Four Steps to Managing the Cost of Your Education

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Step One How Much Will It Cost?

For students living in Boston University housing* or in off-campus apartments, total expenses are estimated at $75,002. For students commuting from their parents’ homes, expenses are estimated at $63,122.

2019/2020 Total Educational Expenses

Commuter Resident
Tuition** $54,720 $54,720
Fees** $1,172 $1,172
Other Expenses
Books & Supplies (estimated) $1,000 $1,000
Room & Meal Plan (most plans) $0 $16,160
Incidentals (estimated) $3,800 $1,950
Meals at Home/Meals On Campus (estimated) $2,480 $0
Total Expenses $63,122 $75,002
* Freshmen are required to live in University housing. ** University tuition and fees are subject to change.

Step Two Consider the Monthly Payment Plan

Always consider the monthly payment plan to budget all or part of your charged expenses.

  • Reduces the need for parents and students to borrow.
  • No interest charges; the monthly payment plan is not a loan.
  • Manage your cash flow by making set monthly payments.
  • Payments begin in May for enrollments starting in September.
  • Payments begin in October for enrollments starting in January.
  • Summer CGS London plan details will be emailed to students.

Learn more about the monthly payment plan, including 2019/2020 fees, at

Step Three How Much Credit-Based Loan Will You and Your Family Need?

From your Total Educational Expenses (Step 1) subtract your Enrollment Deposit ($650) and amounts you expect to pay with:

  • Your BU financial aid award (exclude Federal Work Study)
  • Scholarships from non-BU sources
  • Student and parent savings
  • Amount you expect to pay via the monthly payment plan

Estimated Credit-Based Loan Amount Needed to Cover Costs $________

Step Four  Understand How to Select a Credit-Based Loan

When families consider taking a credit-based loan to pay for college, two concerns arise:

  1. How to get a loan that offers affordable monthly payments
  2. How to minimize the amount they need to borrow and the total cost of borrowing

Only you and your family can decide which loan program is best for you. At we list detailed information on several loan programs, but our list is not exhaustive. You are welcome to select other credit-based loans that are not listed there.

It is best to submit your loan application approximately 60 days prior to the semester payment deadline, which for the fall semester is early August. Also, be sure to utilize your Federal Stafford Loan eligibility before taking a credit-based loan.

CREDIT-BASED LOAN TIMELINE: Learn when you should take critical action steps to secure a credit-based loan at

WHICH CREDIT-BASED LOAN IS BEST FOR YOU? It depends on your circumstances and on your priorities. Learn how to select a credit-based loan.