Cost of Attendance

Cost of Attendance

Cost of Attendance

Knowing a college's "cost of attendance" (COA) is critical when comparing aid awards.  A college with a high COA may offer a generous aid package but still be more expensive than one with a much lower COA.  

Cost of Attendance 2023-2024

What's Included in the COA?

As dictated by Congress, the cost of attendance is the average cost to attend for one academic year (fall through spring). Your COA is not your bill. It includes a budget for tuition and fees, books and supplies, room and board, transportation, and personal expenses. Colleges adjust the COA yearly to reflect changes to these costs. Colleges create several official COAs that reflect differences in living costs (on-campus, off-campus, or at home) and in-state and out-of-state tuition. Your actual cost to attend may be different than the official COA depending on your personal expenses, participation in extracurricular activities, and travel expenses.

How the COA impacts the amount and types of aid you receive. 

The COA dictates how much aid you can receive. Generally speaking, you cannot get financial aid in excess of your COA. This includes all forms of aid such as loans, grants, scholarships, work-study, tuition waivers, etc.

Financial aid is a fluid process and at times students may receive additional awards later in the term after they already have been awarded financial aid up to their cost of attendance. In these instances, less favorable forms of financial aid may be reduced to make "space" for these new awards.

For example, if a student receives an additional scholarship after the cost of attendance has been covered, we will reduce the less favorable forms of aid such as private loans, PLUS loans, and federal student loans to make space for the more beneficial forms of assistance. While this won't always result in an overall increase in funding, it ensures students receive the forms of aid that benefit them most (free money first!).