How to Pay for Boston University

No matter which of Boston University’s 250+ programs of study you’re undertaking, knowing how to pay for BU is an important part of planning for your education. 

From Nobel Prize winners to Sloan Research Fellows, these dollars will go to, among other things, access to top faculty at BU. Continue reading for the cost of BU, and how to pay for your degree there.

How much does it cost to attend Boston University?

For undergraduates in the 2016-2017 school year, BU tuition is $49,176. For students living on campus, the total expenses for the year add up to $68,060; commuter students can deduct around $10,000 from that total as they’ll save on housing if they are living at home.

The cost of a medical education at BU depends on the student’s year in school. Tuition for the 2016-2017 school year is $57,250 for all students, regardless of their year. As the first two years are a bit shorter, students save on room and board here but incur other expenses, like technology purchases. The costs for the first two years are estimated to be $83,431 and $81,779, respectively. In addition to higher housing costs, third- and fourth-year students need to think about expenses associated with board exams, additional personal expenses, and travel.

MBA students at the Questrom School of Business will pay nearly $50,000 in tuition for the year, bringing total costs per year to close to $70,000. Costs for students at the BU School of Law are nearly identical.

What kind of financial aid does BU offer?

Undergraduates at BU have a variety of scholarship options which are both need- and merit-based. The category with the largest volume of awards is merit awards for freshman students, which includes everything from the Presidential Scholarship to the Cardinal Medeiros Scholarships, which is awarded to students who have graduated from “parochial high schools in the Archdiocese of Boston”. These awards are automatically renewed for up to four total years of undergraduate study. Students who do not receive freshman merit awards can apply for enrolled student merit awards.

Need-based scholarships are available to help reduce the amount of private and public loans students need to take out. A  majority of applicants for need-based aid receive it (87% of applicants for the 2014-2015 school year), so it’s worth applying for in most cases.

Business students at Questrom may qualify for any number of merit-based scholarships. The Dean’s Scholarship is awarded in amounts between $10,000 and full tuition to both domestic and international students. The Public & Nonprofit Scholarship is available to students in this program in the same amounts as the Dean’s Scholarship. There are also scholarships available to Mexican nationals, Indian nationals, Hispanic students, and students with “strong ties to Wisconsin and/or the Midwest”.

The BU School of Medicine offers students both merit-based and need-based aid, however,  need-based aid must be repaid after residency. Additionally, there are BU graduate student scholarships which are not specific to the medical school for which students may apply.

The BU School of Law awards both merit and need-based scholarships. These scholarships are awarded to entering students and will remain the same for all three years of law school. In other words, second- and third-year students will not have access to additional BU funds beyond what they were awarded for year one, nor will these scholarships be taken away. 

Students who are certain that BU will be their first choice of schools can apply for the Distinguished Scholar Binding Early Decision, which covers three years of full tuition for accepted students. Students accepted to the other early decision program at BU Law, the “BU-Bound” Binding Decision Program, are eligible for need-based, but not merit, scholarships. Other BU Law merit scholarships include the Dean’s Scholar Program, the BU Law Merit Scholarship, and the Public Interest Scholarships. The BU Law Alumni Scholarship is available based on financial need, which is determined by the FAFSA.

What kinds of extras should I expect to pay for at Boston University?

Bringing a car to BU might not be the best idea based on student reviews but if you insist, be sure to account for thousands of dollars in parking expenses over the course of your time there. Boston’s great public transportation system might start looking more attractive once you factor in not only parking, but insurance, car payments, and maintenance.

While Boston might not be the most affordable college town, its high concentration of universities means there is plenty to do for students of all ages and you’ll need a budget for activities outside of school. Lastly, set aside a few hundred dollars for winter gear if you don’t already own snow clothes, as Boston winters aren’t exactly known for being mild.

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