Kaplan University Student Loans

Student with professorEach of the five Iowa campuses of Kaplan University strives to make higher education accessible for as many potential students as possible. Offering associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and certificate programs, the average student at Kaplan University is female and over the age of 30. Many students are balancing work, family, and school lives as they pursue professional enhancement. Campuses are located in locations that are easy to commute to with plenty of parking options. Students live off campus, although each of the separate campuses has a wealth of activities, student-centered community organizations, and opportunities for involvement.

How to Calculate Cost of Attendance

Kaplan University offers a Net Price Calculator to help you budget and estimate your total college costs. Average tuition rates are currently estimated to be around $46,178 for the 2014-2105 academic year at Kaplan University. Actual costs may vary depending on your circumstances, including your chosen field of study. For a complete breakdown for specific tuition rates at the Kaplan University Midwest campuses, see the fee worksheet. Kaplan University includes books and supply costs in their cost of tuition for most programs.

In order to budget effectively, you will need to take into account all aspects of life while attending college. This means you will have to calculate your room and board costs, cost of transportation, and other personal expenses. Kaplan University does not offer housing, and students may choose to remain at home to cut costs. Rent in Iowa averages around $600 a month, depending on your chosen location; it may be less in certain neighborhoods and if you choose to share space with a roommate. The further from campus you live, the more you will need to calculate for transportation and gas costs. While public transportation is an option, it is not as readily accessible as it may be in larger cities. Carpooling and flexible school schedules may be able to help you offset some of these transportation costs.

Tuition Reductions

Kaplan University offers several different types of tuition reductions that you should take advantage of if possible. One of the many ways to save on your tuition costs is to use the transfer credit option. This allows you to apply real life and work experiences as well as convert previous coursework earned into credits. Assessment courses are offered to enable students to test out of courses they have already mastered without having to take (and pay for) the course itself. Military members can transfer military training into course credit as well.

The Kaplan University Community College Alliance Program helps students attending or earning an associate’s degree from a partner school to receive maximum credits. Each of these transfer credit options helps you to shorten the path towards a bachelor’s degree and therefore reduces the overall cost you may pay for your degree. Tuition grants are also offered to Kaplan University students transferring from a community college with which there is an academic alliance. An admissions advisor can help you determine if you qualify for these grants. Returning students should also ask about the 20 percent discount for alumni pursuing master’s degrees.

Kaplan University also prides itself on being military friendly, offering U.S. active duty, Guard, and Reserve military students tuition discounts of up to 55 percent for undergraduate students. Veterans are also offered a discount of 38 percent on undergraduate tuition rates, and spouses and dependent children of active duty military personnel are offered a 10 percent discount for both graduate and undergraduate tuition. Military spouses and dependents may also qualify for Kaplan University scholarships as well.

Operation HOPE

Girl babysittingKaplan University refers students to Operation HOPE, a non-profit organization whose purpose is to provide students with debt management tools as well as financial literacy. Students who may need additional resources to finance their education may seek a referral to the Debt Counseling and Financial Education program, which partners students with Operation HOPE to highlight options for reaching financial and educational goals successfully. Selected students may be eligible to receive credit improvement support and budget support free of charge.

Financial Aid Process

Financial aid is often a necessary part of affording higher education. The financial aid process at Kaplan University can be accomplished in a few short steps. First, you need to obtain your FSA ID by entering your name, birthday, and Social Security number on the website to create a login. The FSA ID is used to help you electronically sign federal financial aid documents, access your federal financial aid information, and submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. In order to submit your FAFSA, you will need the following:

If you are under age 24 and have no dependents or spouse, you may be considered a  dependent student. If so, you will also need your parents’ Social Security numbers and financial records to complete your FAFSA.  Be aware of any and all deadlines, both federal and at Kaplan University, and know that you do have to resubmit your FAFSA every year to remain eligible for federal financial aid.

Once you submit your FAFSA, a confirmation page will appear. You will then need to copy and send this to your admissions advisor. The FAFSA is used to calculate your expected family contribution in order to determine how much and what type of aid you may be eligible for. You will receive a student award report (SAR) detailing your financial aid package. Once accepted, the funds will be directly applied to your Kaplan University tuition and school fees. If there are any remaining funds, these will be disbursed to you to cover any additional educational expenses.

Federal and State Grants

By completing your FAFSA, you are automatically considered for many federal and state grants that don’t have to  be paid back. The most common federal student grant is the Pell Grant, which offers undergraduate students seeking their first degree up to $5,775 for the 2015-2016 academic year. Actual award amounts are based on financial need, your enrollment status, cost of attendance, and your intentions to stay in school for the entire academic year. Award amounts may change year to year and are set by the federal government.

Kaplan University also participates in the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) program, which distributes a limited amount of funds directly to the school to disburse to students demonstrating financial need. FSEOG award amounts range from $100 to $4,000 a year. Be sure to get your application in early as awards are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Iowa also offers resident students grants and scholarships as well. For example, the Iowa Tuition Grant may award students up to $5,000 toward their private university education. The All Iowa Opportunity Scholarship (AIOS) is based on financial need and academic achievement and may provide students with up to $7,853 for the 2014-2015 academic year. The AIOS uses the FAFSA to determine financial need and requires the Iowa Financial Aid Application as well. Check with your admissions advisor to find out if you qualify for these and any other state-based grants.

 
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