What Should You Do if Student Loans Won’t Cover Tuition?

I guess this can and has happened to students. Sometimes student loans don’t cover tuition and or/textbooks, and you need to find a way to come up with the money so you can continue going to school without getting kicked out because you have a late payment.

bills and mail

I have some search engine traffic from students asking “what do I do if student loans don’t pay for tuition”. It’s a scary thought if your student loans fall short on tuition payments, but there are things you can do so you can still pay tuition.

Drop Some Courses

While it’s best to get in and get out and graduate as fast as possible it’s not always realistic, especially if your student loans won’t cover the cost of tuition. So try to drop some courses so that your student loans will cover the costs, and pick them up later.

Bonus of dropping some courses is that it gives you more time to work, or more time to get better grades and then you can apply for scholarships.


You can usually get financial aid to cover the other part of your tuition and then you need to pick up a part time job so that you can pay off the financial aid. You want to graduate with the least student loans possible so that you aren’t drowning in debt when you finally walk across the stage and start your career.


Skip the pizza out with your buddies on Friday night and save that $10, and the $5 you spend on coffee, and the $200 you spent decorating your dorm, and pay for the rest of your tuition (the portion that student loans don’t cover) out of pocket.

You should be saving anyway, since you’re a poor student and all.

Skip a Semester

Again, it’s good to graduate as soon as possible as a student because then you can get into your career and start making the real money, but if you can’t cover tuition, then skip a semester, work full time, and then maybe you won’t even have to rely on student loans to get you through school.

Think of It As a Good Thing

If your student loans won’t cover the cost of tuition and you have to end up paying some money out of pocket to pay for your school, that is less student loans that you will have to pay back when you graduate and less debt that you will be drowning in.


Have you ever had this situation?



What Should You Do if Student Loans Won’t Cover Tuition? — 10 Comments

  1. The costs of earning a college degree are getting out of control. Most colleges, in the U.S., seem to raise tuition rates on a regular basis. Mine did recently. In addition to raising its tuition rates my university tacked on a 3% surcharge for paying tuition and related costs with a debit card. I’m sure its to cover their card processing fees, but it’s like a penalty for those of us not using a student loan to pay them.

    • You’re right, it can take forever. I’ve gone back and forth between full and part time and even that takes awhile.

  2. I had jobs through college and worked hard to get scholarships. I managed to pay for half of all my tuition and room/board and it was one big learning experience having that responsibility.

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