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Cost of Attendance

Terms to Know

  • Cost of Attendance (COA) - Expenses to attend the University including tuition, fees, housing, meals, etc. Your total aid package cannot exceed your cost of attendance.
  • Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) - Amount a family can be expected to contribute toward a student's college expenses.
  • Financial Need - Cost of Attendance minus the Estimated Family Contribution.
  • Federal & State Financial Eligibility - A students Financial Need minus any other aid such as rotary scholarships and military/employee discounts. A student's Federal & State Financial aid package may not exceed this amount.

Your financial aid award is based on your cost of attendance. The cost of attendance reflects the average costs and educational expenses such as tuition, fees, housing, meals, commuting, etc. Average loan fees are also added to the cost of attendance for students receiving a Federal Direct Loan. 

The cost of attendance does not reflect the amount of money you owe the University. Each student may log into AP OneStop to see their student charges once the billing cycle for the term has begun. Many people look at the tuition for a given school and think that is the "price tag" for that institution when in reality tuition may be as little as 50% of the actual costs.

Financial aid applicants are assigned a specific budget based on criteria such as in-state or out-of-state, undergraduate or graduate, and/or living on or off campus. This budget helps us determine your cost of attendance. The University uses rules established by the federal government when determining cost of attendance. All students are initially packaged with a full-time budget. One week prior to memo of aid, one week prior to disbursement of aid, and at the census date, student budgets are recalculated according to actual enrollment. If you are not enrolled full-time at this time, your financial aid may be reduced and a billing created to your student account.

An example student budget for an in-state, off-campus, graduate student:

Tuition and Fees$8,712.00
Books and Supplies$1,550.00
Room and Board$9,438.00
Personal Expenses$2,000.00
Total Expenses:$24,238.00


The expected family contribution (EFC) is the amount a family can be expected to contribute toward a student's college costs. This amount is determined based on your answers on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Your EFC is used to determine the need for federal and state assistance such as Pell Grants, Stafford loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized), Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Perkins loans, and Federal Work Study (FWS).

Federal and State Financial Aid eligibility is determined by taking your cost of attendance subtracting your expected family contribution and then subtracting non-federal aid such as private or academic scholarships.

If you still have unmet need after all grants, scholarships, and federal aid has been awarded, then it is time to consider student loans. Federal Stafford Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans are one option. You also have the option of private alternative loans and the Parent Plus loan. Detailed loan information is available by choosing the loan link to the left and selecting from the loan links.

As an overview:

 Cost of Attendance (COA)
-Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
=Financial Need
-Other Aid
=Federal & State Financial Aid Eligibility