College Graduation Rates: How Many People Graduate College?

College Graduation Rates: How Many People Graduate College?

It may seem to you that droves of college students collect diplomas every year, but how many students actually start college and graduate — at the same college?

The most recent data from the U.S. Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reported in 2020 that the overall six-year graduation rate for bachelor’s degree-seeking full-time undergraduate students at four-year degree-granting institutions in fall 2014 was 63%.

Graduation rates refer to the percentage of a school’s students who complete their program within 150% of the published time for the program. It’s important not to confuse graduation rates with retention rates, which refer to the percentage of students who continue at a particular school the next year. In other words, the retention rate is the percentage of students who finish their first year and return for a second year.

We’ll walk through what the college graduation rate can tell you about a school, why it’s important, as well as outline a good graduation rate. We’ll also break down graduation rates by state and colleges (from lowest to highest), discuss some reasons that students might not graduate, and how to overcome some of these obstacles.

What Does the College Graduation Rate Tell Us?

As a prospective student, understanding the difference between graduation rates and retention rates allows you to be better prepared to compare these percentages against the schools on your list. Comparing the graduation rate of your first-choice college gives a definite indication of whether the schools fall above or below the average. It’s a quick way to find out how many students finish their degrees “on time” and also tells you the type of institutions that deliver the highest graduation rates. Based on available statistics, private, nonprofit institutions graduate students at a higher rate.

Why Is Knowing the Graduation Rate Important When Selecting a College?

When you’re researching colleges, many different things matter to different students. Athletes may want to know more about their individual athletic programs. English majors may want to know how many professors are published writers.

However, among all the different factors you can research, graduation rate remains one of the most important for all prospective students to understand.

Why? The graduation rate serves as a gauge for many things — student satisfaction and happiness in addition to indicating how many students graduate in a timely manner. However, it’s not the only metric you want to consider when you choose a college. Other priority considerations include teacher-to-student ratio, retention rate, loan default rates, and selectivity.

Two trusted websites compile information on graduation rates: College Navigator and College Results Online.

•  College Navigator : College Navigator compiles information from about 7,000 colleges and universities in the United States. College Navigator breaks down both retention rates and graduation rates on its site, and you can also access these rates by race/ethnicity and gender.

•  College Results Online : College Results Online also lists both rates and retention rates for institutions. You can also cross-index certain peer institutions against each other to compare graduation and retention rates.

What Is a Good Graduation Rate for a College?

The best graduation rates in the U.S. are from schools that have a graduation rate in the 90th percentile, which many of the Ivy League schools have. For example, let’s take a look at a few six-year graduation rates based on College Navigator data:

•  Harvard University: 98%

•  Yale University: 96%

•  Cornell University: 95%

However, you can still find high graduation rates within highly selective liberal arts colleges:

•  Amherst College: 95%

•  Davidson College: 93%

•  Claremont McKenna College: 92%

It’s important to remember that since these highly selective schools only admit students with top-tier credentials, they naturally attract some of the most driven students on the planet, resulting in a high graduation rate.

So, what is a good graduation rate for a college? Does this mean that a college in the 80th or even 70th percentile isn’t a good school or that it isn’t the right school for you? Absolutely not. As mentioned before, other factors play into the mix as well, based on your personal preferences and interests. The right fit for you may be a school with a 70% graduation rate. The better the fit, the more likely you will graduate on time.

Lowest Graduation Rate College in the United States

Unfortunately, the college with the lowest graduation rate in the U.S. isn’t a highly popularized statistic. However, if, during your own research, you see a school that graduates at or below 60%, you may want to probe your admissions counselor at the college for the reasons why rates are so low and find out more about how the college plans to improve.

Average College Graduation Rate in the United States

When digging a bit more into the 2020 NCES report, it states that the average college graduation rate (more specifically, the six-year graduation rate) was:

•   63% at public institutions

•   68% at private nonprofit institutions

•   29% at private for-profit institutions

Overall, 60% of males and 67% of females graduate within six years, and females had a higher six-year graduation rate at the following types of institutions:

•   Public institutions (66% female vs. 60% male)

•   Private nonprofit institutions (71% female vs. 64% male)

However, at private for-profit institutions, males had a higher six-year graduation rate than females (31% vs. 28%).

How does the U.S. Department of Education arrive at this data? The NCES uses Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), a system of interrelated surveys conducted annually by NCES through institutions.

The IPEDS graduation rate is calculated like this:

Graduation Rate =
Number of students who completed their program within a specific percentage of normal time to completion / Number of students in the entering cohort

College Graduation Rates by State

Here are the college graduation rates by state, according to World Population Review :

State

College Completion (or Higher)

Massachusetts 44%
Colorado 41%
New Jersey 40%
Maryland 40%
Virginia 39%
Connecticut 39%
Vermont 38%
New York 37%
New Hampshire 37%
Washington 36%
Minnesota 36%
Illinois 35%
Utah 34%
Rhode Island 34%
Oregon 34%
California 34%
Kansas 33%
Hawaii 33%
Nebraska 32%
Montana 32%
Maine 32%
Delaware 32%
Pennsylvania 31%
North Carolina 31%
Georgia 31%
Wisconsin 30%
Texas 30%
North Dakota 30%
Florida 30%
Arizona 30%
Alaska 30%
South Dakota 29%
Missouri 29%
Michigan 29%
Iowa 29%
South Carolina 28%
Ohio 28%
Idaho 28%
Wyoming 27%
Tennessee 27%
New Mexico 27%
Indiana 27%
Oklahoma 26%
Alabama 26%
Nevada 25%
Louisiana 24%
Kentucky 24%
Arkansas 23%
Mississippi 22%
West Virginia 21%

Number of College Graduates in the 21st Century

In the past 20 or so years, the number of college graduates has increased. According to information published by Education Data , in 2001 approximately 1.24 million students graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree. In 2022, that number reached 2.02 million.

Reasons Why College Students Don’t Graduate

When looking at graduation rates, let’s turn the tables a bit and take a look at a few reasons why students might not graduate. Depending on the student, these could include things like the high cost of tuition, trying to balance work and school, or poor academic performance.

Cost

The increasing price tags aren’t a new reason that students leave school. When it gets too expensive, they may feel they have no way out. According to the National Association of School and Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) , an analysis of 2,000 colleges and 10 theoretical students found that 48% of families with annual incomes above $160,000 could afford the colleges on the list. Those with a family income over $100,000 could afford more than one-third of the colleges. Finally, the theoretical students from lower-income backgrounds could only afford up to 5% percent of the colleges.

Recommended: What is the Average Cost of College Tuition? 

Balancing Work and School

Many undergraduates work part-time jobs to help pay their way through college. Students often get stuck in the quagmire of trying to keep up with both work and school, which can be a challenging balancing act. Many seasonal jobs for college students exist, which means you might be able to get a job during the summer instead of working during the school year.

Recommended: 3 Summer Job Ideas for College Students

Transferring

Transferring colleges sometimes means some credits get lost in translation. When transfer students are forced to retake classes, it not only costs more financially, but they also have to spend extra time pursuing their degree. This sometimes means that students often face trouble getting enough credits to graduate.

Poor Grades

Sometimes, students simply can’t make the grades. Even if it happens during just one semester, it can cause students to shy away from college altogether. In particular, first-generation college students, those who are low-income students, as well as minority students, are vulnerable and question whether they really belong in college.

Being Denied a Student Loan

Being denied a student loan or other types of financial aid can be a huge deterrent to continuing on in college. However, remember that there are ways around it — including seeking a loan through a different lender.

Recommended: I Didn’t Get Enough Financial Aid: Now What?

Overcoming the Obstacles as a College Student

What can you do to overcome the obstacles and successfully graduate from college? Let’s find out. We’ll list a few things you can do to help you stay the course:

•  Get organized with everything — school work, athletics, homework, and more.

•  Get support from family and friends.

•  Create healthy habits. Eat nutrient-dense meals, get enough sleep, and stay healthy.

•  Carefully consider the best ways to pay for college and focus on managing your money.

•  Get to know professors and academic support professionals at your college or university.

•  Work on your time management skills so you have the time you need for important assignments.

•  Take care of your mental health. If you are struggling to balance the many priorities of being a college student, reach out to family or friends for help. If you need additional support, contact your campus’ health and wellness center to see what counseling resources are available to students.

•  Investigate transfer options early on if you attend a community college so you know how to make the transition smoother.

Recommended: FAFSA Guide

Ways to Fund College

Making sure you have a concrete plan to pay for college is one of the best ways to make sure you successfully graduate. Let’s walk through a few tips for making sure you have all your ducks in a row.

•  Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®).
This is the first step in applying for federal financial aid, including grants, scholarships, and low-interest-rate federal student loan options.

•  Search for scholarships. Ask the college or university you plan to attend about scholarships they offer. Don’t forget to search around in your community as well.

•  Get a work-study job. If you qualify for work-study this can be an opportunity to earn a bit of money for college expenses. This is a federal program in which you earn money and your school pays you for that work via a check, usually every week, every two weeks, or every month.

•  Look into private loans. If you need to fill the gap between scholarships, grants, and federal student loans, look into private loans to help you make it across the graduation stage. These may lack the borrower protections afforded to federal student loans (like deferment options or income-driven repayment plans) and are therefore generally only considered after other financing sources have been exhausted.

Recommended: The Differences Between Grants, Scholarships, and Loans

The Takeaway

A school’s graduation rate is a reflection of the percentage of students that graduate within 150% of the published time frame. This is different from a school’s retention rate which is a measurement of how many students remain at a school from year to year. A school’s graduation rate can be an informative benchmark as you evaluate and compare schools during the application process.

If you are a current college student, you can do a lot to make sure you stay the course, including taking care of yourself, using scholarships and grants to your advantage, getting academic help, and making sure (if needed) that you have the right private loans to make it all happen.

Ready to find private student loans to make sure you get to throw your cap at graduation? Visit SoFi and learn more about private student loans and the low rates we have to offer. Our friendly experts can also help you decide your best course of action.


Photo credit: iStock/digitalskillet

SoFi Private Student Loans
Please borrow responsibly. SoFi Private Student Loans are not a substitute for federal loans, grants, and work-study programs. You should exhaust all your federal student aid options before you consider any private loans, including ours. Read our FAQs. SoFi Private Student Loans are subject to program terms and restrictions, and applicants must meet SoFi’s eligibility and underwriting requirements. See SoFi.com/eligibility-criteria for more information. To view payment examples, click here. SoFi reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at any time. This information is subject to change.


SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.


Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

SOIS-Q224-1903055-V1

Read more
How to Pay for Cosmetology or Esthetician School

Paying for Cosmetology or Esthetician School

Looking good comes with a cost. Ask cosmetologists. The average price of beauty school is $15,000 to $20,000 a year.

A career in cosmetology can be rewarding. You get a creative outlet and a chance to help others look their best. It also offers flexibility for a good work-life balance. But the licensing process can add up.

Cosmetology and esthetics programs are offered through community, technical, and vocational colleges — accredited institutions that qualify for financial aid. Accreditation broadens the range of financial aid options. Prospective students can consider interest-free payment plans, financial aid from schools, scholarships, grants, and loans from the government or private entities. Read on for more detailed information on the types of financial aid that pay for cosmetology school, and what options don’t.

Esthetician vs Cosmetology School

Esthetician (or aesthetician) licenses specialize in skincare treatment, recommendations, and analysis. Treatments include facials, massages, and waxing. With this license, you can work at spas, salons, or doctor’s offices, such as plastic surgeons or dermatologists.

Cosmetology covers the creative styling of hair, skin, and nails — but also provides basic training in treatments. Students can get an esthetician license through a cosmetology program. A career in cosmetology can lead to work as a makeup artist, hair stylist, or manicurist. License holders typically work in salons, spas, the entertainment industry, and hotels or resorts. The table below outlines some of the differences between an esthetics license and a cosmetology license.

Field

Esthetics License

Cosmetology License

Average School Tuition $7,433 average of top ten US schools $16,000
Subjects Techniques and science behind skin care treatments. Specific subjects include skin anatomy, facial and makeup techniques, hair removal, and medical office esthetics. Hair, skin, and nail care and styling. Specific subjects include dermatology, makeup, and haircutting.
2024 Median Salary $40,300/year $29,201/year
Job Growth 2022-32 9% (Faster than US average) 8% (Faster than US average)
Types of Jobs Skin care specialist (esthetician), makeup artist Hair Stylist, nail technician, makeup artist, barber

Be sure that your school is state-approved. You can search for schools through your local government’s licensing process. Also, it’s helpful to know whether your certificate is transferable to other states and which states accept it. This way, your time and resources aren’t lost.

Below are organizations that can help you find accredited and state-approved programs:

•  Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)

•  Accrediting Council for Continued Education & Training (ACCET)

•  Council on Occupational Education (COE)

•  National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences (NACCAS)

Typical Cost of Beauty Schools

Beauty school programs are generally more affordable than the average four-year program. According to the College Board’s Annual Trends in College Pricing report, during the 2023-2024 school year, the average cost of tuition at a four-year nonprofit institution was $41,540. Cosmetology students, in contrast, can expect to pay around $16,000 to complete a degree in their field. But beauty school students still borrow $7,100 per year on average.

Esthetician School

Requirements for esthetics licenses vary by state. Connecticut is the only state that does not require a license.

Students can expect to complete 300 to 1,500 hours depending on state program requirements. Most states require students to pass a state-issued exam to obtain a license after completion of a program. For example, Washington requires students to complete a program of not less than 750 hours and to fill out a license application.

Students can also specialize in esthetics as part of their overall cosmetology program.

Cosmetology School

Each state requires a cosmetology license in order to practice. While requirements differ, most states require three things: you must be 16 or older, hold a high school diploma, and have completed a state-licensed cosmetology program.
Some states also require an exam in order to obtain a license. And some require regular license renewals.

While states can issue a license that covers all cosmetology specialties, some require separate licenses in specializations such as barbering or manicures.

Programs range anywhere from 1,000 to 2,100 hours across states, and usually include retail and business admin training to supplement. Specializing in a field, such as nail care, requires additional hours. Finally, programs are hands-on — meaning students have limited online options.

To find out your state’s requirements, the National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology has a registry of state offices. ​​

Possible Funding Source #1: FAFSA®

Does FAFSA pay for cosmetology school? Yes! But, students who apply must be enrolled in an accredited program to be eligible.

The first step to applying for government financial aid is filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. New forms are released each year on October 1st — and the sooner you complete one, the more likely federal grants will be available.

Information provided on the FAFSA helps to determine your eligibility for federal student aid. The government, states, and colleges also use it to determine the amount of financial aid to award you. Schools you list in your form will review your FAFSA and put together an aid offer. If your school’s financial aid does not cover the entire cost of tuition, you can use the FAFSA to apply for federal grants and student loans.

Not familiar with setting up FAFSA? This FAFSA guide provides an overview of the form and the aid options available through the FAFSA. Here’s a brief explainer on some of the aid types that may be available to students.

Pell Grants

The government awards Pell Grants to students from lower-income families and who have not previously earned a degree. Unlike loans, they do not need to be repaid.

The Pell Grant’s 2024-2024 maximum is $7,395 and students may be eligible for up to twelve terms. The amount is determined by the following:

•  Expected Family Contribution (EFC), or the amount your family can pay

•  Cost of Attendance (COA), finalized in your school offer letter

•  Full-time or part-time status as s student

•  Length of your school’s academic year

Schools will disburse the federal grant to you directly, apply it to your tuition, or both. In order to receive Pell Grants, students must stay enrolled in their respective program of study and fill out the FAFSA form each year.

Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans

The Department of Education also offers Direct Loans. Cosmetology students may be eligible for either subsidized or unsubsidized loans. The government pays for the interest rate of subsidized loans as long as you’re enrolled in a program, for the first six months after leaving school, and during qualifying deferment periods. Interest rates for unsubsidized loans are not covered. Subsidized loans are awarded based on financial need, while unsubsidized loans are not.

Applying for a federal loan offers these key advantages:

•  Low fixed interest rates

•  Flexible repayment plans

•  Possibility of forgiven loans

•  Deferment and forbearance options

Parent PLUS Loans

PLUS loans are available to parents of undergraduate students or graduate or professional students. They offer some of the advantages of federal Direct Loans, but offer higher borrowing limits.

Parents can apply for Parent PLUS Loans on behalf of their children, as well. Unlike other federal student loans, these types require a credit check and are not based on financial need.

Possible Funding Source #2: Scholarships

A good place to start your scholarship search is with your school. Their aid letter will outline scholarships awarded from its program. You can contact them to see if there are additional scholarships you can apply for at the school.

Professional associations also offer scholarships based on need or merit. The below beauty industry associations have lists of scholarships.

•  Professional Beauty Association

•  National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology

•  American Association of Cosmetology Schools

The U.S. Department of Labor also offers a free scholarship finder .

Finally, ethnicity-based groups, employers, or your parent’s employers may also offer tuition assistance and scholarships.

Possible Funding Source #3: Working Part Time

Since cosmetology programs are shorter in duration, working part-time to help pay for college is feasible. Try getting work in your field as an assistant or admin at an office. That way, you can learn while getting paid — and even get a foot in the door.

Studying and working is a fine balance. It depends on how much time you can commit. If studying fills up most of your week, you may not be able to focus on studying for the career you hope to work in and may also hurt your score needed to pass exams needed to work in the industry.

You can even find working cosmetologists to get advice on how to do both.

Possible Funding Source #4: Private Student Loans

After exhausting all other avenues of aid, private student loans can help cover the difference. A private undergraduate student loan can be offered through banks, credit unions, and online lenders. They can be applied to a range of programs, even applied towards paying for CDL school.

Lenders will perform a credit check to determine your interest rate and how much you are eligible for. Students who don’t have credit scores will need a cosigner, usually a parent.

Possible Funding Source #5: School-Specific Financial Aid

Financial aid availability depends on your school.

Aveda Institute Maryland, for example, offers financial assistance for current and former military servicemen. Paul Mitchell Schools also offer three forms of military financial aid. One includes a My Career Advancement Account Scholarship Program for military spouses.

Delgado Community College in New Orleans provides financial assistance on a first-come, first-serve basis. Students must complete a FAFSA, online scholarship form, and accept or decline their aid offer letter.

Possible Funding Source #6: School-Specific Payment Plans

College tuition payment plans are an option. Instead of paying tuition upfront at the beginning of the year, students pay tuition in installments.

Payment plans are an excellent alternative to taking out loans since plans are generally interest-free. Check with your school for eligibility requirements and deadlines for enrollment periods.

The Board of Cooperative Educational Services in Western Suffolk, Long Island, and Alexander Paul Institute of Hair Design offer no-interest payment plans.

Explore Private Student Loans With SoFi

Cosmetology and esthetician careers require state-approved schooling and licenses. These accredited programs are covered by federal financial aid, and some schools offer financial aid. Zero-interest payment plans can also be a huge help to pay for a program.

If you’ve exhausted all federal student aid options, no-fee private student loans from SoFi can help you pay for school. The online application process is easy, and you can see rates and terms in just minutes. Repayment plans are flexible, so you can find an option that works for your financial plan and budget.


Cover up to 100% of school-certified costs including tuition, books, supplies, room and board, and transportation with a private student loan from SoFi.

FAQ

Can FAFSA be used for beauty school?

Yes. States require students to participate in state-approved accredited beauty schools to obtain a license. Students enrolled in post-secondary programs at accredited institutions qualify for financial aid.

Do you work and earn money while in cosmetology school?

Students typically cannot work in their field without a license, unless it’s an unrelated job in the industry. Find out if your school participates in the Federal Work-Study Program. These programs are available to part-time or full-time students with financial needs. Students will usually find jobs at their school or private for-profit employers that have agreements with your school. The jobs are typically relevant to your field of study.

Are beauty schools accredited? How do you select a good program?

Yes, beauty schools can be accredited for post-secondary education. Always check to make sure your program is accredited to avoid predatory schools with poor programming. Consider starting your search with state license departments. The National-Interstate Council Of State Boards Of Cosmetology has a directory of all 50 states’ centers.


Photo credit: iStock/petrovv

SoFi Private Student Loans
Please borrow responsibly. SoFi Private Student Loans are not a substitute for federal loans, grants, and work-study programs. You should exhaust all your federal student aid options before you consider any private loans, including ours. Read our FAQs. SoFi Private Student Loans are subject to program terms and restrictions, and applicants must meet SoFi’s eligibility and underwriting requirements. See SoFi.com/eligibility-criteria for more information. To view payment examples, click here. SoFi reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at any time. This information is subject to change.


SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.


Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

SOIS-Q224-1902624-V1

Read more
Guide to Paying for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) School

Guide to Paying for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) School

Certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) are nurses with graduate-level education who provide anesthetics to patients in surgical and other procedures.

Currently, nurse anesthetists must have a registered nurse (RN) license and a master’s degree from a nurse anesthesia educational program accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA) of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs or a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program. Nurse anesthesia programs typically range in length from 24 to 51 months. By 2025, all CRNAs must have a Doctorate in Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP), according to the COA. It typically takes two years for a student with an MSN to earn a doctorate.

Continue reading for a look at nine tips that can help you learn how to pay for CRNA school.

Key Points

•   Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) require advanced education, typically a master’s degree from an accredited program, with a shift towards requiring a Doctorate in Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) by 2025.

•   CRNA school costs vary significantly, with tuition and fees ranging from around $45,000 to over $138,666 depending on the institution.

•   Funding options for CRNA school include federal student loans, grants, scholarships, and private loans, with potential employer sponsorship for tuition reimbursement.

•   Financial strategies for managing CRNA school expenses include choosing less expensive schools, saving money in advance, and utilizing federal financial aid through FAFSA.

•   Additional funding sources like grants and scholarships specifically for nurse anesthesia students are available through professional associations like the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA).

How Much Does CRNA School Cost?

You may have already spent a few years paying for nursing school to get your registered nursing degree, but how much does it cost to further your education to become a nurse anesthetist?

The total cost of CRNA school (including tuition, clinical fees and other expenses) can vary widely, depending on whether you choose to attend an out-of-state institution, a private college, or an in-state university.

For example, the 2021-2022 tuition and fees at Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, California, are an estimated $138,666. In contrast, tuition and fees are approximately $45,000 for Arkansas State University’s. Note that there may be additional costs associated with a CRNA degree, such as books, supplies, or exam fees.

Note that the average nursing school cost can vary widely, ranging from $6,000 for an associate degree to over $100,000 for an advanced degree.

9 Tips to Help You Pay for CRNA School

Let’s take a look at nine tips you can use to pay for CRNA school, from choosing a less expensive school to answering the question, “Will financial aid pay for CRNA school?”

1. Choose a Less Expensive School

You can save money by choosing a less expensive school and/or by making sure that you have residency in the state of the university you want to attend. For example, the total cost of attending Georgetown University’s DNAP program for the first year is $140,693, $86,361 for the second year and $75,884 for the third year.

The cost to attend the University of Iowa is $85,553 if you’re an in-state resident or $159,206 if you’re an out-of-state resident.

It’s important to compare and contrast the costs of several programs before you decide which school will both meet your needs and help you save money.

2. Save Money

You may also want to consider saving money for college to limit the amount of money you’ll have to borrow for CRNA education. Knowing the costs of the schools on your shortlist can help you earmark a certain amount of money to set aside. However, remember that you may receive scholarships and grants that you don’t have to pay back. You might not need to save for the complete costs of a nurse anesthetist program. One way to understand your exact costs is to meet with the financial aid office of the schools you’re considering. They’ll give you an idea of the type of institutional financial aid you could qualify for.

There are a wide variety of ways to save, including through a general savings account, certificate of deposit (CD) or a 529 plan, which is a state tax-advantaged plan that will allow you to withdraw funds tax-free to cover nearly any type of college expense. 529 plans may also have additional state or federal tax benefits.

3. FAFSA and Financial Aid

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) refers to a form you can complete to determine your eligibility for student financial aid. Learn more about the FAFSA with SoFi’s comprehensive FAFSA guide.

You can qualify for federal student aid, including grants and federal student loans, through the FAFSA. You may also have to file the FAFSA in order to qualify for institutional scholarships.

4. Work More

If you’re already working as a nurse, you may want to consider picking up some more hours in order or prepare to save for your CRNA degree. It’s important to note that since nurse anesthesia programs are so labor intensive, most students find it difficult to work while attending CRNA school. However, you can certainly save up as much as possible prior to entering school in order to save as much as possible. If you must work, you may want to strictly limit your hours, but that’s a personal decision.

5. Getting an Employer to Pay for Your Education

Will a hospital pay for CRNA school?

Hospitals and groups often offer tuition reimbursement to offset loan debt. However, you may have to sign a tuition reimbursement payback agreement, which means you may have to pay back your reimbursement if you leave the company within a specific amount of time.

Ask your human resources office and read the fine print if your hospital has an agreement to see if you need to repay tuition if you get laid off or fired.

6. Grants

Grants are “free money” that you typically don’t generally have to pay back. The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) offers nurse anesthesia grants to develop research for member CRNAs to develop healthcare policy, the science of anesthesia, education, practice/clinical or leadership opportunities. The Foundation will reimburse up to 15% indirect costs with proper documentation.

The AANA grants listed above are research grants, but you may be able to tackle state grants, school grants for graduate students and other types of grants by filing the FAFSA. The best way to learn more is to ask more questions through the financial aid offices of the schools you’re considering.

7. Scholarships

Like grants, you also do not have to pay back scholarships.

The AANA also offers scholarships. Students who are AANA members and currently enrolled in an accredited nurse anesthesia program may be eligible for scholarships as long as you’re in good standing in your program, meet the application requirements, and apply online.

In addition, the university you plan to attend may also offer merit-based scholarships. Contact your school’s financial aid office to see what they offer and how to apply.

8. Private Student Loans

Private student loans originate with a bank, credit union, or online lender, not the federal government like in the case of federal student loans. Private student loans can fill in the gaps between tuition as well as your savings, grants, scholarships, and federal student loans.

It’s a good idea to explore the interest rates, fees, repayment terms, discharge, and repayment options among private student loan lenders.

The application process usually involves submitting information about your personal information, school you plan to attend, graduation date, and loan amount you need. You must also agree to the lender’s terms and conditions.

It’s important to note that private student loans don’t offer the same borrower protections, like income-driven repayment plans, as federal student loans, so they are typically considered an option only after they have thoroughly reviewed all other financing opportunities.

Recommended: Private Student Loan Guide

9. Direct PLUS Loans

Similar to student loans for undergrads, you can also get student loans for graduate school. You do have to repay loans.

As a graduate student, you can become eligible for federal loans that come from the U.S. Department of Education, including Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Direct Plus Loans. You can borrow up to your cost of attendance. Direct Unsubsidized Loans have a lower interest rate and origination fee than the Direct PLUS Loan, also called the Graduate PLUS Loan.

For Direct Unsubsidized Loans for graduate students disbursed on or after July 1, 2023 and before July 1, 2024, the fixed interest rate for Direct Unsubsidized loans is 5.50%. Direct PLUS Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2023, and before July 1, 2024, have a fixed interest rate of 8.05%.

The benefits of federal loans include a six-month grace period before beginning repayment as well as flexible repayment plans with Public Service Loan Forgiveness eligibility. This means that as long as you make 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan, you might get your loans forgiven as long as you work full-time for a qualifying employer.

How Much CRNAs Can Expect to Make?

Nurse anesthetists can expect to make a median salary of $214,200 per year or $102.98 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The job outlook for these jobs will grow about 38% from 2022 to 2032.

The Takeaway

There are a lot of ways to make your dreams of becoming a CRNA a reality. You may want to consider filing the FAFSA to qualify for federal loans, grants, and other types of funds. The AANA may also offer scholarships that you qualify for, but don’t forget to check with your employer or other sources, such as local businesses, for other funds.

If you’ve exhausted all federal student aid options, no-fee private student loans from SoFi can help you pay for school. The online application process is easy, and you can see rates and terms in just minutes. Repayment plans are flexible, so you can find an option that works for your financial plan and budget.


Cover up to 100% of school-certified costs including tuition, books, supplies, room and board, and transportation with a private student loan from SoFi.

FAQ

Can you get paid for going to CRNA school?

You typically cannot get paid to attend CRNA school. However, universities often offer a wide variety of financial aid options, through both merit-based and need-based aid. You may need to file the FAFSA in order to qualify for certain types of aid. Check with the financial aid office at the universities you’re considering for more information about your financial aid options.

The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) also offers nurse anesthesia grants and scholarships to students who qualify.

How much does CRNA school cost?

The costs of CRNA school depends on a wide range of factors, including whether you plan to attend an in-state or out-of-state institution or plan to attend a private or public school.

For example, Georgetown University, a private institution, costs $140,693 for the first year, $86,361 for the second year and $75,884 for the third year. On the other hand, the full cost to attend the University of Iowa is $85,553 for three years as an in-state resident or $159,206 as an out-of-state resident.

How much do CRNAs typically make?

As a nurse anesthetist, you can expect to make a median salary of $214,200 per year or $102.98 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Photo credit: iStock/FatCamera

SoFi Private Student Loans
Please borrow responsibly. SoFi Private Student Loans are not a substitute for federal loans, grants, and work-study programs. You should exhaust all your federal student aid options before you consider any private loans, including ours. Read our FAQs. SoFi Private Student Loans are subject to program terms and restrictions, and applicants must meet SoFi’s eligibility and underwriting requirements. See SoFi.com/eligibility-criteria for more information. To view payment examples, click here. SoFi reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at any time. This information is subject to change.


SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.


Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.

Tax Information: This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

SOIS-Q224-1902890-V1

Read more
10 Tips on How to Pay for Nursing School

Ways to Pay for Nursing School

Nurses are in demand. From 2022-2032, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts an average of 177,400 openings for registered nurses. Many of those openings come about due to nurses who switch occupations or exit the labor force, including those who retire.

Because nurses are in demand, you may want to attend nursing school. Let’s walk through 10 ways to help you figure out how to pay for nursing school.

1. Start With the FAFSA

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) is a federal form that students can fill out every year that gives you access to federal and institutional aid to pay for college. Your college or educational institution will use the FAFSA to determine your eligibility for federal grants, work-study, and federal loans to attend college or career school. There is no cost associated with the FAFSA.

You can file the FAFSA starting on October 1 for the subsequent academic year that you plan to attend college. For example, if you plan to attend nursing school in the fall of 2024, you can file the FAFSA starting on October 1 in the fall of 2023.

You’ll need a FSA ID, a username, and a password that confirms your identity when you’re looking at or signing official financial aid documents. You’ll need two separate FSA IDs — one for you and one for your parents, if you’re a dependent student.

You can list up to 10 colleges and universities on the FAFSA using the Federal School Code search to identify each of the schools where you’d like it sent.

The FAFSA’s data retrieval tool (IRS DRT) takes most of the work out of filing the FAFSA. It pulls information directly from the IRS. After you follow the FAFSA directions, you sign with your FSA ID.

2. Nursing School Scholarships

Some colleges may offer scholarships specific to nursing students. You can also look beyond your nursing major. Do you have talents in art, music, or leadership that could qualify you for a merit-based scholarship? (Merit-based scholarships are those that are not based on financial need.) Ask the financial aid office at the school you plan to attend for more information about merit-based scholarships.

You can also take to the web to look for more scholarships. Here are a few examples:

•  The Healthline Stronger Scholarship awards four $5,000 scholarships to students who, based on their education, extracurricular activities, and career goals, are focused on both health and climate change.

•  The National Black Nurses Association, Inc (NBNA) offers several scholarships each year ranging from $1,000 to $15,000. To apply, you must be a member of the NBNA, currently enrolled in a nursing program and in good scholastic standing at the time of application with at least one full year of school remaining.

•  The FNSNA Undergraduate Scholarship awards scholarship funds based on a set of criteria established by the sponsor of the scholarship, which often outline a specific area of specialization within the nursing profession. Successful candidates can earn up to $10,000 per academic year.

In addition to looking into what your college or university can offer and searching online, take a look at local connections for specific educational or vocational programs in a particular field, such as nursing scholarships through local hospitals and privately owned doctor’s offices.

You can also look into community groups like 4-H, Kiwanis Club, and other organizations for available scholarships. Many foundations, such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, also offer scholarships.

Recommended: Scholarship Search Tool

3. Grants for Nursing School

Grants are primarily need-based awards, though some grants are awarded based on merit. Like scholarships, grants do not need to be repaid once you complete your program. Filling the FAFSA will give you access to grants through programs like the Federal Pell Grant. The FAFSA automatically considers your eligibility for federal grants based on need.

You may also become eligible for state grants based on the grants available to you in your state.

Recommended: Grants For College – Find Free Money for Students

4. Federal Student Loans

Unlike scholarships and grants, you must pay back college loans. As a nursing student, you may tap into several types of federal student loans or private loans — both graduate or undergraduate loans.

Federal student loans are given to nursing students through the Department of Education, which, as mentioned, means that you must file the FAFSA in order to receive them.

Federal student loans offer flexibility in that you do not need to undergo a credit check, with the exception of the Direct PLUS Loan, which does require a credit check. Federal student loans also offer low-interest rates, various repayment plans, and forgiveness options. You could also use federal student loans to cover living expenses. For example, if you need to pay rent for an apartment while you’re attending nursing school, a federal student loan can help cover those expenses.

Types of Federal Loans

There are three main types of federal student loans: Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Direct PLUS Loans.

Direct Subsidized Loans

Direct Subsidized Loans are low, fixed-rate federal loans for eligible undergraduate students to help cover the costs of college or career school. The government pays the interest while you are in school or during qualifying periods of deferment. Subsidized loans are awarded based on financial need.

Direct Unsubsidized Loans

Direct Unsubsidized Loans have a low, fixed interest rate and flexible repayment terms. Undergraduate, graduate, and professional students can qualify for these loans. In contrast to the Direct Subsidized Loan, the government does not pay the interest while you’re in school. Students do not need to demonstrate financial need in order to qualify for an unsubsidized loan.

Direct PLUS Loans

Direct PLUS Loans are another option available to graduate or professional students and parents of undergraduate students. Unlike other federal loans, PLUS loans do require a credit check. Borrowers are able to borrow up to the full cost of attendance.

Student Loan Forgiveness for Nurses

Student loan forgiveness for nurses means you don’t have to pay for your federal student loans in full. The federal government runs a few loan forgiveness programs that generally offer loan forgiveness after borrowers have fulfilled certain requirements. For example, the Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program pays up to 85% of unpaid nursing education debt for registered nurses (RNs), nurse practitioners, and nurse faculty members. You must qualify by working in a critical shortage facility or an eligible nursing school as a nurse faculty member.

Student Loan Payment Deferrals

Federal student loans do not have to be repaid until October 1, 2022, at the earliest. In March 2020, Congress passed a bill that automatically suspended student loan payments and waived interest. The benefit was originally set to expire but has been reinstituted several times.

Current nursing students who will graduate soon will not have to make student loan payments. Depending on what the federal government does next, they may also experience another extension.

5. Private Student Loans

Private student loans come from a local bank, credit union, or another type of private student loan lender, not the federal government. Like a federal student loan, you can use private student loans to cover living expenses, tuition, and other related school costs.

Lenders evaluate an applicant’s credit history, among other factors. Students who do not have a strong credit history or score may need to add a cosigner in order to qualify or potentially qualify for a lower interest rate. If you can’t pay back the loan, your co-signer is on the hook for paying back the loan.

Private Student Loans vs Federal Student Loans

As you likely know, there are some differences between private and federal student loans, which leads many financial experts to suggest taking out federal student loans over private student loans. Here are some features of private student loans that make them less advantageous over federal student loans:

•  May need a cosigner: Private student loans often require you to have a cosigner. However, if you make a certain number of on-time payments, you can apply to have your cosigner removed from the loan.

•  No federal protections: You can’t tap into income-driven repayment programs, loan forgiveness, and deferment protections with private student loans like you can with federal student loans.

Due to these differences, private student loans are typically considered an option only after all other funding sources have been depleted.

6. Tuition Reimbursement Programs

Through a tuition reimbursement program, a company covers some or all of the costs of an employee’s education as long as you follow the company’s tuition reimbursement requirements. This is a major benefit because you can work at another company, possibly through a part-time job.

7. Hospitals/Employers That Pay for Nursing School

Another option may be to work at a hospital or other health care employer through a tuition reimbursement program. For example, you could get a job in the billing office of the hospital and go to nursing school during your off hours, or you may be able to work with your employer to put together the best schedule for both of your needs.

Hospitals and health care employers want to retain good workers, particularly in nursing, which has such a shortage of employees.

Learn more about the health care employer’s requirements for tuition reimbursement, including the amount they will reimburse. Note that it may not equal 100% — it might be 75% or 50% instead.

8. Getting a Nursing Degree Abroad

Completing a nursing degree abroad can take about two to three years. However, you can find short-term study abroad programs (a fall semester, summer, or a few weeks between terms) in many different countries.

You can often find free programs, scholarships, or grants that will help cover the cost of your study abroad program — some countries offer various options for students. Consider looking into countries that have reputable health care programs, such as Denmark, Germany, Norway, Switzerland, or Sweden.

9. Military Service

You may have a large range of education benefits if you complete military service. For example, you can access the Post-9/11 GI Bill if you served at least 90 days on active duty (either all at once or with breaks in service) on or after September 11, 2001, or received a Purple Heart on or after September 11, 2001 and were honorably discharged (after any amount of time), or served for at least 30 continuous days (all at once, without a break in service) on or after September 11, 2001, and were honorably discharged with a service-connected disability, or are a dependent child using benefits transferred by a qualifying veteran or service member.

Follow the rules regarding military service requirements, depending on your branch of the military. The college and university you plan to attend will have more information about your education benefits and so will your military branch.

10. Nurse Corps Program

The Nurse Corps Program is a scholarship available to eligible nursing students. In exchange for the scholarships, recipients work in critical shortage areas after graduating with their nursing credentials.

Deciding Which Route to Pursue

When you need help paying for nursing school, which option makes sense for you? Your preferences might offer you the most insight into the best option to pay for school. For example, it might make sense to avoid the military programs offered because you have no interest in joining the military. You may also not have the resources to study overseas or have a family who depends on you for financial support. Your goal may also be to learn how to pay for nursing school without loans.

Whatever your goals, one thing you can do is to meet with the financial aid office of the school you plan to attend. A financial aid professional can lay out all your options and help you choose the right option for you.

Private Student Loans From SoFi

When you’re readying yourself for nursing school, it’s good to have options. Options for paying for nursing school include scholarships, grants, federal student loans, and private student loans.

If you’ve exhausted all federal student aid options, no-fee private student loans from SoFi can help you pay for school. The online application process is easy, and you can see rates and terms in just minutes. Repayment plans are flexible, so you can find an option that works for your financial plan and budget.


Cover up to 100% of school-certified costs including tuition, books, supplies, room and board, and transportation with a private student loan from SoFi.

FAQ

Can FAFSA be used for nursing school financial aid?

Yes, you can use the FAFSA in order to qualify for financial aid for nursing school. The amount of financial aid you receive depends on your level of need, year in school, dependency status, and other factors. For example, you can access Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans between $5,500 to $12,500 per year in undergraduate. In graduate or professional school, you can borrow up to $20,500 each year in Direct Unsubsidized Loans.

Can an employer pay for you to attend nursing school?

Yes, an employer may pay for you to attend nursing school. Your current employer may help you pay for nursing school. Talk to the human resources office to learn more about tuition assistance, the amount you can receive for attendance, and the details about your employer’s tuition reimbursement regulations.

If you aren’t currently aware of jobs that pay for nursing school, you may want to contact the college or university you plan to attend and learn more about your employment options, including work-study opportunities.

Can you use private student loans for nursing school?

You can access private student loans to pay for nursing school. SoFi can offer private loans that cover nursing school and even living expenses. Learn more about your private student loan options with SoFi.


Photo credit: iStock/FatCamera

SoFi Private Student Loans
Please borrow responsibly. SoFi Private Student Loans are not a substitute for federal loans, grants, and work-study programs. You should exhaust all your federal student aid options before you consider any private loans, including ours. Read our FAQs. SoFi Private Student Loans are subject to program terms and restrictions, and applicants must meet SoFi’s eligibility and underwriting requirements. See SoFi.com/eligibility-criteria for more information. To view payment examples, click here. SoFi reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at any time. This information is subject to change.


SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.


Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

SOIS-Q224-1902646-V1

Read more

What Is a 10-Day Payoff? Everything You Should Know

When paying back your student loans, certain repayment strategies require a 10-day payoff letter. This is a document or statement that you can obtain through your original lender. It has the final loan amount needed to fully pay off your loan at a given time, and how to make the final payment and close the account.

Your 10-day payoff amount is typically more than just your current loan balance. For this reason, getting a 10-day loan payoff statement is the best way to find out how much you need to pay to fully satisfy the loan, including all accrued interest.

You typically need a 10-day payoff statement if you want to pay off your loan early or refinance your student loans. Here’s how to get it, what it contains, and other times when it might be required.

What Is a 10-Day Payoff for Student Loans?

Even if you understand the basics of student loans, you might not be clear on what a 10-day payoff letter is and why you would ever need one.

Used with many types of loans, a 10-day payoff statement tells you the amount you owe toward your loan in order for the loan to be closed and marked as “paid in full.”

A payoff statement is not the same thing at your current loan balance. Since interest is still charged on the loan in the days leading up to the actual payoff date, your lender will add 10 days’ worth of interest to your final payoff amount. Lenders can also calculate other time frames, like a 15- or 30-day payoff amount, if needed.

Depending on whether you have federal or private loans, your 10-day payoff letter might look visually different. Generally, it will contain your full name, student loan account number(s), outstanding balance, accrued interest, any fees, total payoff amount, a “good-through” or “good-until” date, and instructions on how to pay off your current loan.

The final payoff amount that’s listed includes interest for a 10-day period, and it might also include any unpaid fees. If your loan isn’t paid off in full by the “good-through date,” you’ll need to request another 10-day payoff from your current lender for the most accurate amount.

If after weighing the pros and cons of refinancing, you determine that a refinance will be to your advantage, you’ll likely need to get a 10-day payoff letter from your current lender or loan servicer.


💡 Quick Tip: Often, the main goal of refinancing is to lower the interest rate on your student loans — federal and/or private — by taking out one loan with a new rate to replace your existing loans. Refinancing makes sense if you qualify for a lower rate and you don’t plan to use federal repayment programs or protections.

Take control of your student loans.
Ditch student loan debt for good.


When You Need a 10-Day Payoff Letter

Here’s a look at three reasons why you might need a loan payoff letter.

•   You’re paying off your loans: If you’re able to put a chunk of money toward student loans to close out your debt ahead of schedule, you’ll need a 10-day payoff letter to get your true final amount due. That way, you’ll be able to make a final payment that fully satisfies the loan.

•   You’re refinancing your student loans: If you opt for a student loan refinance, your refinance lender will likely require a 10-day payoff letter. This informs them of how much they need to send to your current lender, and by what date, to satisfy the debt.

•   You’re buying a home: Mortgage lenders might ask to see your 10-day loan payoff amount to accurately determine your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. Your DTI informs lenders about whether you can realistically afford taking on a home loan.

How to Request a 10-Day Payoff Letter

Despite having access to your loan details through a monthly statement or your servicer’s website, your actual 10-day payoff amount is likely different from the current amount shown on your account.

Fortunately, accessing this information is relatively easy, whether you have federal or private student loans.

For Federal Student Loans

As a federal student loan borrower, your federal student loan account was assigned to one of five federal loan servicers. To find your servicer, simply log in to your StudentAid.gov account, and go to “My Loan Servicers” from your dashboard.

Once you know who your servicer is, you can contact them to request a 10-day payoff letter.

Servicer

Support Phone Number

Aidvantage 1(800) 722-1300
Edfinancial 1(855) 337-6884
ECSI 1(866) 313-3797
MOHELA 1(888) 866-4352
Nelnet 1(888) 486-4722

For Private Student Loans

To get a 10-day payoff letter for a private student loan, you’ll want to contact your current lender. Keep in mind that your private loan might have been sold to a new lender since you first accepted it.

If you’re unsure about who your lender is, you can request a copy of your credit report at annualcreditreport.com . Your credit report will list all of your past and present debt accounts, including private student loans, and the entity that owns the loan.

After identifying your lender, you can contact their borrower support phone number to get a 10-day payoff statement.

What Is the Loan Refi Timeline After a 10-day Payoff?

The way student loan refinancing works is that you take out a new loan (ideally with a lower rate and/or better terms) and use it to pay off your current student loan(s). This doesn’t happen right away, however. There is generally a 10 day pay-off process.

To make sure your new lender fully pays off your old loan (and you won’t need to make any further payments on that loan), you’ll need a 10-day payoff letter. Once you’ve obtained your 10-day payoff amount and provided the information to your new lender, you’ll want to be sure to sign your loan agreement on the same day.

Once you sign the agreement, here’s a general idea of what the 10-day refi timeline may look like:

•   Days 1 to 3: A three-day cooling-off period is required by law. During this time, your new lender cannot send your payoff check. This is just in case you change your mind about the refinance loan and exercise your right to cancel.

•   Day 4: The refinancing lender will send a payoff amount in one lump sum, either as a mailed check or electronically, to your current lender or servicer. Typically, you’ll receive a welcome packet from your new lender soon after that.

•   Day 10: Upon receiving the payoff amount in full, your current lender will mark the loan as “paid” and close it.

Your first payment on the new loan will likely be due 30 to 45 days after the date your refinance lender sent the payoff amount to your current lender.


💡 Quick Tip: Refinancing could be a great choice for working graduates who have higher-interest graduate PLUS loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, and/or private loans.

The Takeaway

A 10-day payoff letter tells exactly how much money you would need to pay immediately to fully satisfy your student loan debt. Refinance lenders usually require a payoff letter so they can fulfill the right payment amount on your behalf — no more, and no less, than your original lender requires to fully pay off your debt.

Knowing this final amount is also useful if you want to pay off your student loans ahead of schedule. You may also be required to submit a 10-day student loan payoff lender when you’re applying for a mortgage.

Looking to lower your monthly student loan payment? Refinancing may be one way to do it — by extending your loan term, getting a lower interest rate than what you currently have, or both. (Please note that refinancing federal loans makes them ineligible for federal forgiveness and protections. Also, lengthening your loan term may mean paying more in interest over the life of the loan.) SoFi student loan refinancing offers flexible terms that fit your budget.


With SoFi, refinancing is fast, easy, and all online. We offer competitive fixed and variable rates.

FAQ

How do I get a 10-day payoff quote?

Depending on your lender, you may be able to request a 10-day payoff letter by signing into your account online. If not, you will need to call or email your current lender or loan servicer and request a 10-day payoff statement.

Why is my payoff quote so high?

Your 10-day student loan payoff amount is typically higher than your current principal balance due to added interest. Because interest is still charged on the loan in the days leading up to the actual pay-off date, your lender will include 10 days’ worth of interest to your final payoff amount.

What is on a 10-day loan payoff?

A 10-day loan payoff letter or statement will typically include:

•   Student loan account number(s)

•   Outstanding balance

•   Accrued interest

•   Any fees

•   Total payoff amount

•   A “good-through” date

•   Instructions on how to pay off your current loan


Photo credit: iStock/andresr

SoFi Student Loan Refinance
If you are a federal student loan borrower, you should consider all of your repayment opportunities including the opportunity to refinance your student loan debt at a lower APR or to extend your term to achieve a lower monthly payment. Please note that once you refinance federal student loans you will no longer be eligible for current or future flexible payment options available to federal loan borrowers, including but not limited to income-based repayment plans or extended repayment plans.


SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.


Non affiliation: SoFi isn’t affiliated with any of the companies highlighted in this article.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.

SOSL0124008

Read more
TLS 1.2 Encrypted
Equal Housing Lender