Tuition Management System

<p>Hi,</p>

<p>Do folks have experience with Tuition Management System (<a href="http://www.afford.com)?%5B/url%5D"&gt;www.afford.com)?&lt;/a> Appears to be a good deal but interested to see if there are other costs beyond the $65 upfront fee and if we can use a credit card to pay the installments so as to rack up reward points/cash back awards.</p>

<p>Thanks.</p>

<p>We used Tuition Management Systems this year. If I'm not mistaken, there is a surcharge to use a credit card...but honestly, I don't remember. We had auto withdrawal from a bank account each month and that worked VERY well. They are helpful both on the phone and on the web...no problems whatsoever.</p>

<p>We did a monthly payment plan for both kids for the full duration of their schooling (except for DS's last term which we paid up front...long story, but he had a surplus in his bursars account which covered most of that bill). For 6 years, the schools used Tuition Pay...another vendor. DD's school switched to TMS this year.</p>

<p>We used TMS for a couple of years, and it is a good system for spreading out tuition costs across the entire year. We used direct withdrawal from our checking account. Once, we did not have sufficient funds, and the charge from TMS was quite high for that. There is a once-a-year fee for enrolling in TMS, but it isn't to bad, something like $50.</p>

<p>We use it for my son's school. It has worked well, but yes there is a surcharge for credit cards. I would have liked to get the rewards points too, but you can't unless you want to pay the surcharge -- I suppose you could do a calulation and see it it's still a net gain.</p>

<p>But it's always worked fine. I just send a check each month. Old school.</p>

<p>We've used tuitionpay with a bankdraft. No problems with the system. It has been like making a double mortgage payment at the beginning of each month...</p>

<p>I have used Tuition Management for D1 for two years with no issues or extra fees. Paid via online billpay from my bank (so not credit card). I think it is a heck of a deal compared to what our private high school has charged for paying in installments!!</p>

<p>One thing I have been watching carefully is the timing of withdrawing money from D's 529 account and the payment schedule. The IRS is looking at charges from the university in a given calendar year and withdrawals from the 529 in the same year; they want the university expenses to match or exceed the withdrawals. The TMS payments have different timing than the university billing, so I am just watching this carefully to make sure we don't end up with a problem with this now or in her senior year.</p>

<p>Well, I wish the IRS luck. It took me several hours with D's account at school to understand what charges were attributed to which semester. Part is that her university has a bunch of separate charges, some of which you can elect to pay spread out over a semester, and which are then billed according to that schedule, except for room and board, each of which is separately charged, where the first charge for second semester comes through before the end of the first semester,... I think that by the end of January there were more than forty journal entries on her account.</p>

<p>I used TMS this year for the first time. No problems. I time my payments to many places anyway so adding one more timed payment was no problem. They have online access so you can see that your payments are posted and when the next one is due. You can adjust your estimated payments online too. I intend to use them next year.</p>

<p>I used TMS for four years and was quite satisfied; it would have been nice to charge but as others noted the surcharge would have been more than any points benefit. We usually divided the first semester into three payments and the second semester into five. We did not do autopay since we wanted the flexibility to decide each month which account to use.</p>

<p>I think the enrollment fee differs by college but about $60-70 per year is probably a good range to use. You can charge the enrollment fee!</p>

<p>We used it for our son for all four years. There was no other choice if we wanted to do payments by installments. We had an automatic withdraw through our checking account. We looked into doing it by credit card through them for the miles but when we looked at it closely it would not have been worth it.</p>

<p>We used it for two schools for two children, no problem. The 3rd school has it's own plan on their own website, called "Cashnet", which is all electronic. No paper! The enrollment fees usually run about $65.00 for the year. We will use TMS again for our 4th child. I think there is a hefty fee for using a credit card, so you are discouraged from using one. I have paid TMS with snail mail check & also paid online with a withdrawal from checking (with a convenience fee I believe) Paying 10 months out of the year has always worked well for us.</p>

<p>Sorry for reviving and old topic, but I had a question regarding TMS and this topic came up when searching.</p>

<p>I tried to make a payment and the Tuition Charge (the credit card) option was gone. I'm an international student so it was the easiest way for me, even with the convenience fee. Could somebody else using TMS tell me if that option is available for them?</p>

<p>As I understand it, each college/university decides whether or not credit card payments will be accepted (and if they are, what convenience fee will be charged) when it negotiates a contract with TMS. So you will need to check with your school to see if credit cards are a payment option for you.</p>

<p>The thing is this is the second payment and I made the first one using a credit card. Now that option is simply not there anymore.</p>

<p>I e-mailed them yesterday but I haven't received an answer yet. I'll call their customer service if they don't respond today.</p>

<p>It may be that the college just changed their policy about using credit cards. Remember, too...YOU (the student/family) are paying a surcharge to use a credit card to pay TMS payments. You can very easily set up auto withdrawal from a checking account. That is what we did and it was great. We had the money go into the account direct deposit so there was no issue with the funds being IN the account.</p>

<p>We used TMS this pasy year and the only charge was the initial $50 (or whatever it was) ... the only downside was we could not pay TMS using a credit card (so lost the rebate bucks) ... overall was a good financial deal and delayed when we had to come up with bucks a lot.</p>

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<p>I checked on the college website and they actually underline the fact that you can only pay your tuition using a credit card if you're using TMS. I'm still waiting for a response on the e-mail. When I get home tomorrow I'll give them a call.</p>

<p>I know there is a surcharge for the credit card but I'm an international student from Romania and the banks here can't set up an auto withdrawal. My other option is sending them a check, but there's an extra 10 euro for issuing it (yes I know, not the best banking system over here) and then about 10$ for sending it so I end up with about the same amount of money as if I use a credit card.</p>