Walden University Student Loans
Walden University provides student-centered learning opportunities in an online forum. Students can earn bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees as well as work toward a variety of certificate programs from the comforts of a home computer. Walden seeks adult learners, and most students are required to be over age 24. Many students have job and family responsibilities outside of school, and quite a few have taken college courses already.
Students may be based all over the world and participate in Walden’s bustling virtual community. Although Walden University may not have a physical campus, students are encouraged to connect with each other and network through the Social Lounge, and be active participants in the diverse Walden student culture.
Calculating Cost of Virtual Attendance
Attending a primarily online university can save you money in room and board and transportation expenses. You can literally live anywhere with a Wi-Fi connection, and there is no commute involved. You will need access to a working computer, and most classes will require you to purchase some form of textbooks even if they are in the form of e-books. Average book costs will range from $1,000 to $2,000, depending on your field of study. All courses also include a technology fee that ranges from $120 to $160 per course.
Tuition costs are tailored to individual degree programs at Walden University as well. A bachelor’s degree, B.S. in Business Administration, for the 2014-2015 academic year is likely to cost $59,840 at Walden University with no tuition reductions and completed in a standard four-year period. A master’s degree, M.S. in Education, currently costs $16,700 with no savings or transfer credits being used. For a full list of tuition and fee rates for each individual program, check the Walden University website.
Walden University is based in Minnesota, although there is no difference for tuition rates based on your residency. This means that there are no in-state or out-of-state tuition considerations for Walden University.
Walden University also provides a number of grants to U.S. resident students who start classes by a mandated date in particular programs. These grants include:
- Master of Public Health (MPH) Change-Maker Grant: $5,785 (tuition waived for final four courses)
- Executive M.B.A.: $5,500
- Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.): $5,000
- Doctor of Information Technology (D.I.T.): $5,000
- Education Specialist: $3,000
- Ph.D. in Education: $3,000
- Ph.D. in Management: $3,000
- Master of Social Work: $3,000
- Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with specialization in Nursing Education, Nursing Informatics, or Leadership and Management: $2,500
- Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP): $895 (technology fee, books, and first one-credit course fees waived)
- M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling: $635 (first one-credit course free and first semester technology fee waived)
Other tuition-reduction opportunities at Walden University include:
- Alumni savings: 15% tuition reduction for Walden graduates
- Family savings: 25% tuition reduction for the parent, child, or spouse of a currently enrolled Walden student
- Degree acceleration or transfer credits: transfer up to 50-75% of required credits through previous learning or work experiences
Residents outside of the United States are eligible for between 20% and 30% in tuition reductions for most programs at Walden University as well. If you are seeking your first undergraduate degree at Walden University, you can use the Net Price Calculator to help you estimate your total costs. Remember, this is an estimate only and may not be exact. An enrollment advisor can give you a more accurate portrayal of total costs.
Classes are required to be paid for in full two weeks before their start date. You can accomplish this through check or credit card. Monthly payment plans are also available by contacting a Walden Payment Plan Administrator. Many employers offer education benefits as well and sometimes religious groups or civic organizations may pay for tuition costs. In any of these cases, you may qualify for third-party billing where you must submit a voucher, letter of credit, or purchase order to Walden University with the details of your agreement.
Financial aid is also an option to help defray the costs of higher education and may come in the form of grants and scholarships or student loans. Student loans are generally low-cost loan options that allow students to borrow funds at a reduced rate with a long repayment window. Student loans either come from the federal government or from private lenders.
Private student loans are accepted for payment at Walden University; however, private financial institutions generally do not offer as generous rates and terms for student borrowers as the U.S. Department of Education does for federal student borrowers. Private student loans may have variable interest rates that may go up over the life of your loan, and the repayment options are not as flexible. Private student loans also require a credit check and often student borrowers will require the use of a co-signer to qualify.
If you are using financial aid to pay the cost of your tuition at Walden University, you will need to set up a myWalden account in order to manage your funds and check your status. New students are automatically invited to this web portal.
Federal Financial Aid
There are two main forms of federal financial aid: student loans and student grants. Walden University accepts grants through the Federal Pell Grant, the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant, and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) programs as well as loans disbursed through the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program.
The Federal Pell Grant is based on financial need and awarded to all students meeting the eligibility criteria. Pell Grant award amounts may change from year to year; for the 2017-2018 academic year, the maximum award amount is $5,920. Your award amount will depend not only on your financial need, but also on your enrollment status, cost of attendance, and plans to attend school for the entire academic year.
The FSEOG award is also based on financial need, although funds are limited, and not all students who qualify may receive the award. Walden University is disbursed a set amount of FSEOG funds from the federal government to then disburse to eligible students. These awards are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis so be sure to apply early. Award amounts range from $100 to $4,000 a year.
TEACH Grant funds are different in that they are not based on financial need, but rather on your “Agreement to Serve” contract. Potential teachers can fund their education with TEACH Grant award funding of up to $4,000 a year if they teach in a low-income and high-need field upon graduation. Teachers who fail to meet the service requirements will see their grant funds rolled into student loan funds that will need to be paid back. In addition to federal grants, state agencies may offer grants for residents that you can use at Walden University as well. Be sure to check with your state agency to find out if you qualify for these programs.
Federal student loans offer low and fixed interest rates with several different repayment plans to choose from. The type of loan and amount you can borrow depend on the following factors:
- Your year in school
- Full-time or part-time enrollment status (at least 12 credits for full-time and six credits for part-time)
- Financial need
- Dependent or independent student status
- Whether you are an undergraduate, graduate student, or parent of an undergraduate student
Students under age 24 who are unmarried and have no dependents of their own may be considered dependent students for the purposes of federal financial aid. Loans are either subsidized or unsubsidized, with the government paying the interest for subsidized loans. Undergraduate students may borrow both Subsidized Direct and Unsubsidized Direct Loans simultaneously up to between $5,500 and $12,500 a year. Graduate students can borrow up to $20,500 a year in Direct Unsubsidized Loans or up to the full amount of tuition costs in a Direct PLUS Loan. Direct PLUS Loans are offered to graduate students or the parents of undergraduate students and are not based on financial need; however, they do require a credit check. You cannot borrow more than your cost of attendance minus any other financial aid you are receiving.
Eligibility and Application Process
In order to be considered for federal and state financial aid, you must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, have a valid Social Security Number, be registered for the U.S. Selective Service (if you are a male, you must register between 18 and 25 years old), not be in default on any federal loans, and not have any convictions for drug-related offenses. In addition, you are required to have a high school diploma or GED and maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) as determined by Walden University as long as you are receiving federal financial aid.
Eligible students should submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, to determine financial aid award type and amount. To complete the FAFSA, you will need to first create a FSA ID with your Social Security number, name, and date of birth. This ID acts as your digital signature to sign all federal financial aid documents. It also grants you access to your federal financial aid records online and should be kept safe and not shared with anyone.
You will need all of your pertinent financial information (and that of your parents if you are a dependent student) in order to complete your FAFSA. You can use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool for your most accurate and current tax records. Be sure to input Walden University’s school code in the correct field in order to ensure that your financial aid is processed successfully. Allow between two and four weeks for the FAFSA to process. Be sure to be aware of any and all deadlines and file your FAFSA well ahead of these dates. The FAFSA needs to be resubmitted each year also.
The FAFSA uses all of your information to calculate an expected family contribution (EFC). This is how financial aid packages are determined. Once your FAFSA has been successfully processed, you and Walden University will receive a Student Aid Report, or SAR. It is your responsibility to check this closely for errors and submit any additional requested documentation in a prompt manner. At this point, you will need to access Walden University’s financial aid system online through your myFinAid portal to manage your account.