Cost of Attendance Budget
What is a Cost of Attendance (COA) budget? Regulations regarding a student's COA were established by the Higher Education Act, as amended. The COA is designed to support the student attending school, not extended family, except as noted under Budget Adjustment Allowances below. COA is reviewed annually and updated with estimated information in March of each year; information is not finalized until the June Board meeting. NOTE: TUITION AND FEES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE.
A student’s annual COA includes:
- Direct costs (expenses paid to the school):
- mandatory fees
- health insurance (unless waiver submitted)
- Additional expenses (funds a student may need for other allowed costs):
- room (lodging, basic utilities)
- board (food)
- books and supplies
- transportation (gas, auto insurance, maintenance, but NOT purchase of a vehicle) for educational purposes
- personal (basic hygiene, laundry, etc.)
- loan fees and
Regional cost of living indices are used in adjusting room, board and transportation allowances. Programs are polled for books and supply costs. Adjustments are made annually for actual direct costs based on recommendations by the Budget & Finance Office as approved by the Board.
Students' actual expenses will vary according to lifestyle and personal choices. A summary of COA - Living, Personal and Travel Allowances broken down by academic year is available. A carefully planned personal budget for these expenses can help save money and reduce overall indebtedness. See Financial Planning
Federal regulation requires that all financial aid calculations be based on a single Cost of Attendance (COA) budget for a program. See specific programs for current cost of attendance budget:
IMPORTANT: Your COA does not support your family. If you have unusual expenses during an enrollment period, review the policy on Budget Adjustment Allowances to see if you may be eligible to request a budget increase. Requests may be granted based on documented expenses for enrollment period for:
- Eligible travel expenses greater than transportation allowance
- Dependent child care
- Actual education loan fees withheld from disbursement if greater than initial estimated amount.
- Paid medical bills not reimbursed by insurance
- Purchase of personal computer (once per program)
All requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis within federal regulations.