Ways to minimize your tuition bill

Thursday, July 25, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Finances can be overwhelming. Keeping them in check requires tracking due dates, handling a budget and spending the least amount of money possible.

That applies to tuition accounting, as well. Figuring out the tuition billing system at MU is crucial to successful budget management.

You can manage an account online, by mail or with a personal stop at the cashier's office in Jesse Hall. Payment options include credit cards, personal checks, e-checks or money wire.

Regardless of the option you choose, here are a few tips about getting started.

Seven steps to an online payment

1. Log on to using your university assigned PawPrint and self assigned password.

2. Select "self service" on the left side of the screen. Then select "Campus Finances"  — it's in the second row, second column.

3. Select the last option, "view my bill" and select "continue." A new tab or window will open.

4. Select "view accounts" on the left side of the screen. Here, you will see the charges from your current billing period, your balance from your last statement, and if applicable, the amount due and the minimum payment amount.

Remember, you must make your minimum payment by the deadline or you will be charged a late fee of $10.

6. In "account actions," select "make a payment."

7. Select your payment method and enter the amount you want to pay. Fill in the rest of your information and confirm the payment.

Keep this in mind

  • You are not required to pay the full amount due, but doing so is in your best financial interest. For every month that you don't pay the full amount, you will be assessed a 1 percent finance charge. One percent may seem like a small amount, but on a $15,000 tuition bill, it amounts to $150.
  • You don't have to pay online. If you do not provide "e-consent," your tuition bill will be sent to your home address. If you do provide the consent, your bill will be generated online and sent to your email address.
  • If you choose to pay online, you can pay with a credit card or an "e-check." For an "e-check," you provide a bank account number and routing number, and your payment is taken out of your checking account. 
  • When you pay with a credit card, you will be assessed a 2.75 percent service charge. As stated before, those small percentages on large bills add up, so try to use a more immediate method.
  • If you choose to pay the cashier, you have more payment options. You can use cashier's checks, money orders, traveler's checks, personal checks and even cash. For cash, you must pay in person at the Cashier's Office in 15 Jesse Hall.

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