How to Pay for Arizona State University: Financial Aid and Student Loan Options

 July 19, 2020
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How to Pay for Arizona State University

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If you’re planning to attend Arizona State University, you’ll need a plan to cover the cost. In the 2020-21 year, the annual undergraduate Arizona State University cost is as much as $10,710 for in-state residents and $28,800 for out-of-state students who live on campus — and that’s just the base tuition.

Your actual Arizona State University cost of attendance will be higher when you factor in your specific program of study, as well as housing, food, supplies and living expenses. The good news is that you can apply for scholarships and grants to minimize costs.

Plus, you have other options, such as federal and private student loans and work-study programs, to help pay for your education. This guide has pulled together all these college funding strategies to help you make a financial plan — specifically, let’s look at the following topics:

Arizona State University cost of attendance

The chart below shows Arizona State University costs for both in-state and out-of-state students living on campus. Note that these numbers are just estimates; your actual cost of attendance could be lower or higher. Students who qualify for financial aid will likely not have to pay the full sticker price for tuition and fees.

Annual Arizona State University Cost of Attendance for Undergraduates Living on Campus
Arizona resident Out-of-state student
Base tuition $6,426 – $10,710 $28,800
Student initiated fees $168 – $628 $168 – $628
Undergraduate college fees $0 – $1,050 $0 – $1,800
Books $1,000 $1,000
Supplies $300 $300
Housing $6,232 – $9,872 $6,198 – $9,620
Meals $5,336 – $5,510 $5,174 – $5,332
Travel $1,376 $1,376
Personal $1,982 $1,982
Loan fees $72 $72
Total costs $22,892 – $32,500 $45,070 – $50,910
All info current as of 6/26/2020

Source: Arizona State University

Start with the FAFSA

When planning for college costs, your first step should be to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA unlocks access to federal grant and loan programs, and is also used by your school to determine financial aid packages.

With the information provided on the FAFSA, you can see what programs you’re eligible for and get help at the federal, state and school level.

Make sure you fill out the FAFSA as soon as possible and get it turned in so you have the maximum chance for getting financial aid.

Grants for Arizona State University students

A grant is money you generally won’t have to pay back. While there are different types of grants, many of them are given based on an applicant’s financial need.

If you’re looking for grants, our guide to state grants is a great place to start. Here are some other grants that can help you pay for Arizona State University:

  • Federal Pell Grants: If you demonstrate financial need, you might be eligible for up to $6,345 during the 2020-21 school year through a Pell Grant. This is money from the federal government to help you pay for school.
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants: Depending on your financial need, you might be able to get up to $4,000 a year from this federal grant program.
  • Federal TEACH Grant: If you’re planning on entering a teaching profession, you might be eligible for up to $4,000 a year from the federal government to help you pay Arizona State University costs.
  • Financial Aid Trust Grant: The Arizona state legislature offers this award in partnership with Arizona State University. If you submit your FAFSA by Jan. 1, and meet the financial need requirements, you’ll be awarded based on the funds available.
  • University Grant: Considered a grant of last resort, if you still demonstrate need, Arizona State might step in to help cover your costs.
  • Program Fee Grant : Like the University Grant, this is a grant given as one of the last resorts to those who demonstrate financial need.
  • Arizona Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership: This grant is offered by the state of Arizona, and you can get up to $2,500 a year in assistance if you meet the definition of financial need. The average annual award is $1,000.

You might also be able to apply for grants through local and national nonprofit organizations that look to help students who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford a higher education.

Scholarships for Arizona State University students

A scholarship, like a grant, generally doesn’t have to be paid back. However, while there are need-based scholarships that focus mainly on your financial situation, there are other ways to get scholarships as well.

Merit-based scholarships go beyond your financial need and can be awarded based on your academic performance, leadership qualities or extracurricular activities.

At Arizona State University, there are merit-based awards given through different colleges and departments, as well as scholarships through the university. Some of the majors that might allow you access to college and department scholarships include:

  • Business
  • Engineering
  • Journalism and Mass Communication
  • Nursing
  • Teaching

Once you choose your major, check with the department to see what your options are. You might be able to get a little extra money to help you pay for college even after your freshman year.

On top of that, you might also be able to get a scholarship from Arizona State University. You can use the ASU Freshman Scholarship Estimator to gauge your eligibility for different awards. The Estimator tool will take into account your GPA, standardized test scores and your class rank.

You can also look for scholarships using search websites like Scholly and FastWeb. Don’t forget to check local organizations as well — you might be surprised to find that your community bank or local big box store has money to give.

Applying for a large number of scholarships, no matter how small, can be a way to contribute significantly to your college funding plan. Even small amounts can add up to reduce your need to borrow for school.

Federal work-study

In order to help offset education costs, Arizona State University students can work part time through the federal work-study program. Work-study guarantees a set amount of money to those who are eligible and can find qualifying jobs.

This program works because your pay is partially covered by the work-study program, so employers can hire more students. There are jobs available on and off campus, and it’s even possible to find qualifying community service jobs.

At Arizona State University, recipients can’t work more than 25 hours per week or when they’re supposed to be in class. You can search for jobs using ASU’s student employment search.

Federal student loans

Sometimes, even with grants and scholarships, you don’t have enough to cover your higher education costs. This is where student loans can help.

Federal student loans are made by the government and are designed to help you pay for school with a minimum of fuss. There are no credit checks for most federal student loans; most people can qualify regardless of income or credit history.

With federal student loans, you get access to a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan. Plus, federal loans are eligible for programs like income-driven repayment, which is available to you if you graduate from school and have a low-paying job.

Additionally, you might also qualify for loan forgiveness, including the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which forgives your loans if you make 120 qualifying payments while working in a public service job.

Types of Undergraduate Federal Student Loans
Interest covered during deferment? Interest rate Origination fee (2019-20 academic year) Credit check?
Direct subsidized loans Yes 2.75% 1.059% No
Direct unsubsidized loans No 2.75% 1.059% No
Parent PLUS loans No 5.3% 4.236% Yes
All info current as of 6/26/2020
Source: U.S. Department of Education

When you qualify for subsidized loans, the government pays your interest while you’re in school and during periods of deferment. This reduces the overall cost of your federal student loans, making school more affordable — and your loan payments more manageable when you finish. However, once your grace period is over after graduation, you’ll be responsible for paying interest.

With unsubsidized federal loans, interest accrues during school and the amount accumulated is added to your loan balance. You can reduce your overall cost by making interest payments while you’re still in school.

The amount you can borrow in federal student loans is determined by the school, so you’ll have to check your award letter from Arizona State University to see what kind of financial aid package you get. This package might include a mix of scholarships, grants, federal loans and work-study offer.

Finally, if your parents are willing to help cover your costs, they can take out a parent PLUS loan to help you pay for school. However, there are some credit requirements, such as not having recent delinquencies, that can impact a Parent PLUS loan application.

Arizona State University student loans

Arizona State University doesn’t offer its own long-term student loans. However, ASU’s Short-Term Loan Program can be used if you’re facing a financial emergency.

The maximum amount of this loan is $500 per semester, though you might be able to get more depending on your situation. Visit the Financial Aid office for more information.

Private student loans

After you’ve exhausted your other options, you might still need additional funding — this is where private student loans can come in. Private student loans are offered by banks, credit unions and online lenders. Because there are no standards for interest rates, term lengths and other loan features, it’s important to carefully weigh your choices and compare your private student loan options.

In some cases, if you have good credit, or you can find a cosigner with good credit, it’s possible to find private student loans with low interest rates. The best private student loans also have hardship programs and other perks that can address problems you might have later.

However, it’s important to be careful. For example, private loans don’t come with the benefits of income-driven repayment. Additionally, if a parent or someone else cosigns on your private loan, they might be on the hook for it if something happens to you.

Paying for Arizona State University

Deciding how to pay for Arizona State University requires a lot of thought and planning. The reality is that you will likely need to use several strategies to cover the total costs of going to college.

Your best bet is to start with your own savings. If you have the time, start saving money for college using a savings account or a 529 plan. Next, apply for grants and scholarships. Finally, turn to federal student loans, and carefully consider private student loans if you still have a funding gap.

Heading off to college is an exciting time. With the right approach, you should be able to pay for your education at Arizona State University without taking on too much debt.

Rebecca Safier contributed to this report.

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0.00% – 23.00%8Undergraduate

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* The Sallie Mae partner referenced is not the creditor for these loans and is compensated by Sallie Mae for the referral of Smart Option Student Loan customers.

1 Important Disclosures for College Ave.

CollegeAve Disclosures

College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.

Rates shown are for the College Ave Undergraduate Loan product and include autopay discount. The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as a valid bank account is designated for required monthly payments. Variable rates may increase after consummation.

This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a freshman borrower who selects the Deferred Repayment Option with a 10-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 8.35% fixed Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $179.18 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $21,501.54. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary. This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a first year graduate student borrower who selects the Deferred Repayment Option with a 10-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 7.10% fixed Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $141.66 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $16,699.21. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.

Information advertised valid as of 11/24/2021. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation. Approved interest rate will depend on the creditworthiness of the applicant(s), lowest advertised rates only available to the most creditworthy applicants and require selection of full principal and interest payments with the shortest available loan term.

2 Sallie Mae Disclaimer: Click here for important information. Terms, conditions and limitations apply.

3 Rate range above includes optional 0.25% Auto Pay discount. Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

Actual rate and available repayment terms will vary based on your income. Fixed rates range from 3.19% APR to 13.03% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Variable rates range from 1.19% APR to 11.69% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Earnest variable interest rate student loan refinance loans are based on a publicly available index, the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The variable rate is based on the rate published on the 25th day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month, and using the daily interest rate based on actual days in the year and rounding up, plus a margin and will change on the 1st of each month. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Although the rate will vary after you are approved, it will never exceed 36% (the maximum allowable for this loan). Please note, Earnest Private Student Loans are not available in Nevada.

4 Important Disclosures for Ascent.

Ascent Disclosures

Ascent loans are funded by Bank of Lake Mills, Member FDIC. Loan products may not be available in certain jurisdictions. Certain restrictions, limitations; and terms and conditions may apply. For Ascent Terms and Conditions please visit:

Rates are effective as of 01/01/2022 and reflect an automatic payment discount of either 0.25% (for credit-based loans) OR 1.00% (for undergraduate outcomes income-based loans). Automatic Payment Discount is available if the borrower is enrolled in automatic payments from their personal checking account and the amount is successfully withdrawn from the authorized bank account each month. For Ascent rates and repayment examples please visit:

1% Cash Back Graduation Reward subject to terms and conditions, please visit Cosigned Credit-Based Loan student borrowers must meet certain minimum credit criteria. The minimum score required is subject to change and may depend on the credit score of your cosigner. Lowest APRs are available for the most creditworthy applicants and may require a cosigner.

5 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

Sofi Disclosures

UNDERGRADUATE LOANS: Fixed rates from 2.99% to 10.66% annual percentage rate (“APR”) (with autopay), variable rates from 0.95% to 11.18% APR (with autopay). GRADUATE LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.08% to 10.90% APR (with autopay), variable rates from 1.00% to 11.29% APR (with autopay). PARENT LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.23% to 10.66% APR (with autopay), variable rates from 1.15% to 11.18% APR (with autopay). For the SoFi variable-rate product, the variable interest rate for a given month is derived by adding a margin to the 30-day average SOFR index, published two business days preceding such calendar month, rounded up to the nearest one hundredth of one percent (0.01% or 0.0001). APRs for variable-rate loans may increase after origination if the SOFR index increases. Interest rates for variable rate loans are capped at 13.95%, unless required to be lower to comply with applicable law. Lowest rates are reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. If approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, the repayment option you select, the term and amount of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. The SoFi 0.25% autopay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. Information current as of 11/01/2021. Enrolling in autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi. Loans originated by SoFi Lending Corp. or an affiliate (dba SoFi), licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. NMLS #1121636 (

6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

Undergraduate Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 1.03% – 11.01% (1.03% – 10.24% APR). Fixed interest rates range  from 3.23% – 11.70% (3.23% – 10.83% APR).

Graduate Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 1.89% – 10.66% (1.89% – 10.41% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.64% – 11.23% (4.64% – 10.95% APR).

Business/Law Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 1.89% – 9.22% (1.89% – 8.50% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.24% – 9.74% (4.24% – 9.02% APR).

Medical/Dental Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 1.89% – 8.02% (1.89% – 7.72% APR). Fixed interest rates range  from 4.18% – 8.54% (4.18% – 8.24% APR).

Parent Loan Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 1.97%-7.06% (1.97%-7.06% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.55%-7.58% (4.55%-7.58% APR).

Bar Study Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 4.44% – 9.58% (4.44% – 9.52% APR). Fixed interest rates range  from 7.39% – 12.94% (7.39% – 12.82% APR).

Medical Residency Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 3.53% – 7.03% (3.53% – 6.75% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 6.99% – 10.49% (6.97% – 10.08% APR).

IS Variable Rate Disclosure: Variable Rates advertised are based on the one-month London Interbank  Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business  day, of the preceding calendar month. As of December 1, 2021, the one-month LIBOR rate is 0.09%.  Variable interest rates will fluctuate over the term of the loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will  vary based on applicable terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. Your final variable rate may  be based upon the 30-day average SOFR index, as published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.  The maximum variable rate is the greater of 21.00% or Prime Rate plus 9.00%.

ERL Variable Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates are based on the 30-day average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”) index, as published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. As of December 1, 2021, the 30-day average SOFR index is 0.05%. Variable interest rates will fluctuate over the term of the loan with changes in the SOFR index, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. The maximum variable interest rate is the greater of 21.00% or the prime rate plus 9.00%.

Fixed Rate Disclosure: Fixed rate ranges are based on applicable terms, level of degree, and presence of a co-signer.

Lowest Rate Disclosure: Lowest rates are only available for the most creditworthy applicants, require a  5-year repayment term, immediate repayment, a graduate or medical degree (where applicable), and  include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the  Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Rates are subject to additional terms and  conditions, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to  applications taken after the effective date of change.

Federal Loan vs. Private Loan Benefits: Some federal student loans include unique benefits that the borrower may not receive with a private student loan, some of which we do not offer.  Borrowers should carefully review federal benefits, especially if they work in public service, are in the military, are considering possible loan forgiveness options, are currently on or considering income based repayment options or are concerned about a steady source of future income and would want to lower their payments at some time in the future. When the borrower refinances, they waive any current and potential future benefits of their federal loans. For more information about federal student loan benefits and federal loan consolidation, visit We also have several resources available to help the borrower make a decision on our website including Should I Refinance My Student Loans? and our FAQs. Should I Refinance My Student Loans? includes a comparison of federal and private student loan benefits that we encourage the borrower to review.

Eligibility Criteria: Applicants must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or eligible non-citizen with a creditworthy U.S. citizen or permanent resident co-signer. For applicants who have not attained the age of majority in their state of residence, a co-signer is required. Citizens Bank reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at any time. Citizens Bank private student loans are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application/Promissory Note, verification of application information, and if applicable, self-certification form, school certification of the loan amount, and student’s enrollment at a Citizens Bank participating school.

Loyalty Discount Disclosure: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower or their co-signer (if applicable) has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower and their co-signer (if applicable) have submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, or other student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, and VT and some products may have an associated cost. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate disclosed in the Loan Approval Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.

Automatic Payment Discount Disclosure: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.

7 Important Disclosures for Funding U.

Funding U Disclosures

Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are made by Funding University which is a for-profit enterprise. Funding University is not affiliated with the school you are attending or any other learning institution. None of the information contained in Funding University’s website constitutes a recommendation, solicitation or offer by Funding University or its affiliates to buy or sell any securities or other financial instruments or other assets or provide any investment advice or service.

8 Important Disclosures for Edly.

Edly Disclosures

1. Loan Example:

  • Loans from $5,000 – $20,000
  • Example: $10,000 IBR Loan with a 7% gross income payment percentage for a Senior student making $65,000 annually throughout the life of the loan.
    • Payments deferred for the first 12 months during final year of education.
    • After which, $270 Monthly payment for 12 months.
    • Then $379 Monthly payment for 44 months.
    • Followed by one final payment of $137 for a total of $20,610 paid over the life of the loan.

About this example

The initial payment schedule is set upon receiving final terms and upon confirmation by your school of the loan amount. You may repay this loan at any time by paying an effective APR of 23%. The maximum amount you will pay is $22,500 (not including Late Fees and Returned Check Fees, if any). The maximum number of regularly scheduled payments you will make is 60. You will not pay more than 23% APR. No payment is required if your gross earned income is below $30,000 annually or if you lose your job and cannot find employment.

2. Edly Student IBR Loans are unsecured personal student loans issued by FinWise Bank, a Utah chartered commercial bank, member FDIC. All loans are subject to eligibility criteria and review of creditworthiness and history. Terms and conditions apply.