Financial Wellness

As part of financial literacy at Regis University, we want to help you take the time to make a budget, understand your credit and if you choose to borrow loans to help pay for college costs, only borrow what you need. Once you graduate, we also want you to know your loan repayment options.

Things to Consider When Budgeting for School

Needs vs. Wants

When you are creating your budget you should consider things like “needs vs. wants.” Each of us has some common things that we require or need to live. Examples of basic needs include food, water and shelter. And for many students, those needs may be different at different times in our life, such as when we retire, lose a job, get a divorce or get sick and can not work. Besides basic needs, you have other things that you use and buy. They often are things you would love to have but could do without if you do not have the money to buy them. Some examples are eating out, getting a manicure, a new bicycle or designer clothes. Although an item may be a need, it is still important to budget. For example, a student may need a computer to get school work done.

The School You're Choosing

We will say it: sometimes Regis University may not be the most affordable option! However, Regis may offer a better program than another school that may cost slightly less. Does the program, flexibility and location make Regis the best option? It sure can! Make sure to do your research and look at the direct and “indirect” costs of your degree. Are online or classroom-based courses right for you? Are classroom or online courses less expensive? Even if classroom-based courses are less expensive, if you can take online classes as part of your program, you may be able to reduce transportation costs or make time for a part-time or full-time job to provide flexibility of when/where you complete your course work and earn money towards your education.

Your Salary After Graduation

Part of debt management is determining how much you can afford to spend on your education and how much you should borrow based on your future salary. It may make sense for a medical school student to borrow $200,000 in student loans. It may even be necessary. But that loan debt will not make sense for every student in every program. Even a fraction of that may be too much for some students. We encourage you to do a bit of research online to find the average salary based on your program.

Student Budget Calculator

Everyone should create and follow a budget. There are great budget calculators online (search budget calculators and you will find quite a few), but here are a few easy steps:

  1. Organize: Write down all of your expenses and all of your income and savings.
  2. Track: Keep a detailed log of everything (even little items you spend your money on.)
  3. Analyze: What is working? What is not working? What items are you spending money on that may not be necessary?
  4. React: If your expenses are more than your income, come up with a plan so that you can get back on track.
  5. Review: Review your budget monthly, especially if your income can vary.

Students have other items to consider when they look at their budget to attend college. Look at things like:

Where You Plan to Attend School
The cost of living is different depending on the city your school is in. If you are planning to move to Denver for graduate school, you should research the cost of housing (renting or owning a home). If you are going to school here in Denver and flying home on breaks, think about how much a plane ticket costs and plan accordingly.

The Amount of Financial Aid Your School Can Offer
All students who complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) usually qualify for student loans. You may also want to research other forms of aid like scholarships, grants and workstudy. You can find information based on your program on the types of aid page.

The Price of the School You Plan to Attend
The more expensive the school, the more likely it is you will have to borrow loans. You can visit the relevant Cost of Attendance page to look at the cost of your program.

Your Expected Graduation Date
You should consider the amount of time it will take you to complete your program. For many undergraduate students, that is 4 years. But, will you need a 5th year? For graduate students or students working full-time but taking classes online or in the evenings, the length of time it takes you to complete your program may vary. Think about how many semesters or years it will take you to finish and understand that the cost of one semester or year of your program should be multiplied to get an idea of what you will need.

Understanding Your Credit

Your credit score and credit history can affect so much in life like your ability to cover expenses or make large purchases in the future. Some student loans are based on credit, and once you borrow your student loans, repaying them on time and in full is crucial to maintaining good credit.

Your student loans do have an impact on your credit. Student loans are reported to the credit-reporting agency. Until these loans go into repayment, their status is “open/in good standing.” Once you go into repayment on your loans, your monthly payment and duration are reported to the credit agency.

Before you decide to borrow money for any purchase, including borrowing money for college, we believe it’s a great habit to review your credit history. You can request a free credit report every year.

girl studies book in library

Debt and Borrowing Resources

We have great information on loan options for all students listed on our types of aid page.

Before you choose to borrow loans, we think it is important to review a loan repayment calculator. You can indicate how much you have already borrowed or how much you plan to borrow to review your eventual monthly payments by visiting If the monthly payment looks like it is too much, you will want to take a step back before moving forward. What is your average salary for your program? Do you need to borrow as much as you think? Have you reviewed your budget and looked at all of your income and savings options?

Sometimes, the math does not work out. You may need to pause and decide if going to school is the right option or if your program is offered at other institutions that may make it more financially manageable. You may not always enjoy repaying your student loans, but we want you to feel prepared for those payments once you graduate.

It’s important to understand the loans you’re borrowing, limit how much you are borrowing and review all the different loan repayment options when you graduate.

Most federal student loans will go into repayment 6 months after you graduate or stop enrolling at least half-time (even if you haven’t yet graduated). Federal loans also offer a variety of different repayment plans (view different repayment plans).

Look through all of your options. Just because you start repayment with one repayment plan doesn’t mean you can’t change to a different option later that works better for you. You’ll want to work with your loan servicer to discuss all of your options and the steps to change payment plans. If you don’t know who your loan servicer is, you’ll want to log onto the National Student Loan Database System (NSLDS).

When you are enrolled in college at least half-time, your past student loans and the loans you are currently receiving will go into an "In-School Deferment" status. This means you do not have to pay on them. However, there are certain loans that will continue to accrue interest on them. Consider paying on the interest while you go. This will save you money in the long run! Your enrollment will be reported to the National Clearinghouse after the add/drop date has passed for your class. If you are registered at least half-time and your loan servicer is requesting payment, you can contact them and get what is called an In-School Deferment Form. Our Records and Registration Office can complete this form to verify enrollment.

Forbearance also allows you to temporarily stop making payments on your student loans. However, this is slightly different from the In-School Deferment. There are two types of Forbearances: General and Mandatory. Students typically will request a General Forbearance due to financial difficulties, medical expenses, change in employment and other reasons. General Forbearance is available for Direct Loans, FFEL Program Loans and Perkins Loans. Mandatory Forbearance has a lot more eligibility requirements.

You can find more information on Mandatory Forbearance General Forbearance and Deferment.

Delinquency happens the first day you miss a loan payment. You must pay the missed payment and continue to make all other payments on time to no longer be delinquent on your loans. After 90 days of delinquency your loan servicer will report your non-payments to the three major reporting credit reporting bureaus. This will negatively impact your credit score and history!

Default occurs when you continue to be delinquent on your student loan payments. Whether your loan is considered to be in default depends on the type of loan. You can find additional information about delinquency and default.