What is COA and What Does it Mean for Me?

“Cost of Attendance” (COA) is the amount your school determines it will cost you to attend classes and live while a student for one academic year – tuition, fees, on-campus room and board (or housing and food for off-campus students), and allowances for books, supplies, personal costs (toiletries, clothing, medical), transportation and, if applicable to you, loan fees.  COA is a general figure that you can find on your school’s website, and it is divided into on-campus, off-campus, off-campus living with parents, in-state and out-of-state, undergraduate and graduate.  COA does not include items like child/dependent care, a computer, costs related to a disability, or other special expenses an individual might have.  However, if you visit your financial aid office you can make a case for having such expenses added to your COA.

By federal law, a student cannot receive financial aid of any sort (Pell, ETV, other state grants, scholarships, or loans) beyond the published COA for their school.

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