Top 5 Financial Aid Tips

Finances are one of the most overwhelming parts of the college process.  But it doesn’t have to be.  Here are some tips and tricks that will help you stay organized and allow you focus on other things during your time at DePaul


Be sure to fill out your FAFSA every year as early as possible.  The FAFSA operates on first-come-first-serve basis and determines how much eligibility you have to  receive financial aid.  The FAFSA opens every year on October 1st, so make sure to mark this in your calendar! 

2. External Scholarships

Why pass up free money?  There are so many opportunities for scholarships within just about every industry.  I worked in the roofing industry during high school and was able to apply for scholarships at different organizations.  I ended up receiving some some of these scholarships and now I owe less in my tuition.  DePaul has a great external scholarships resource that allows you to easily find these otherwise hidden opportunities.

3. Meet with the Financial Aid Office often

In order to avoid being overwhelmed by finances, meet with a professional regularly.  You can set up your payment plans and routinely check that everything is in order.  Also, finances can change, especially if you keep getting those external scholarships.  Staying on-top of your plan will make the process smoother and easier to digest.

4. Keep applying for scholarships!

Most students stop applying for external scholarships after freshman year.  Scholarships can come in many different forms at different stages, freshmen aren’t the only ones getting scholarships.  Especially as you get further into your academic career, you may be able to land a work-study scholarship that can go towards your tuition.

5. Graduate early at DePaul

Something I wish I would’ve done sooner during my career at DePaul is maximize my credit hours.  DePaul’s tuition covers 18 credits per quarter.  However, students usually end up taking four, 4 credit courses a quarter, putting them at 16 credit hours a quarter.  This means that there are 2 credit hours up for grabs.  If you take one, 2 credit hour course along with the 4 credit hours classes each quarter, you can rack up your credit hour requirements sooner.  This means that you have the opportunity to graduate early and save a whole quarter’s worth of tuition.  


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