- May 1, 2013 - FinAid Highlights: May
- Apr 1, 2013 - FinAid Highlights: April
- Mar 1, 2013 - FinAid Highlights: March
First-year Student Resource Guide
Preparing for college can be a daunting task. Buying books, setting up a dorm room, figuring out what to do if you get sick - there's a lot to consider! We've put together this brief resource guide to explain how financial aid can help you as you plan for Duke.
- Budgeting/Financial Literacy
- FLEX Spending Account
- Health Fee
- Health Insurance
- Work Study
The financial aid cost of attendance includes an allowance for required textbooks and supplies. For the purpose of buying textbooks, it is expected that students arrive on campus with at least half of their Summer Earnings Expectation. These funds should be used to buy textbooks and supplies for your fall semester. If these funds are not available, however, students can charge the cost of their textbooks to their Bursar account by using their FLEX spending account. Please see additional information on FLEX below.
Textbooks can be purchased from the Duke University Book Store. Duke students have also recommended the following resources to help you find deals on textbooks:
As you begin college, you may find that you have new freedoms and responsibilities, particularly when it comes to your finances. We encourage you to talk to your family before you come to Duke to establish a budget and determine who will be financially responsible for which college expenses (including pocket money). The Parents section of our website also offers tips to help your family finance your education. We also recommend that you contact your roommate ahead of coming to Duke to avoid purchasing duplicate items for your dorm room.
Duke University does not require that all students have their own computer, as there are several computer labs available to students at all times. The cost of a computer is therefore not included in your financial aid cost of attendance. If you need financial aid funding to help you purchase a new computer, your financial aid budget may be increased to facilitate the borrowing of additional loan funds. You should contact your financial aid counselor with questions regarding your loan eligibility.
Should you purchase your computer from the Duke University Computer Store, you will have the option of paying off your computer in installments each semester for the remainder of your time at Duke. (Example: A $2000 computer purchased in your first semester of Duke can be paid off in $250/semester payments for 8 semesters). Purchasing a computer from Duke may also provide the added benefit of certain software and warranty options. The Duke University Computer Store will have all the information you need when making a decision.
Duke students have also recommended the following resources to help you find deals on computers:
Duke Stores secret shopper list
Outlet stores (i.e. Dell Outlet)
The first-year dining plan includes 12 meals in the Marketplace on East Campus as well as food points to cover additional food expenses. Each food point is equivalent to $1, and you will have $320-415/semester, depending on which dining plan you select. This works out to roughly $25/week, so you will need to budget accordingly. If you need to add dining points later in the semester, please be advised that this will be added as a charge on your Bursar account and you will need to arrange payment to the Bursar’s office to ensure your account remains in good standing. The 2010-11 financial aid budget included an allowance of $3005/semester for food.
The Flexible Spending Account (FLEX) allows you to add money to your Duke card to purchase textbooks, laundry services or phone and cable TV bills. Please be advised that if you charge FLEX account deposits to your Bursar’s office, you are responsible for arranging payment to the Bursar’s office in order to ensure your account remains is good standing. Financial aid cannot provide any grants or loans to help cover this charge.
Duke Student Health is the primary source for healthcare and health education services including general medical care, basic nutrition counseling, laboratory services, travel / immunization clinics, and allergy / immunotherapy clinic. Most services at the Student Health Center (SHC) are covered by the mandatory Student Health Fee. The SHC is located on Flowers Drive in the Duke Clinic complex (Duke South, Sub-Basement, Orange Zone).
In addition to the health fee, students are required to maintain adequate medical insurance while at Duke. Duke offers a Student Health Insurance Plan (SIMP) designed to meet the needs of students who have no insurance or lack adequate insurance in North Carolina. SIMP covers medications, radiology services, specialist visits, inpatient and outpatient mental health care, emergency room visits and hospitalization.
To determine if you are required to purchase SIMP, please refer to Student Affairs. Both on-line and mail-in applications can be accessed through this site. For those who have adequate coverage outside of Duke, coverage can be waived. For those without adequate coverage, the waiver must be denied before Duke's financial aid office will cover the cost in the financial aid package. This means, you must apply for a waiver and be denied the waiver in order for Duke to cover the cost of the insurance. The denial is the only way you can prove you do not have adequqte coverage. Once you have completed the waiver review, if the waiver is denied and you are required to purchase SIMP, you will receive confirmation which you should forward to your financial aid counselor. The additional cost will be considered in your financial aid budget.
Each year, the financial aid budget for students living on campus includes exact housing charges. Should your housing charges change throughout the academic year, your financial aid budget and financial aid award will be adjusted to reflect your actual housing charges. Your expected family contribution thus neither increases nor decreases based on your choice of dorm or room type.
Nearly eighty percent of first-year students do not bring a vehicle to campus. In order to accommodate students without personal vehicles, numerous transportation options are available. To learn more, watch the video below provided by the Duke Parking and Transportation office.
You have been awarded work study as part of your financial aid package. Students that participate in a work study job are paid every two weeks. The amount you earn is based on the number of hours worked as well as your hourly rate. You don't need to worry about finding a work study job until you get to campus. A list of available job positions can be found at DukeList.