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There are financial options to help you pay for school

Paying for school

Make sense of your financial options.

Education is an investment in yourself, your dreams and your future. It’s also a promise that we’ll help you keep – and you’ll never have to go it alone.

Our Finance team is available to explain tuition rates and other fees for your program, as well as guide you through every payment option so you can discover what works best for you – keeping you on right financial path toward earning your degree.

Connect with a finance advisor

A finance advisor is ready to explain your financial aid options including grants, scholarships, loans and other services you may not even know about. Contact them today.

Responsible borrowing

At University of Phoenix we know that each student is unique, and that every student’s financial situation is different. The first, and most important step for every student is creating a financial plan. Having a financial plan allows you to estimate the full cost of tuition and fees for your program. Check out our video on responsible borrowing to learn all about it.

Making the right decisions

To make your education truly pay off, you need to make the right financial decisions. If you’re using federal student loans to pay for tuition, your goal should be to borrow only what you need. These simple guidelines will help you borrow responsibly and keep your payments low.

  • Make a budget. Review the total cost of your education – including your living expenses.
  • Explore resources you don’t have to pay back. Does your employer offer tuition benefits? Will you search and apply for grants and scholarships?
  • Consider using your own money. Can you use any savings or investments? Could you pay from your current income?

Options for payment

An education takes dedication and time, as well as some form of financial commitment. Check out the sections below for options on paying for your education. Don’t hesitate to contact a Finance Advisor with any questions you might have.

You have options to help you pay for your education

The Federal Financial Aid Plan is available to students who are interested in applying for federal grants, federal loans or both to pay for tuition in an eligible degree or certificate program.

A list of federal financial aid programs is available from the U.S. Department of Education Student Aid website, listed under Types of Aid. To begin the federal financial aid process, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), available at When applying for federal financial aid, you’ll need a school code. Our FAFSA school code is 014593.

In addition to the FAFSA, students who anticipate using federal financial aid may also be required to complete and submit these documents:

If accepting offered student loans

  • Master Promissory Note (MPN)
  • Entrance Counseling

You are responsible for payment of tuition and course materials fees not covered by federal financial aid seven days prior to the payment period start date at the time classes are invoiced.

The Tuition Deferral payment option is available to students who will receive military education benefits or whose employers pay some or all of their employees’ tuition, mandatory fees, and/or sales tax, as applicable. Under the Tuition Deferral payment option, tuition, mandatory fees, and sales tax, as applicable, will be assessed and invoiced in a single invoice at the beginning of the payment period.

Military Education Benefits

The University will directly bill the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or U.S. Department of Defense for the student’s tuition, mandatory fees, and sales tax, as applicable, and will defer payment of the applicable course’s tuition, mandatory fees, and sales tax, if applicable, based on these agencies’ reimbursement policies and timeline. Mandatory fees and sales tax, as applicable, not anticipated to be reimbursed by these agencies are payable in full at the time of invoice or incrementally prior to the start of each applicable course.

The University does not encourage or require a student using military Tuition Assistance benefits to pay his or her mandatory fee prior to attending class.

Employer Tuition Reimbursement

The University will defer payment of the applicable course’s tuition and sales tax, as applicable, based on when the student will receive reimbursement from their employer.  Mandatory fees, including the course electronic materials fees, and sales tax, as applicable, not anticipated to be reimbursed by the student’s employer are payable in full at the time of invoice or incrementally prior to the start of each applicable course or term.

GI Bill is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at

If a qualified third party is paying your tuition and fees, we can send them the bill. Under the Third-Party Billing Plan, the University directly bills an approved employer for a student’s tuition.

Students should contact a Finance Advisor to determine if their employer is approved for direct billing and to coordinate any required documents, which typically include vouchers provided by that third party. Students are responsible for payment of their tuition and electronic course materials fees not covered by the third party seven days prior to each payment period.

A cash payment plan is available to students who would like to use e-checks or credit cards to pay for tuition and electronic course materials.  Payment is due in full one week prior to the start of each payment period.

Understand your rights and responsibilities when considering private loan options. Clear and accurate information can help you make informed choices, so you borrow only what you need and can reasonably repay.

The University encourages that all federal and state financial aid options are exhausted before private loans be considered. Private loans are made through third-party lenders and other financial institutions, and are subject to a credit review and individual lender terms and conditions. Private loans are not subsidized or guaranteed by the federal government. For more information on the difference between federal and private loans, please visit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Private student loans may be available to both students and parents who are not eligible for federal financial aid, or who need assistance beyond their financial aid eligibility. The lender determines eligibility, and amounts are limited to the cost of attendance minus other aid, including discounts and any other resources received.

The University of Phoenix does not endorse a specific lender for private student loans. Therefore, when applying for private student loans, students may choose any lender as long as it recognizes the University of Phoenix as an eligible institution. Visit to learn more about the differences between Federal and Private Loans along with options to consider when it comes to paying for college.

Reducing cost

From scholarships and grants, to past experience and transfer credits, you have options for reducing the cost of earning your degree. Not everyone will be eligible for these options. Please contact a Finance Advisor to see if you qualify, and for any questions you might have.

Scholarships and grants can help reduce education costs

Did you know that you can earn credits toward your associate or bachelor’s degree at less than half the cost per credit? The University allows you to apply relevant learning, work and life experience toward college credits through the Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) process.

PLA credit may apply toward both the lower division and upper division credit requirements of the University's undergraduate degree programs, unless specified otherwise in policy or limited by the state or jurisdiction of a student's residence.

For assistance, please contact us at 866.440.4707 or via email at Students submitting supporting documents: fax to either 602.643.0364 or 480.643.1542.

Apply your past experience

You may be able to fulfill some elective, interdisciplinary and/or general education courses through the PLA process – allowing you to save time and money while earning your degree. To be eligible for PLA credits, you must be an undergraduate student who has already been accepted into University of Phoenix. In addition, you must have submitted your transcripts to the University, and you must have remaining general education or elective credits required to earn your degree.

Before submitting an application, we suggest that you contact an Academic Advisor to discuss whether PLA would be beneficial to you and how credits can be applied to your degree program.

Note: PLA credits cannot be applied to associate and bachelor’s degree programs in Education.

PLA credit costs

There is a one-time submission fee and a fee per credit assessed applied to your program. The one-time submission fee is $150, and the fee per credit assessed is $75.

PLA fees not eligible will need to be covered by Financial Aid. You may be eligible for a corporate discount or fee waiver. Application to the PLA process does not guarantee credits will be applied, so please read the qualifications carefully. Speak with an Academic Advisor about whether your experience can qualify for university credit, and for more information on the full PLA process.

How to qualify for credits

There are two ways to qualify:

  1. Create a Professional Training Portfolio. This portfolio will include a description of an institutional or corporate training course, the date it was completed, number of hours of training and other essential information, such as a course description.
  2. Write an Experiential Learning Essay on an approved topic. Experiential essays must be selected from a list of approved topics and written in Kolb’s experiential learning model, which shows how knowledge has been gained from concrete experience, reflection, theory and application. Review the experiential learning essay topic list and Kolb’s learning model to find out more.

Do you have previous expertise or extensive knowledge in a specific subject? Upon completion of a national testing exam and receipt of a passing score, you could potentially earn undergraduate credits toward your degree program. To find out more about these programs, contact an Enrollment Representative to review the testing options and see if you’re eligible to take a national testing program.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

For a nominal fee, undergraduate students can take the College Level Examination Program (CLEP). You can earn college-level credit for knowledge you’ve gained outside the classroom. Getting a satisfactory score on any of the 34 available CLEP examinations can help facilitate undergraduate degree completion.

Many of our campus locations are authorized testing centers where you can take the 90-minute exam at a computer station.

DSST Credit by Exam Program (formerly known as DANTES)

The DSSTTM credit by Exam Program (formerly DANTES), offered in 38 subject areas, allows you to earn college credit for knowledge you’ve gained through on-the-job training, professional development or other life experiences. You can take these tests, along with the CLEP, at many of our campus locations.

For additional DSST testing resources, you can:

DSST is a trademark of Prometric Inc.

Excelsior College Exams (formerly Regents or ACT/PEP)

Excelsior College Exams give you the opportunity to test out of courses in nursing, business, education – as well as the arts and sciences.

Advanced Placement (AP) Exams

High school seniors can apply the knowledge they’ve gained in advanced placement courses to earn college credit in certain subject areas by taking the Advanced Placement Examination.

Berlitz® Language Evaluations

Berlitz offers a variety of language instruction programs and services. Berlitz Language Evaluations are 90 minutes long and evaluate the language proficiency level of the candidate in speaking, listening, reading and writing.

The Office of Admissions determines the amount of credit awarded, based on the official evaluation results. Credits are applicable to the Communication Arts General Education area.

Contact the Phoenix, Arizona Berlitz Language Center for detailed instructions, and to arrange taking the Berlitz Language Evaluations.

Berlitz is a registered trademark of Berlitz Investment Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

Defense Language Proficiency Tests

Active duty military personnel can take standardized language proficiency exams through the Defense Language Institute.

PRO TIP: Looking for scholarships, but don’t know where to start? Try using iGrad’s scholarship search feature. Log in to your student portal and check out the Scholarship section under your Account tab.

Military students

The University offers military rates for members of the military and their spouses. In fact, our military division is well-versed in the Montgomery GI Bill®, the Post 9/11 GI Bill® and other options like the Yellow Ribbon Program.

Don’t hesitate to contact a Finance Advisor with any questions you might have.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at

University of Phoenix offers military rates

PRO TIP: Loans have to be paid back with interest, and it’s important that you plan for this in your future budget. A general guideline is that your future standard monthly payment will be about $10 for every $1,000 you borrow.

Financial policies

University of Phoenix protects students with established loan policies and follows federal regulations that govern student loan requirements.

The Student Loan Code of Conduct creates and maintains uniform student loan practices that focus on the best interest of the student borrowers. It also manages relationships between school employees, learning institutions, lender advisory board members and student loan organizations. We encourages students to review the Student Loan Code of Conduct to learn about loan regulations.

Contact us by email at with any questions about this document.

PRO TIP: Just because you are eligible for a maximum loan amount doesn’t necessarily mean you should borrow it all. Remember, the more you borrow, the more you have to repay – so borrow only what you need.

Money management tips

Check out these helpful and easy-to-read articles on topics ranging from simple money saving methods to keeping track of your spending habits – and you can gain even more financial insight through our partnership with iGrad.