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Financial Information

Bluffton University is a nonprofit institution. The tuition, fees and other expenses paid by the students cover only a part of the cost. The balance is met by income from endowment, gifts and contributions from churches, alumni, faculty, staff and other friends of the university. The following fees apply to the 2020-21 academic year. Bluffton reviews fees annually and reserves the right to make changes in fees and deposits.

Standard costs vary from student to student because each student is an individual case. Some courses require special fees. Some students can reduce their total cash requirements by working or obtaining a scholarship or a grant-in-aid. The standard cost shown below does not take this into account. Neither does it include the cost of books nor incidental personal items, which vary greatly with individual needs and tastes.

Billing and refund information

The following information has several purposes: 1) to acquaint you with Bluffton University billing periods and financial policies; 2) to help you calculate what your costs will be; 3) to help you determine a suitable payment plan. Please read this material carefully.

THE BLUFFTON YEAR

Bluffton’s academic year has two semesters — fall and spring. The cost for each semester will be approximately the same for full-time students. Each semester will be billed separately.

PAYMENT PLANS

Bluffton offers two payment plans. You must select one of these plans by indicating your choice on the Payment Information Form, found at www.bluffton.edu/payment-plan. Send the completed form to the business office. If you choose the monthly plan you should make your first payment by July 15. SUBSEQUENT PAYMENTS WILL BE DUE ON THE FIRST OF THE MONTH. THE MONTHLY PAYMENT PLAN OPTION IS NOT AVAILABLE AFTER AUG. 10, 2020.

The following payment plans are acceptable:

  • Payment-in-Full by Semester Plan. Each semester’s bill is due before the first day of classes of that semester. The bill is calculated on the actual costs for that semester. 
  • Ten-Month Plan. The student’s ESTIMATED yearly costs (assumes 12-17academic hours per semester) are divided into 10 equal installments. Payments begin in July and continue through April. The first payment is due by July 15 with subsequent payments due on the first of each month. There is no finance charge if the payment plan is up to date. Because ACTUAL costs MAY exceed estimated costs (i.e., a student registers for more than 17 hours in either semester) a larger payment in April may be necessary. This payment plan option is not available after Aug. 10, 2020

While Bluffton prefers that families subscribe to one of the two payment plans listed above, we recognize that some family income patterns may warrant an alternate arrangement. We can usually accommodate such arrangements if first approved by the business office. Please call the business office if you wish to discuss another option.

Deposits

ADVANCE DEPOSIT

Upon notification of admission to Bluffton University and the student’s decision to attend, a nonrefundable deposit (applied to the first semester fees) of $100 is due.

ROOM DAMAGE DEPOSIT

Rooms are engaged for the college year. A deposit of $100 is charged each student rooming in a university residence hall. This will be returned after graduation or withdrawal if the room is left in good order and after the value of any damage to the room or furniture has been deducted.

BILLING

The business office issues bills prior to each upcoming semester. Payments in advance are appreciated. When submitting payment, be sure to identify the student for whom payment is made and indicate that the payment is for the student’s tuition account.

Payment toward a student’s account may be paid with check, cash and/ or credit card. If you have selected the monthly payment plan option, payments can be automatically deducted from your checking or savings account by authorizing an ACH (Automated Clearing House) charge from the account. Contact the business office cashier by emailing cashier@bluffton.edu with your request for an “ACH Authorization” form. A three percent convenience fee applies to credit card transactions for payment of tuition, room and board, and fees on student accounts.

VETERANS BENEFITS 

Pursuant to the Veterans Benefits and Transition Act of 2018, Bluffton University does not impose any penalties, including the assessment of late fees, the denial of access to classes, libraries or other institutional facilities, or the requirement that a Chapter 31 or Chapter 33 recipient borrow additional funds to cover financial obligations to Bluffton University due to the delayed disbursement of a payment by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

STATEMENTS

The business office sends each student a monthly statement of unpaid bills. In order for statements to be sent to parents or to another address, a waiver with signature must be completed (see Payment Information Form - 2020-21 form). The Federal Privacy Act of 1974 prohibits the release of information on a student’s account to anyone other than that student without written permission. This authorization form (FERPA) is available on my.bluffton.edu.

FINANCIAL AID FOR RETURNING STUDENTS

  • Submit the FASFA every year to renew your financial aid. Bluffton’s priority deadline for filing the FASFA is May 1 of each year. The FAFSA school code for Bluffton University is 003016.
  •  Financial aid awards are processed beginning in April after registering for fall classes, as long as all other requirements are met.

UNPAID ACCOUNT POLICIES 

Bluffton expects that all students will follow one of the payment plans described above. We treat unpaid accounts as follows:

  • A. Bluffton will add interest at the rate of one percent per month to accounts not current on an approved payment plan. That represents an annual interest charge of 12 percent. The interest is charged on the entire unpaid balance or, for students on payment plans, the larger of the delinquent amount or the unpaid balance.
  • B. Students with unpaid accounts are not allowed to enroll in a subsequent semester. All accounts past due must be paid in full before a student enrolls in summer school or in any other registration period.
  • C. Bluffton will not issue transcripts, diplomas, teaching certificates or records of any kind for students having past-due accounts. 

2020-21 FEE Schedule 

 Basic fees:                                    Yearly billing       Semester billing
Tuition (12-17 hours/semester)      $33,952                   $16,976

Technology fee                                   550                          275

Room & board                                 5,586                       2,793

(15-meal plan)                                 5,760                       2,880

Room damage deposit                         100 (new students only)                       

Total                                                                  $45,948                   $22,924

  • Charge per semester hour if less than 12 hours: $1,415 per semester hour
  • Charge per semester hour over 17 hours but less than 20.1 hours: $999 per semester hour
  • Charge per semester hour for 20.1 hours or more: $1,415 per semester hour

MEAL PLANS

Residential students are initially billed for the Premier 15-meal plan. Each meal plan includes “Beaver Bucks,” dollars that can be used to purchase food items in the snack bar or additional meals in The Commons. Residential students are required to choose one of three meal plans: Full Value 20 plus meal plan, Premier 15 Plus meal plan or Basic 10 Plus meal plan. First-year students must select between the 20 meal plan or the 15 meal plan their first semester, and have the option of selecting the 10 meal plan beginning their second semester. Commuter and apartment meal plans are also available.

Meal plan cost per semester

20 meal plan                           $2,999

15 meal plan                           $2,880

10 meal plan                           $2,764

Apartment 70 block                $1,089

Commuter 5 meal plan           $1,089

Deposits

Advance deposit Upon notification of admission to Bluffton University and the student's decision to attend, a nonrefundable deposit (applied to the first semester fees) of $100 is due. 

Room damage deposit Rooms are engaged for the college year. A deposit of $100 is charged each student rooming in a university residence hall. This will be returned after graduation or withdrawal if the room is left in good order and after the value of any damage to the room or furniture has been deducted.

Tuition payment plans

All fees and accounts are payable each semester in advance. The fall semester bill is due by Aug. 10, 2020, and the spring semester bill is due by Jan. 8, 2021, for all students. The bill is calculated on the costs for that semester as of the date the bill was generated. Adjustments to charges during the semester may increase or decrease the balance on the account. Part-time and summer school students are required to pay the entire fee on or before the first day of classes. As a convenience to students and parents, an alternate payment plan may be selected for full-time students.

Ten-month plan The student's ESTIMATED yearly cost (assumes 12-17 academic hours per semester) are divided into 10 equal installments. Payments begin in July and continue through April. The first payment is due by July 15 with subsequent payments due on the first of each month. There is no finance charge if the payment plan is up to date. Because ACTUAL costs MAY exceed estimated costs (i.e., a student registers for more than 17 hours in either semester) a larger payment in April may be necessary. This payment plan option is not available after Aug. 10, 2020.

While Bluffton prefers that families subscribe to one of the two payment plans listed above, we recognize that some family income patterns may warrant an alternate arrangement. We can usually accommodate such arrangements if first approved by the business office. Please call the business office if you wish to discuss another option.

Unpaid Account Policies

Bluffton expects that all students will follow one of the payment plans described above. We treat unpaid accounts as follows:

  • Bluffton will add interest at the rate of one percent per month to accounts not current on an approved payment plan. That represents an annual interest charge of 12 percent. The interest is charged on the entire unpaid balance or, for students on payment plans, the larger of the delinquent amount or the unpaid balance. 
  • Students with unpaid accounts are not allowed to enroll in a subsequent semester. All accounts past due must be paid in full before a student enrolls in summer school or in any other registration period.
  • Bluffton will not issue transcripts, diplomas, teaching certificates or records of any kind for students having past-due accounts.

Refund policies

Students who withdraw during any period of enrollment at Bluffton University and follow the approved withdrawal procedure will receive refunds for instructional fees and room and board according to the then current refund schedule. Students may contact the business office or financial aid office to receive the current schedule.

If a refund amount is owed to the student, but the student has outstanding institutional charges, or if the student owes a repayment of a cash disbursement for noninstitutional costs, the university will automatically apply the refund amount to those charges or repayment. Bluffton will also notify the student in writing if either situation has occurred.

Students who are Title IV (federal aid) recipients will have the return of Title IV funds and repayments calculated and distributed as prescribed by federal law and regulation. These distribution schedules are available to all prospective and currently enrolled students by contacting the business office or the financial aid office.

Cross-cultural program refunds

In the event that cross-cultural experiences are cancelled due to circumstances beyond the university's control, an affected student's remedy is to register for a cross-cultural experience in the following academic year. If this remedy is impossible, the university will refund the program fee, less airline voucher, to the student's account. 

Pandemic policy

The university shall not be liable for any failure, delay or interruption in performing its obligations and duties herein stated due to causes or conditions beyond its control or which could not have been prevented or remedied by reasonable effort at reasonable expense. The university’s inability to perform any term or condition of this contract as a result of force majeure conditions beyond its control such as, but not limited to, strikes, fires, flood, government restrictions, acts of nature, epidemics, damage or destruction shall not be deemed a breach of this contract. In such case, the university’s liability will be limited to a pro-rata credit for non-graduating students or a pro-rata refund for graduating seniors. In addition, neither the university nor its officials, agents and employees are liable for the loss, theft, disappearance, damage or destruction at any time or in any place of any property belonging to, used by, or in custody of any resident no matter where such property may be normally used, kept, or stored. Students are strongly encouraged to extend their family's homeowner’s insurance or purchase specific renter’s insurance to cover personal belongings.

Policy for symptomatic students who refuse COVID-19 testing

Students who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 and refuse testing must go to a designated quarantine space until they are symptom-free, following the Allen County Health Department (or their local health department) protocol or they will be administratively withdrawn.

August 2020

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