Cost of Attendance

The cost of attendance (COA) is the estimation of what it will reasonably cost a student to attend a given institution for a given period of time, usually one academic year. COA is one element of need analysis, the other being expected family contribution (EFC). A student’s need for federal student aid is determined by subtracting EFC from COA. The law defines COA as the total of several categories of expenses (see subtopics).

Related topics in this Index: Need Analysis; Net Price