student employment. Whether it's as part of the formal work-study program or not, part-time jobs can lessen your financial burden. Student Employment can help you find both on- and off-campus job opportunities.
  • Tuition payment plans: The Office of Student Billing offers a payment plan that splits the cost of tuition each quarter into two payments. The first payment is due by the first day of classes each term. The second payment is due before priority registration for the following quarter. The application fee is $50 per quarter plan. Learn more about payment options through the Office of Student Billing.
  • Private scholarships: Organizations of all types sponsor college scholarships, and there are several websites that maintain databases to make it easier to find ones that match your strengths. Deadlines vary, but the majority of deadlines fall between early November and mid-July.


Step 3: Determine How Much You May Need to Borrow in Credit-Based Loans

Take the figure you arrived at in step one and subtract any non-loan options you plan on using.

Step 4: Research and Apply for a Credit-Based Loan

Many students and families seeking additional financing to help cover the cost of attending college will consider a credit-based loan. If you decide a credit-based loan is necessary to finance your education, make sure to carefully research your loan options. You have two supplemental credit-based loan options—the Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan and a private education loan.

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Financial Aid