Cost of Attendance, also referred to as COA, is the total average cost to attend a school.  The COA varies from school to school and depends on multiple factors, including your program of study, when you entered your program, whether you are a full-time student, among other things.

A COA is different than tuition and fees.  The COA includes tuition and fees, but it also includes living and personal expenses as well because you may need help with these costs while you are in school.  Every Financial Aid Office uses the COA to determine what your financial aid award maximums will be. Below you will find the indirect cost components of the COA for each academic level.

Undergraduate Indirect Cost Components Estimate Costs per term
Books and Supplies $384.00
Transportation $1,318.00
Personal Expenses $1,308.00
Loan Fees $111.00
Room and Board $9,388.00
Total $12,509.00


Graduate Indirect Cost Components Estimate Costs per term
Books and Supplies $700.00
Transportation $1,318.00
Personal Expenses $1,308.00
Loan Fees $415.00
Room and Board $9,388.00
Total $13,129.00
Q: What is included in the COA?
A: The COA includes: tuition, fees, and the average cost of books, supplies, room & board, transportation, and personal/miscellaneous costs.  The Department of Education allows a school to include these basic necessities in a COA and these costs vary depending on your program of study. 
Q: Where can I find my COA and how much are my tuition and fees?
A: Your COA is displayed on your financial aid offer letter which can be accessed on your student portal. Please visit your program page for applicable tuition and fees.  Remember that tuition and fees are the only items that show up as a mandatory charges on your student account statement.  Check with the Financial Aid Office for other specific program cost components.
Q: How can I figure out how much of a refund I can expect to receive?
A: The easiest way to estimate your possible refund is by using the following formula:
Maximum loans borrowed minus tuition and fees equal your estimated refund or living expense.  Keep in mind that most loans have origination (processing) fees that are automatically taken from the amount you applied for, so these calculations are an estimate.  There are other factors that may affect your refund as well, such as additional charges for extra units, parking fines, and the types of loans you apply for.  Check your billing statement or contact Student Accounts if you have questions about your billing statement and charges.
Here are a few examples of estimating a refund:
Example 1:  $16,500 (gross) loan per term minus $11,400 tuition/fees equals $5,100 estimated refund.
Example 2:  $10,250 loan borrowed per term minus $12,000 tuition/fees equals $0 estimated refund.
Example 3:  $22,000 loan borrowed per term minus $12,500 tuition/fees equals $9,500 estimated refund.
One final reminder about borrowing loans and refunds, you are responsible for repaying the loan to the lender, with interest, so be careful with what you borrow!  It's nice to have a large refund while attending school, but it's not nice when your large loan payment is due.  Borrow wisely!!!