You can take stronger control of your finances when you know more about how they work. Get familiar with the terms on this page, and also visit moneysmarts.iu.edu for additional ways to manage debt as you finance your education.
Managing Your Costs
Words to know
You might hear a lot of unfamiliar terms as you consider how you will pay for college. Make sure you know what each of them mean. It will help you better understand how to minimize your costs as you navigate your college journey.
Cost of attendance means the total cost of attending college—not just tuition, but also mandatory fees, housing, and other expenses. Learn more.
Calculated from information provided on the FAFSA, the EFC is the number used by a university to determine wither a student is eligible for certain types of aid. Learn more at Student Central.
Financial aid refers to many different ways to access money to pay for college. Scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study are types of financial aid.
Flat-rate tuition means IU Bloomington students can enroll in 12 to 18 credits per semester for the same cost. It’s designed to speed up students’ time to graduation and reduce their overall cost.
Grants are awards from federal, state, or IU sources. They are often need based and do not need to be repaid.
Loans are money borrowed to pay for education costs. They must be repaid. Possible loan sources include the federal government or private lenders.
Need-based is a term used to describe funds given or lent to a student whose EFC is lower than the cost of attendance.
Scholarships are education funds awarded based on academic merit or other factors. Scholarships are not repaid and are sometimes renewable for more than one year.
Work-study is a need-based federal student aid program that provides funding for part-time employment—while a student is enrolled in school—to help pay education expenses. Learn more.
Ways to manage costs
- Search for housing at IU based on what your budget will allow.
- Explore campus jobs. Whether or not they qualify for work-study, students hold jobs in a variety of campus departments and organizations—often using their earnings to reduce the amount of funds they need to borrow.
- Take advantage of events and performances available to students at little or no cost.
- Consider borrowing or renting textbooks, rather than buying them.
- Check out MoneySmarts. Since 2012, this IU initiative has helped students cut their financial burden by almost 20 percent.