The cost of attendance is a guideline for students to maintain a manageable amount of student loan debt. The Federal Government requires schools to create a standard budget for students who receive financial aid. The budget is used to determine financial aid eligibility each year. It includes a cost of living allowance which provides for a conservative, reasonable, standard of living. This allowance includes room/board, utilities, food, transportation and personal/miscellaneous expenses. In addition, it includes tuition, fees, books and supplies for school. By staying within (or under) your COA, you will be able to keep your debt as low as possible.
Expenditures are within the student’s control. Prior debts, such as credit cards and car payments cannot be included into the budget allotment per federal regulations.
Since the majority of Graduate/Professional students’ financing is primarily funded through student loans, students would benefit from staying within their budget.
Over Awards and Cost of Attendance
Federal guidelines mandate that the amount of awarded financial aid may not exceed the total cost of attendance. When the amount of financial aid received from all sources is greater than the total cost of attendance, a financial aid over award occurs. Circumstances that may result in an over award include:
Please be aware that our office is required to review your financial aid eligibility in the event of an over award and may be required to adjust financial aid awarded to ensure the total aid package remains within federal guidelines. To help prevent an over award, we strongly recommend notifying the Office of Student Financial Aid Services in writing or via firstname.lastname@example.org of any potential awards not already listed on your financial aid award letter.
Spouse and Children
The cost of attendance can only include the student’s educational expenses only. Therefore, spouse and children’s expenses may not be included. Students should not come to school with the expectation that financial aid is available to support their entire family’s bills and expenditures. It is expected that spouses’ will seek employment, if possible. Students cannot use financial aid to replace or supplement a spouse’s wages.
Child care is the only exception to this. If the student’s spouse works outside of the home, a professional judgment may be made to increase the student’s budget for financial aid to cover day care costs.
The mandatory set expenses are tuition, activity fee, medical, life and disability insurance. Daycare costs are only available to students whose spouse works outside of the home or students who are single parents with dependent children.
|Last Published with Edits:||April 4, 2018 2:43 PM|
|Last Comprehensive Review:||June 2016|