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Understanding Your Financial Aid Award

Estimated Direct Education Expenses  

These are expenses that are typically due and payable directly to the University, such as tuition and room and board charges if your student is living on campus. 

Estimated Indirect Education Expenses  

Indirect expenses are those that are not typically billed by the University, such as travel expenses, room and board (if your student lives off-campus), and books and supplies. 

Your Estimated Total Expenses for This Year  

This is our estimate of what it is going to cost your student to attend Ferris State for the first year. This amount will remain an estimate until late July when the first E-bill is produced for the fall semester. 

Estimated Net Price for This Year 

This is the estimated amount that the student and family are expected to pay for the academic year, which consists of two semesters – fall and spring. This number may also be referred to as the “Out of Pocket Expense”. 

Loan Options to Pay Net Price 

Most students are offered federal student loans that can help pay the families’ Out of Pocket Expense. Federal student loans have very strict annual loan limits. For example, a dependent freshmen is offered a maximum of $5,500 per academic year. 

Additional Funding Options  

If your student was not offered enough financial aid to cover all of his or her costs, it is recommended that the family first look at available resources to cover the expenses.

  1. Do you have enough financial resources (cash, checking or savings accounts) to cover the expenses?
  2. If not, do you have other liquid resources such as investment accounts, 529 education savings plans, retirement funds, home equity loans, etc., that you are willing and able to access for your student’s education expenses?
  3. If not, do you have enough monthly income to divide the out of pocket into 3-4 monthly payments per semester?
  4. If not, it is recommended that you investigate alternative parent or student loan options to cover your educational expenses. We have an alternative loan webpage that can help you begin your search for alternative loans.  

What Other Options Are There? 

We often hear from families that they want to avoid loan options, and that they are going to search for scholarship opportunities or student employment options instead of taking out loans. We support minimizing education loan debt whenever possible. It is important to note, however, that scholarship awards are typically complete by June or July prior to the academic year. While students are encouraged to keep searching for scholarship opportunities, we recommend that families prepare for the worst-case scenario. We are happy to reduce student or parent loans when we receive scholarship checks – regardless of when we receive them.

We encourage students to seek employment options to help cover out of pocket expenses. Students that work while going to school can reasonably earn an average of $2000 to $2500 in an academic year.  

There is not a “one-size fits all” method that works for all families. You may want to consider combining multiple resources and options to cover your out of pocket expenses.