Payment Options

General Payment Information

Payment Plan Information

General Information

The Catholic University of America is pleased to offer students the flexibility of a monthly payment option through Tuition Management Systems (TMS), a division of First Marblehead.

The optional monthly payment plan allows students to pay their balance to the university in monthly payments spread throughout the term instead of in full at the start of each semester. The opportunity to make smaller payments on a monthly basis allows many students and families to minimize the amount they need to borrow in student loans.

Students may select from a 4 or 5 month plan for the Fall or Spring semester and a 3 month plan for the Summer term.

The payment plan is interest-free; the only cost to participate is an enrollment fee paid to TMS. The enrollment fee is $40 per semester.

Estimating Your TMS Budget

To estimate your monthly payments if you elect to enroll in the payment plan, start by calculating your total education expenses for the upcoming semester (tuition and fees are located here) and then deduct any anticipated payments from other sources (loans, grants, scholarships, etc.). The resulting figure is your out-of-pocket balance for the semester. This balance should then be divided into the number of monthly payments of the plan you choose.

When setting up your budget, remember not to include work-study awards as an anticipated payment. Work study funds do not disburse to student accounts and are, instead, paid directly to the student through CUA's Payroll Office.

Keep in mind that your estimated education expenses may differ from the actual charges that bill to your CUA account. Your CUA account may also incur charges throughout the term that you do not estimate at the time of your payment plan enrollment (additional dining dollars, Student Health Services charges, etc.). For these reasons, it is very important that you review any CUA billing statements to ensure that your TMS payments are sufficient to cover your balance with the university.

Billing and Payment

Students enrolled in the payment plan option will be billed by TMS for the payment amount budgeted with that service. Full and up-to-date payment of the amount billed by TMS does not necessarily mean that the student's CUA account is paid in full. Students should continue to review their CUA account statements to ensure that their budgeted TMS payments are sufficient to cover their balance with the university. CUA account statements are available for viewing in CardinalPAY; notification of new statements is emailed to both students and their Authorized Payers. Students enrolled in the payment plan option should follow the below guidelines when reviewing their CUA account statements. If the CUA statement indicates a balance due, the amount budgeted with TMS is not sufficient to cover the balance due for the term. The "Amount Due This Invoice" figure on the CUA statement is the portion of the balance not covered by the TMS budget. This balance is subject to penalties on unpaid balances, including late fees, interest assessment, and service holds. The available options to resolve this balance are: · Remit payment to CUA by the statement due date; or · Contact TMS online (log in and select the Adjust Budget option) or by phone (1-800-722-4867) to increase the term budget by the amount due. o Students who elect to increase their TMS budgets instead of remitting payment to CUA must submit a request for a budget adjustment to TMS -- simply sending additional or increased payments to TMS will not automatically increase your TMS budget. If the CUA statements indicate a zero balance due, the amount budgeted with TMS is on target to cover the balance due for the term. Continue to make any remaining scheduled payment to TMS. If the CUA statement indicates a negative balance due, the amount budgeted with TMS is in excess of the balance due for the term. · If the statement lists a figure in the "Budgeted Payment Plan" field, the negative "Amount Due This Invoice" figure is the anticipated credit balance on the account. Continue to make any remaining scheduled payments to TMS, as the student's CUA account will not enter into an actual credit balance until all scheduled TMS payments for the term have been paid to TMS and received by CUA. o You may elect to contact TMS to reduce the amount of the remaining term payments by the amount of the anticipated credit; however, do not simply reduce your remaining TMS payments without first contacting them to formally reduce the budget. · If the statement does not list a figure in the "Budgeted Payment Plan" field, the negative "Amount Due This Invoice" figure is an actual credit balance on the student's CUA account. If a credit balance remains on the account once all remaining annual TMS payments have been made, it will be issued as a refund to the student.


Enrollment in the monthly payment plan option is fast and easy. Your only cost is an enrollment fee, payable to TMS.

To enroll online, visit You may also enroll by calling an Education Payment Advisor at 1-800-722-4867.

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