How to Pay for Rutgers University: Aid and Student Loan Options

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If you got your acceptance letter, take some time to celebrate — because next up is figuring out how to pay for Rutgers University. Find out how much it costs and the kinds of student aid and resources available to help you.

Rutgers University tuition and cost of attendance

A state university in New Jersey, Rutgers has a main campus in New Brunswick and two more locations in Camden and Newark. More than 69,000 students attend school at these campuses, including nearly 50,000 undergraduates.

With college costs that are above average nationally and for the Northeast, however, Rutgers isn’t the cheapest way to earn an undergraduate degree.

The cost of attendance for in-state undergraduates living on campus at Rutgers was an estimated $33,992 per year for the 2017-2018 academic year. It included $11,744 in tuition, $2,889 in fees, and $13,910 for room and board.

Prices for out-of-state students were significantly higher. The cost of attendance for nonresident students living on campus was an estimated $50,374. It included $27,282 in tuition, $2,992 in fees, and $13,910 for room and board.

However, these numbers don’t reflect what students pay out of pocket for their degrees. The average annual price at Rutgers is $19,924 after grants and scholarships are applied, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard.

How to pay for Rutgers University

When it comes to figuring out how to pay for Rutgers University, help is available.

Students can tap a wide range of resources to help manage their costs. If you’re a Rutgers student or hope to be one soon, you’ll want to take advantage of these programs to pay for college. Here’s where to start.

Rutgers scholarships and grants

Students can explore how to pay for Rutgers University with the help of scholarships and grants specific to the university or the state of New Jersey.

Here are some of the standout awards available to Rutgers students:

  • Bridging the Gap: This grant for Rutgers-Camden students can cover up to 100% of costs not covered by need-based aid. Awards are based on the student’s family’s adjusted gross income.

  • Tuition Aid Grant: This need-based grant helps a third of full-time undergraduates in New Jersey, with awards of up to $7,236 per year for Rutgers.

  • NJ Stars II: This scholarship, which is open to students transferring to Rutgers after completing an associate degree at a New Jersey county college, awards up to $1,250 per semester.

  • Rutgers Future Scholars Program: High school students in Camden, Newark, New Brunswick, Piscataway, and Rahway school districts who would be first-generation college graduates can participate in this program.

  • Rutgers University-Newark Talent and Opportunity Pathways Program: This program, which is open to residents of Newark with household incomes of up to $60,000 per year, covers any gaps in costs after all other scholarships and grants are taken into account.

Rutgers students also can apply for merit-based scholarships. Each Rutgers campus has its own list of merit-based scholarships that can help high-achieving students cover their college costs.

Finally, Rutgers University’s financial aid office curates a list of private scholarships from other sources that could be a good fit for its students.

Tuition payment plans

A Rutgers tuition payment plan could make your college costs easier to manage and help you avoid student debt. It allows students or their families to pay college costs in smaller installments instead of big lump-sum payments.

Here’s an overview of the features:

  • You can pay over the course of a year or semester.
  • You can choose to pay over several installments, from two to 12.
  • The plans are interest-free.
  • Enrolling is easy and can be done by completing an online form.
  • There’s a one-time enrollment fee of $60 for an annual plan or $50 for a semester plan.

Federal student aid at Rutgers

Submitting your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is an essential part of figuring out how to pay for Rutgers University. The FAFSA will help you access federal student aid.

  • Federal Pell Grants are offered to students with demonstrated financial need. The grants can provide up to $5,920 in funds that don’t need to be repaid.

  • A Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant can offer between $100 and $4,000 to students based on their financial need. These grants don’t need to be repaid.

  • Federal Work-Study, used by the federal government to partially reimburse employers for wages paid to participating students, allows you to earn money through a part-time job.

Your FAFSA is also used by the state of New Jersey, Rutgers, and other organizations to evaluate you for other grants, scholarships, and student aid.

File your FAFSA early, before Rutgers’ FAFSA filing priority deadline, to make sure you’re eligible for these programs. The priority deadline is December 1 for incoming Rutgers students or January 15 for returning students.

Student loans at Rutgers

You’ll likely need to borrow money to pay for some of your costs at Rutgers. Just over half of Rutgers graduates (52%) have federal student loans, per the Department of Education’s College Scorecard.

Some student loans will cost less than others. One of the first sources to turn to is federal student loans. Submitting your FAFSA could help you access the following federal student loans for undergraduates:

  • Direct Subsidized Loans have a 4.45% interest rate and a 1.066% loan fee. These loans also include an interest subsidy, which means the federal government pays any interest that accrues while you’re in college. Only students with demonstrated financial need are eligible.
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans have the same rates and fees as Direct Subsidized Loans but with a key difference: They don’t provide an interest subsidy. You’ll be responsible for all interest that accrues while you’re enrolled at Rutgers.
  • Parent PLUS Loans are offered only to parents of undergraduate college students. PLUS Loans have significantly higher costs, with a 7.00% interest rate and a 4.264% loan fee.

Another useful option could be private student loans. These are student loans offered through private banks or online lenders, such as College Ave or CommonBond.

In most cases, rates on private student loans won’t beat what you’d pay on Direct Subsidized Loans or Direct Unsubsidized Loans. However, every situation is different, so it’s a good idea to compare all your options before making a final decision.

Paying for Rutgers

It’s never too early to start planning for how to pay for Rutgers University. You’ll need time to find the right mix of scholarships, grants, federal aid, and student loans to cover the costs of your degree.

Whether you’re a high school freshman who dreams of being a Scarlet Knight or a community college student planning to transfer to Rutgers, start now. Take full advantage of every form of student aid offered to Rutgers students. Your dream college could be more affordable than you think.

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Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.