While the financial aid award is intended to meet the demonstrated need of each family, many families finance their expected family contribution over a number of months or years.
Monthly Payment Plan
Consider financing through a payment plan before taking additional loans.
- First-year families may spread their payments out over 10 months.
- Families of currently enrolled students may spread their payments out over 10, 11 or 12 months.
- Hamilton partners with the Higher One Tuition Payment Plan.
- $45 annual fee.
- No interest charged.
- Calculate the amount your family can afford to pay per month and sign-up for the monthly payment plan.
- Take the maximum amount of Direct Loans for the student (subsidized and unsubsidized).
- Bridge any remaining gap with a PLUS Loan and defer payments.
Alternative Loan for Students
- Students should borrow the maximum amount allowed in a federal Direct Loan before a private alternative loan.
- Parents should consider a PLUS Loan before an alternative loan.
- Compare rates, benefits and repayment options offered by various lenders of your choice.
- Students will require a co-signer (i.e. parent).
(best to consult a Financial Advisor)
Home Equity Loans
- pro: interest is typically tax deductible; long repayment periods
- con: dependent on equity in home; home is collateral; may have closing costs
- pro: early withdraws for qualified education expenses usually not subject to tax penalties
- con: future interest lost on investment; potentially putting retirement at risk
- pro: usually borrowed from cash value or dividends of whole life insurance; usually low fixed interest rate
- con: if not repaid, reduces the investment earnings and death benefits; not usually tax deductible
Retirement Savings (401k and 403b)
- pro: withdraws may be allowed for qualified education expenses
- con: future interest lost on investment; potentially putting retirement at risk; taxed on withdrawal