College Affordability Academy: Students and Families

Let’s make some smart decisions!

It’s not just about financial aid. It’s about making smart decisions right now to help tackle the cost of higher education and ensure you get the best return on your investment. 

Understand Cost and the Financial Aid Process 

Take Steps to understand actual cost, the financial aid process and payment options. 

  • Compare financial aid award letters.
  • Understand the bottom line cost (net price).
  • File the FAFSA. Every year. On time. 
  • Don’t miss deadlines. 
  • Apply for scholarships. 

Avoid Unmanageable Debt 

There are ways you can reduce borrowing. 

  • Consider what is reasonable to borrow for your education by evaluating earning potential versus anticipated student loan debt. 
  • Only borrow what you need. 
  • Avoid student loan refunds. 
  • Make payments out of pocket, even if it’s just a little bit. 
  • Graduate in four years (or less). 
  • Don’t lose financial aid due to missed deadlines or unsatisfactory academic progress. 

Secure a Path to Employability 

College is full of resume-building opportunities. Get the most bang for your buck by taking advantage of as much as you can while in school. 

  • Internships 
  • Study Abroad
  • On-campus Employment 
  • Job Fairs
  • Career Center
  • Clubs & Organizations
  • SET Transcript 

Be a Happy Alum

More RMU alumni are enjoying “Great Jobs and Great Lives” than the national average. The more you adhere to these recommendations, the more likely you are to land a great job and experience long-term financial and personal success. 

Watch Bobby Mo Take on College Costs

The decisions you make as early as high school can affect what you ultimately pay for college, no matter where you end up enrolling. Follow Bobby Mo and his friends on their journey to and through college to see how their choices over time affected their experience. 

Links to RMU Resources

RMU is here for you as you set off on your college journey. Here are a few recommended resources to help you along the way. 

Links to Outside Resources

There are hundreds of online tools to help you learn more about college costs and financing. Here are a few that we think are most helpful.