For most families, financing a college education is second only to purchasing a home, and in some cases, college costs supersede this expense as well. We at Bucknell recognize the difficulty this investment can present for many families, even for those who have been prudent in their planning for their children's education.

Therefore, we are very pleased to bring you the financing options listed below. These are Bucknell’s recommended steps in managing the cost of education.

Bucknell Monthly Payment Plan

This plan is administered by Tuition Management Systems (TMS), and is a budget plan that divides college costs into ten consecutive monthly interest-free installments. The current application fee (subject to change) is $50. Acceptance into the plan begins in April and ends on the fall semester due date. Please be aware that the first of the ten payments is due June 1. Those who enroll in the plan after June 1 will be required to make all back payments immediately. For further information or to apply, you may contact TMS at 800-722-4867 or (Non-US citizens may apply for the payment plan.)

Bucknell Tuition Prepayment Plan

This plan offers families the option of prepaying two or more years of tuition at the current rate, thus foregoing future tuition increases. This plan is available to enrolled undergraduate students who are not receiving need-based or merit-based scholarship assistance awarded by Bucknell University.  You must complete the prepayment agreement by the fall semester due date. Tuition (not room and board) is the only cost which may be prepaid through this plan. Questions and requests for the prepayment agreement should be directed to Bursar Services at or 570-577-3733.

Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

This is a non-need-based, credit-worthy loan with a 6.41% interest rate that a parent may borrow in his or her name to assist with the student's educational costs.  Federal regulations require that we have a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file for your student before we may process a PLUS loan for you.

To apply for the 2013-2014 academic year, please refer to Loans.

Other Options

In addition to the options above, you and your parents may wish to pursue the possibility of a home equity loan, credit union financing, or other avenues that may be open to you. We strongly recommend borrowing federal loans first, but you may also want to consider private educational loans. Keep in mind that the interest rates for private student educational loans can vary depending upon your credit. If you do consider private loans, please keep in mind that different loans have different terms and conditions, interest rates (fixed or variable), etc. You also may want to check with your state to see if any state educational loan programs are possible for you. Other issues you may want to research may include:

  • if the interest rate is capped
  • if the interest rate can change
  • how often your credit will be checked because some lenders may only check once in a 30-day period
  • if there is built-in life insurance and/or loan forgiveness in the event of permanent disability or death of the student
  • if there are loan deferment options
  • if there are any additional processing fees
  • what the annual loan limits are
  • if there is a grace period before repayment begins
  • if consolidation is a possibility

The choice is entirely up to you.  Some informative websites we have come across that may be helpful to you include, but are not limited to:,, and

We cannot recommend specific lenders to you. However, please let us know if you have questions, and we can try to assist you in your research.


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