There are many reasons why you might want to attend the University of the Pacific. It was ranked No. 110 among the best schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. It also has a picturesque campus that’s been featured in movies, 80 undergraduate majors, and is a 90-minute drive from San Francisco.
But all those positives come at a cost. Tuition is over $46,000 a year, which could make it difficult for you to attend. Luckily, you have plenty of options to fund your education at your dream school.
How to pay for the University of the Pacific
The private university might cost a lot, but it provides a clear overview of financing options for both parents and students. Here’s how to pay for the University of the Pacific.
Although you should apply for scholarships on your own, the University of the Pacific does help with some of the legwork. It automatically considers incoming freshmen and transfer students for merit-based scholarships. Your GPA and SAT and ACT scores will be taken into consideration.
The school also offers its Community Involvement Program. Students from low-income households who demonstrate leadership and community involvement can earn this scholarship. Check with the school to see if you’re eligible to apply.
You have numerous opportunities to earn grants at the University of the Pacific. Undergraduate students, for instance, are eligible to receive the Federal Pell Grant if they demonstrate financial need.
Cal Grants are also available to California residents who apply through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application (CADAA). There are three kinds of Cal Grants available — A, B, and C — with awards up to $12,630. Each has different stipulations, but each requires you to have filled out the FAFSA or CADAA.
The school also has its own grant system. It awards money based on academic achievement and financial need. Eligible freshmen could get up to $15,000 a year.
If you’re tapped out on scholarships and grants but still need money to pay for school, you might want to consider work-study. The University of the Pacific participates in the federal work-study program. Students who demonstrate financial need are provided with on-campus work to help fund their education.
The school prides itself on offering jobs in various departments. You can see available opportunities on the University of the Pacific’s website. Although you’re unable to work more than part-time hours, there are many ways you can make the most of your work-study.
Federal student loans
The Department of Education has three loans to help you cover the cost of attending the private university.
- Direct Subsidized Loan: To qualify for this federal loan, you need to prove financial need. If you’re eligible, the government will cover interest charges while you’re still in school and for the first six months after you graduate. The exact amount you’re allowed to borrow is determined by the University of the Pacific.
- Direct Unsubsidized Loan: You don’t need to show financial need to qualify, but you’re responsible for paying the interest that accrues while you’re in school and during your grace period. However, payments aren’t due until you leave school.
- Parent PLUS Loan: Your parents can take out this type of loan to help you pay for college. They can borrow up to your cost of attendance minus any other financial aid. Like a Direct Unsubsidized Loan, interest accrues while you’re in school. To qualify, your parents’ credit history will be taken into consideration.
To apply for these loans, you need to fill out the FAFSA using the school code 001329. Priority filing for new students is Jan. 15, and the deadline for Cal Grant consideration is March 2. Make sure you have all the paperwork turned in before then to secure as much aid as possible.
Private student loans
Even with scholarships, grants, work-study, and federal aid, you might not have enough funds to cover tuition. That’s where private student loans come in.
Unlike federal loans, which are issued and regulated by the government, private loans are funded by independent financial institutions, such as banks and credit unions. This means that your eligibility, interest rates, and repayment terms can vary by lender.
Also, a private lender will take your credit score and debt-to-income ratio into consideration, which will often determine your interest rates. This could be a good thing if you have a high credit score; you could potentially get a lower interest rate than with a federal loan. Be sure to shop around for the best private student loans and compare rates.
Unfortunately, many undergraduate students have poor or unestablished credit and, therefore, might need a cosigner. A parent or other family member with a good credit score should be your top choice for a cosigner. Keep in mind, though, that if you’re unable to make payments, your cosigner will be responsible for them.
It’s important to consider all the pros and cons of private student loans before borrowing one to make sure you can make payments on time.
Affording the University of the Pacific is possible
If the University of the Pacific is your perfect school, but you’re worried about how to cover your cost of attendance, know that there are many options available to you.
Take the time to research and apply for scholarships and grants. Weigh federal and private student loans. Once you have funding in place to attend school, you can start daydreaming about roaming the stunning campus.
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