An installment plan for college

When tuition comes due, many colleges and universities offer a way to manage expenses with a tuition
payment plan.

A tuition payment plan allows students and families to pay tuition in installments rather than in a lump sum at the beginning of the semester.

Most plans require installment payments over a period shorter than a calendar year, such as three or four payments over the course of a semester, according to FinAid, an online financial aid information website.

Schools have partnered with online resources including Tuition Management Services and FACTS Education Solutions to facilitate the payment of tuition electronically. While payment plans don’t charge interest, FinAid says, many will levy fees or finance charges, usually around $100.

Whether you’re still deciding on a school, or you’re enrolled and looking at your financial situation, check with individual colleges and universities about payment plans.

my529 can distribute funds only to the account owner, beneficiary or the eligible educational institution. my529 cannot send a withdrawal to companies that manage tuition payment plans. However, once the beneficiary or the account owner receives the funds from my529, they can use them in a payment plan.