How SEM Helps You Minimize Debt

 Think about why you’re considering joining the Rowan family. Is it affordability, location, safety or maybe something else? Whatever your answer is, you’re making the right choice. Rowan, particularly the Division of Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) within Student Affairs, is here to help you achieve your dreams, build your future and reach success.

For the past four years Rowan has limited tuition increases to no more than 2% a year, to ensure that everyone has access to affordable, high-quality education. Our Rowan University Foundation awards more than $2 million each year in both merit-based and financial need scholarships to full-time students. At the same time, we have greatly enhanced our Advising Center, which focuses on keeping our students on track, so that they find the right major, stick with that major and graduate on time.

14411152081_676bab737f_zWe want you to be able to obtain the degree you deserve, in the most streamlined way possible. SEM is here for you from the moment you first step on campus till the day you walk across the stage at the commencement. And even after graduation, you will always be welcome back as a proud Rowan alumnus.

However, as our experience tells us, not everyone knows or uses all the helpful resources the University offers. Clearly, for most students and parents, the cost of tuition is their primary concern when it comes to higher education. Properly planning ahead and managing your financial future can help you drastically reduce student debt. No matter how much your parents’ or your income is – always file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). But do you know the deadline for filing FAFSA? Or what if your parents are divorced? Should you even include yourself in the household size? No panic here. You do not have to fight this battle on your own. Remember, you can always schedule an appointment with a financial aid counselor to help you properly plan for your upcoming tuition costs.

But what if you are not eligible for any grants? Is the student loan the only financial solution then? Not so fast. Scholarships may be the answer. Some of the scholarships do not require an application. Whether you are a freshman coming from high school, a transfer student or even an international student, once you apply for admission and complete your application, you are automatically considered for a scholarship. However, the earlier you apply the better because scholarships are awarded on a rolling basis (basically meaning first-come, first served.) See the full list of the scholarships & awards here. Besides the scholarships offered by Rowan, your academic adviser can also guide you on where to find other scholarships available for your major.

Have you heard Rowan offering a flat tuition rate?  Let us refresh your memory: any undergraduate student registered for between 12 and 17 credits receives the flat tuition rate. How great is that? Let us convert it into the numbers for you. If you are planning to acquire your bachelor’s degree in four years, then you have to take at least five classes, 15 credits, per semester. Essentially, you are paying for 12 credits only, getting another three-credit course for free. By doing so every semester, after four years you will complete 120 credits, and, for 24 of them, you did not have to pay. 24 free credits save you a year of tuition, approximately $12,000! That’s a bargain!

10296395626_5ec9dafaa5_zNever underestimate how important advising is. Our academic advisers are here to help you work through academic speed bumps, whether that means trying to find the right major for you, or adding minors or concentrations. We suggest you visit your adviser at least once a semester. Not only you will graduate on time, but also will have more time for your social life, as you make sure you’re taking the right classes, at the right time, for your major.

Ask your advisor to help you balance out your class schedule. Do not take all of your major classes at once. You do not want to be buried in homework and stress out about your finals being all scheduled on the same day. Blend in some general education classes that require more class engagement and, historically, less studying on your own. Any student can log in to the Rowan Success Network to schedule an appointment with the academic adviser.

Hopefully, now you know where to look for help if you need it. Remember, learning from your mistakes is good, but when it comes to tuition or academic scheduling, try to minimize the damage and ask for help first – and, in many cases, SEM is the the division that will help you to minimize your debt and maximize your time as a Rowan Prof. 

Let us know how some of Rowan SEM departments have helped you to reduce your student debt while earning your degree.

By: Natalia Panfilova