Sunday – November 17, 2019

What is Cost of Attendance?

As you are comparing colleges and the various financial aid packages you have been offered, you will want to become familiar with two different ways to look at the costs you will incur.


Direct Costs

The first and possibly the most important 'cost' to you should include the Direct Costs of attending a college. These are the actual costs that you will need to pay for with either financial aid or out of your own pocket every semester:

  1. Tuition
  2. Fees
  3. Room & Board
  4. Books & Supplies
  5. Transportation
  6. Personal Expenses
  7. Loan Fees

➢  Net Price Calculator 
➢  2019-20 Cost of Attendance

Budgeted Cost of Attendance*

Financial Aid Offices calculate Cost of Attendance in a different way. Colleges can include several other components in determining costs and use 'budgeted' amounts rather than actual. The cost of attendance calculated by the Financial Aid Office is based on costs from reported data, survey data and Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data. With limited exceptions, a student's financial aid and other educational assistance cannot exceed the school's published Cost of Attendance figure.

  • Tuition - The price you are charged for taking classes. It is based on the number of credits you enroll in and course level.
  • Books and Supplies - The estimate of books and supplies is based on average costs for undergraduate students. A student's actual costs will vary based on major, and types of courses taken.
  • Room/Housing – The average cost a student pays for a place to stay while attending college. The amount of this allowance will differ for students living with parents or away from home.
  • Board (Food) – Like housing, food costs are also calculated differently for students living with parents or away from home.
  • Personal/Miscellaneous – Includes everyday living expenses such as laundry, toiletries, and a modest spending allowance for clothing and activities.
  • Transportation – A daily allowance for travel to and from school.


*Cost of Attendance is subject to change