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Definition of a Third-Party Payment

A third-party sponsor is an entity that has agreed to pay all or a specified portion of a student or group of students' tuition, fees, books and other charges at an institution of higher education.

Third-party sponsors may include, but are not limited to, federal and state agencies, corporations, employers, school districts, trade unions, foundations, tribes, clubs, charitable organizations, and foreign governments. Institutions require a sponsor to provide an official document guaranteeing payment (i.e. letter, agreement, contract, certification, application, etc.).

Sponsors are typically invoiced directly for the charges they have agreed to pay, but institutions may also have sponsors that do not require an invoice.

The liability for payment of tuition and fees ultimately lies with the student if a sponsor fails to pay all amounts as agreed.

University services to the student may be restricted if financial obligations are not met.


NACUBO Resources


Bryan Dickson

Assistant Director, Advocacy and Student Financial Services


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