Pay for Tuition by Check or Credit Card?

Fall classes are just around the corner, which is making me super antsy. I am enjoying my free time way too much!!! In my department, I am the only one currently going to school, and I am a little jealous :p. All good jealousy! I have to keep the end goal in mind, and concentrate on the fact that I will be finished with my MBA in the spring (May). I, also, realize that I am fairly young in finishing my degrees, and I can only go up from now.

If you recall from my post, Going Back to School In the Fall, I am going to take 2 classes this coming semester. I have decided to veer from my original track and take a completely different upper elective. I found an upper elective that is online, thus eliminating the need to go to class. I have experience with online classes, and I am comfortable taking them. I actually find them better sometimes because it allows me to pace myself. Online classes can be less or more work than regular classes. Most of the time you are working about the same amount though. In the end, the difference doesn’t even make it to your transcript. If you are wondering, here is a description of the class:

Data Communications: This course covers the fundamentals of telecommunications, including: transmission, switching, throughput and capacity, error rates and checking, and security and policy issues. State of the art technologies and their applications to business are covered in depth.

My second class is also an online class and only lasts from August to October. Below is the description:

Management Information Systems: Examines key business processes in organizations and how information systems support the execution and management of these processes. The course also deals with how to structure and manipulate data that might typically be found in an information system using the database management system, MS Access, and spreadsheet software, MS Excel, to make business decisions.

Nothing too exciting. The first class will definitely be useful!

Here comes the fun part, for which I need advice. My fall tuition bill is $3674. I have the option of paying by electronic check or by credit card (fee of 1.9%). I don’t have to pay interest on my credit card for a year, so if I put it on my credit card, it won’t hit my checking account, but instead will float until my employer pays for it (Cost: $70). If I pay by check, I won’t have to pay a fee, but I won’t see my money until January! My savings will drop to $3,000, a dangerously low number. NOTE: I have a max of $2500 on the credit card, maybe it isn’t such a good idea?

I really hate paying a fee to use the credit card, and I am not sure how I feel about carrying a large balance on my credit card for six months. I feel like I should almost get a credit card just to pay for tuition. But it is just $72 to have peace of mind for a couple of months. But I do have savings to pay for my tuition on hand.

Tuition is due on August 1st, I will like to have the balance paid in the next two weeks. I have, also, applied for tuition reimbursement from my company. My manager approved my application, and thus, I will only need to turn receipts and grades when I finished the semester. Since the first class ends in October, I could potentially have almost $2,000 reimbursed in November.

What do you think??? Have you ever faced this dilemma?


8 responses to “Pay for Tuition by Check or Credit Card?

  1. Hmm that’s tough. I’ve been putting my summer tuition on my card but then I have been paying it off immediately, just for points. I am extremely OCD about a low cash flow though, so I might just want to pay that $72. Probably not the best financial advice though.

    • Yeah, I am scared for the low cash flow. But I am leaning towards just paying it off with our cash. Our credit max is $2500, so I would only be able to pay my tuition partially. Plus, the intention of the credit card was to pay fixed bills. I don’t want to compromise my initial goals. I have to see whether I get any points by paying with the credit. I think the points will be mitigated by the fee though.

  2. Why do you have a fee? I would have said CREDIT CARD! if you had a rewards card because that’s a lot of rewards. Could you make any money in interest frm having that money in your savings?

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