Definition of Tuition Deferment

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Most schools offer alternatives to lump-sum tuition payments.
Most schools offer alternatives to lump-sum tuition payments. (Image: Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

Tuition is usually the highest cost that students pay when attending college or university. As a result, many schools now offer tuition deferment options to students who need it due to special financial, employment or program circumstances.

Deferrment

When a college allows a student the option for tuition deferment, the student is able to pay her tuition fees after the standard payment deadline, without worrying about the possibility of her registration being cancelled or a late payment fee. Tuition deferment is usually only offered to students with special circumstances such as those who are awaiting federal or state financial aid, those awaiting veterans benefits or payments being made by an approved third party.

Requirements

Tuition deferment can only be used to cover the cost of tuition fees and related services, such as those charged for classes and technology fees. Likewise, students who wish to qualify for tuition deferment typically cannot have any outstanding fees from previous school terms. Most schools require that students apply and be approved for tuition deferment before the standard tuition payment deadline. If a student wishes to apply for tuition deferral due to payment, while awaiting payment by a third party, the party must be approved as an accepted payee.

Program

Programs within a school's given curriculum may also take part in tuition deferment. Many computer science and technology programs, for instance, allow students who are receiving tuition reimbursement from employers to participate in tuition deferment. To qualify for a program or study-specific tuition deferment program, the student must have approval from the company that they are employed by and meet the work and reimbursement level requirements of their specific program of study.

Applying

While many schools offer tuition deferment programs, the application requirements and qualifications that students must have vary from school to school. The best way to find out about tuition deferment at a specific college or university is to contact that school's financial aid department or bursar's office. Tuition payments are usually due after the end of the previous semester or quarter.

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