Financing Options

Monthly payment plans, loan programs, and pre-payment plans are just a few options open to all students, to help cover educational costs. It can be advantageous to seek professional financial advice regarding the tax advantages of various payment strategies.

A few of the financing options used by Colgate parents and students are described below. To further assist you in planning, estimate your costs using the cost calculators.


Colgate offers a term-based payment plan option via the TouchNet billing site as a short-term financing option for semester charges.  There is $20 enrollment fee.  Information about this option will be provided to the families of all enrolled students. For questions, contact the Office of Student Accounts

Available to parents who are U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizens only.

This federal loan enables parents to borrow directly from the Federal Government up to the cost of attendance minus any financial aid. Only one master promissory note is needed throughout a student's enrollment at Colgate. 

The interest rate for 2021-22 is fixed at 6.28%, and borrowers pay an origination fee of roughly 4%. Repayment begins 60 days after loan disbursement and continues for up to 10 years. 

First, the FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, should be submitted online. After that, parents may visit to begin the loan request process. For more information, you may visit our Types of Aid page or you may contact the Office of Financial Aid.

Available to parents of non-aided students only.

For those parents interested in stabilizing tuition charges during their child’s undergraduate enrollment, Colgate University has developed a prepayment option. The Tuition Prepayment Plan offers parents the opportunity to prepay tuition for two, three, or four years at the current rate of annual tuition set for the first year of participation in the plan, which protects families from probable future increases.

Participation is limited to parents of students who are in full-time attendance and are not receiving Colgate financial aid. (Plan participants may, however, apply for federal aid.) Only tuition charges are included. All other charges for fees, room, meals, etc.,are payable as billed.

Specific details of this plan are available on the Office of Student Accounts webpage.

Available to all parents.

This plan provides refunds of tuition in the event of withdrawal due to medical or emotional reasons, in accordance with the terms set forth by the contract. Information is sent to parents annually by A.W.G. Dewar, Inc., (617-774-1555), the insuring company. 

Specific details of this plan may be obtained by contacting the Office of Student Accounts at 315-228-7421 or by e-mail at

Available only to students who are U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizens.

Federal Direct Loans are available to undergraduate students, regardless of family income, for up to $5,500 for the first year of school, $6,500 for the second year, and $7,500 for the third and fourth years. Graduate students may borrow up to $20,500 in a federal direct unsubsidized loan in an academic year. Undergraduate students may be eligible to borrow through the subsidized portion of the Federal Direct Loan program, in which no interest accrues while the student is enrolled at least half time. However, at least $2,000 of each of these amounts can be offered only through the unsubsidized portion of the program.

The 2021-22 interest rate is fixed at 3.73% for both subsidized and unsubsidized loans for undergraduate students. The 2021-22 interest rate for unsubsidized loans for graduate students is fixed at 5.28%. In the unsubsidized portion of the program, interest accrues while the student is in school and may be paid or capitalized. In both portions of the program borrowers pay an origination fee of roughly 1%. Colgate will always award as much subsidized loan as possible before awarding unsubsidized loan; however, in some cases the student is eligible for an unsubsidized loan only. 

Steps to request a Federal Direct Loan:

For further information, you may visit our Types of Aid page or you may contact the Office of Financial Aid.

Available to all students.

Campus employment provides another opportunity for students to contribute toward their educational costs. While students with a work-study award in their aid package receive priority in hiring, a number of jobs are open to all students. More than half of the students who work on campus are not aid recipients.

More information about student employment can be found here.

This type of student loan is provided by a private lending institution and must be repaid by the borrower, with interest. Private alternative loans require a credit application with the lender, and can be borrowed in either the student’s or the parent’s name. Often a student will need a credit-worthy co-signer in order to be approved.

We encourage families to utilize scholarships, grants and the Federal Direct Loan Program before borrowing a private alternative loan. Federal loans may offer lower interest rates and more advantageous repayment terms than loans from private lenders. Visit this federal website for comparative information.

Please investigate you and your parents' eligibility to borrow through the Federal Direct Loan program. If not already submitted, a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) should be completed, and our office should be contacted, so we may assess your eligibility for federal borrowing.

If there is interest in pursuing a private alternative loan, it is important to compare loan details before finalizing a borrowing decision. Colgate University does not maintain a preferred lender list. When comparing lenders, students and parents should consider multiple factors, such as:

  • Eligibility requirements
  • Interest rates
  • Repayment terms
  • Deferment options
  • Variable vs. fixed interest rates
  • Application and/or origination fees