Northeastern University

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Student Financial Services

Credit Card Policy


Northeastern University will no longer be accepting credit or debit cards as a form of payment for any student account related charges, including tuition, fees, room, and board, beginning July 1, 2013.

In order to keep costs down, the University conducted a thorough analysis of the expenses incurred under the current credit card acceptance policy. Credit card fees incurred by the University reduce the funding available for campus programs.  In addition, many families who have used credit for financing incur interest as a result of long-term financing. These factors, combined with increases to merchant fees largely related to the growth in reward card usage, contributed to the new policy. 

Students and parents have a number of payment options, including electronic checks, checks by mail, wire transfers, payment plans via TuitionPay and International Funds Transfers. Families who have previously used a credit card for long-term financing of educational costs are encouraged to work with Student Financial Services staff to determine if more cost-effective financing options are available.

Students in all programs will continue to be able to use credit and debit cards for other transactions, including tuition and housing deposits, MBTA passes, and adding funds to a Husky Card. To accommodate these transactions, several changes will be made to the student and parent MyNEU self-service functions. More information will be forthcoming in the months ahead.

As this important policy change goes into effect, Student Financial Services is available to assist students and families.

Credit Card Policy Frequently Asked Questions

What programs are impacted by this new policy?

  • Undergraduate Day students
  • Graduate students in the Doctor of Pharmacy and Doctor of Physical Therapy programs
  • School of Law students
  • Students in the, US Sino Pathways, and American Classroom programs

Why does the University no longer accept credit cards?

The University conducted a thorough analysis of the usage and related expenses incurred under the previous credit card policy. The rapid growth in reward card usage as well as recent banking changes has dramatically increased card processing costs to the University. The decision was made to discontinue tuition and fee card acceptance for several types of students to protect other programs and services.

Will the reduction in credit card fees paid by Northeastern University result in a change to tuition?

No. The University recently announced the lowest undergraduate tuition increase in 30 years for the upcoming 2013-2014 academic year. There will be no changes to the announced rates as a result of this policy change.  

Why can’t the University pass the merchant fees along to those who use credit cards?

It is unlawful under Commonwealth of Massachusetts law to directly pass merchant fees on to the consumer.   

How will this new policy help to keep costs down?

Card processing costs are shared among all students, not just applied to those that used a credit card. Since the costs associated have risen dramatically, the decision was made to stop accepting cards for student account related charges from many groups of students. This change allows current programs and services to continue uninterrupted without having to increase costs for all students.

What other payment options are available that will allow us to spread the cost of attendance over the term or terms in which our student is enrolled?

Northeastern University contracts with the TuitionPay Plan to provide an interest free payment plan. There is a minimal enrollment fee charged to initiate the plan and create a contract, but there is no interest charged while payments are made. Information about the Tuition Pay Plan can be found on our website or you may visit TuitionPay at Please note that you may not use a credit card to enroll in a TuitionPay Plan.

Using a credit card allowed us to receive reward points and benefits that we have used toward travel and other expenses. We will now lose these reward points. Has the University considered this in their decision?

The University understands that rewards points have been an effective tool for families; however, the cost for those points has been shared by all tuition payers and unfortunately that is not a sustainable practice. Families are encouraged to work with Student Financial Services staff if they need assistance with education related expenses.

Can I pre-pay the fall 2013 and/or spring 2014 term on my credit card?

The timing of the fall 2013 and spring 2014 billing cycle will remain consistent with prior years.  Advanced payments cannot be accepted.

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