Welcome to Portland State, you adorable newbie Viking, you.
If you’re brand new to PSU, there’s plenty to sort through: navigating the ins-and-outs of an urban campus, deciphering your new class schedule that’s in military time for some clock-forsaken reason, determining which textbooks you actually need to lug around campus, connecting with others you might want to hang out with for more than five minutes and finding the best chill spots.
It can all be pretty exciting and overwhelming. Make sure you don’t forget to pay your bills in the midst of all the hustle and bustle.
We’d all love for higher education to be tuition-free, but for now we’re still living in a post-Yeezus, pre-universal education world.
Pay the Man
Tuition, housing and all other fees are due to the university on the sixth of the month at the start of each term, which typically falls in the first or second week of classes.
For fall 2015, classes begin Sept. 28, so the deadline to pay your bill is Oct. 6.
Not sure how much you owe? You can track your student account by signing into your myPSU Banweb through my.pdx.edu.
If your tuition is covered by financial aid and all your paperwork is in order, you can expect your funds to be disbursed to the University about a week before classes begin.
If you have a HigherOne bank account, any excess funding above your tuition and fees deposit into your account within a day after disbursement. Other refund methods take more time to process.
You have three options for paying your bill: Online through your Banweb, in person at the FA office in Neuberger or by snail mail.
Pay attention and be diligent. If your account is not paid in full by the deadline, you will be automatically enrolled in the PSU Payment Plan and charged a late fee of $100.
See pdx.edu/financial-services for specific information about bill payment.
A word about the PSU Payment Plan
The payment plan has been in place since fall 2014, and it’s not without its kinks.
The plan splits the term balance into three equal payments. Enrollment in the plan is free, but failure to pay the installments by their respective deadlines results in late fees that add up quickly.
After a third missed payment, you’ll be unable to register for classes for the following term. This can affect your financial aid and housing eligibility and is of significant concern for international students who rely on enrollment to remain visa-eligible.
For most students today, it’s nearly impossible to escape higher education without accumulating student loan debt.
You are not alone if you’re on track to join the 70 percent of students graduating with loan debt. The Student Debt Project reports that the average undergraduate student leaves school with $28,000 in loans they’ll need to repay.
Steps for dodging unnecessary debt
-Work while you’re in school.
-Don’t take out more than you actually need.
-Explore alternatives—scholarships, grants, work-study and private loans with lower interest rates.
-Create a budget, look for affordable housing options. Suck it up and live with your parents if you have to.
-Try to avoid taking classes you don’t need—stick to your major and see advisers if you need direction.
PSU provides students with millions of dollars in scholarship funding each year. Applications for the following year become available mid-October and close Feb. 1.
PSU’s scholarship website provides several avenues for financial awards that are not university-funded. In the past, available funds have gone unused because not enoough students apply for scholarships. That’s free money just sitting there waiting for you.
If you take time to find quality references and thoughtfully answer the scholarship essay questions, you could be the recipient of scholarship funds. Take the time to do these well and attend scholarship application workshops hosted by the university throughout the year.
Visit pdx.edu/scholarships for information, tips and access to scholarship databases.