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Financial Policies

All tuition and fees are due 14 days before the start of classes unless enrolled in a monthly payment plan. Registration for subsequent semesters will not be permitted if payments are not up to date. 

Diplomas and official transcripts are withheld from students and alumni who have not met their financial obligations to the College. The College also reserves the right to cancel registration and evict students from residence halls and the board plan if their accounts are in arrears and to exclude a student with significant financial obligations to the College from participating in graduation ceremonies. 

Billing and payment procedures

Statements are made available online and are only mailed to the home address if requested. Family members must be enrolled in the Parent Portal in order to receive information from the Business Office.

Two payment procedures are available:
  • Standard Plan - Full semester charges due 14 days before registration.
  • Forester Monthly Payment Plan - This monthly payment plan allows families to spread all or part of the annual expenses over 10 interest-free monthly payments. There is an annual enrollment fee and payments begin July 15. Enrollment after August 15 will qualify the student for registration, but past due payments must be made up. Information on the payment plan is available Families also have the option of enrolling in the Forester Payment Plan on a semester basis. There is a 5-month plan for fall semester which also starts on July 15. The payment plan for the spring semester begins on December 15.  

Interest charges, late fees, and collection costs

Accounts not paid in full by the due date will be assessed a late fee of $100.00. The College reserves the right to cancel the registration for students whose accounts are not paid in full or on time. All payment arrangements will be subject to a payment plan fee.

Delinquent accounts will be assessed a late fee each month of $25.00. Unpaid balances may be turned over to a collection agency and subject to collection costs of up to 30% as permitted by law. 

Matriculation deposits 

When students leave the College, whether by withdrawal or graduation, the Business Office will return the matriculation deposit by check, net of any charges left on the account, to the student at the home address. 

  • The Business Office must be officially notified of the withdrawal by the Office of Student Affairs before this can happen. All withdrawals from the College are processed through the Dean of Students. 

  • Deposits for graduates are returned at the end of May.  

Normal course load

A normal, full-time course load for undergraduate students is four courses, but any combination of courses ranging from 3 to 4.5 credits is regarded as full-time and the regular full-time tuition applies. There are no refunds for course load changes within this range of credits. Any reduction below three credits must be approved by the Office of Student Affairs.

Undergraduate students registering for fewer than three credits per term with the permission of the Office of Student Affairs will be charged at the per-course rate. The per-course rate will also apply for special students who are not degree candidates or whose degree candidacy is pending for fewer than three credits.  

Course overload charge

Students who are registered for an on-campus course load in excess of 4.5 credits in a given semester will be charged for the additional credits or fractions of credits.

Students enrolled in Music 107, 108, 109, and 110 will be exempt from the quarter credit overload charge, if approved by the Music Department.

Students who received Dean’s List distinction at Lake Forest College during the previous year may take one extra course during the following year without charge, subject to certain limitations. 

Bookstore vouchers

There are two situations in which you can charge books and supplies on your tuition account. 

  • The first is when there will be an anticipated refund due to you after all payments and financial aid is applied. This type of voucher is administered by the Business Office. 
  • The second type of voucher is given by the Financial Aid Office and is dependent upon financial need.   

Other charges and fines

Students studying abroad will be charged applicable fees as determined by the individual program. See the Director of Off-Campus Programs for the current per-program tuition rate. Regular refund policies apply to study-abroad programs. There is a non-refundable administrative fee of $500 for students who are applying their financial aid to a program through a consortium agreement, in addition to any program fee or deposit required by the selected program.

Students will not be charged a fee for credit by examination (for a subject that is not covered by advanced placement tests) if such credit is established during the fall term of the first year.

Students will be billed for bookstore charges, library fines, on-campus traffic violations, and any damage they may cause to College property.

A student who changes residential status from resident to nonresident for fall semester, and notifies the Office of Student Affairs on or after June 1 and before July 1, will be charged $500. Students notifying the Office of Student Affairs on or after July 1 will be charged $750. For a change of residency status after the first day of fall classes, per diem charges for room and board will be applied to the student’s account in addition to the fine. See the Office of Residence Life for more information.