Cost of Attendance (COA)

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 terms: Need Analysis; Net Price Calculator

Annual Membership Tuition Survey (The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities) Web URL

College Board Living Expense Budgets (College Board ) Web URL

Controlling Costs (The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities) Web URL

Cost of Attendance AskRegs Knowledgebase Q&As (National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators) Web URL

Cost of Attendance Self-Study Guide (National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators) Web URL

Digest of Education Statistics (National Center for Education Statistics) Web URL

Enhancing Affordability (The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities) Web URL

Federal Financial Aid Policy and College Behavior (American Council on Education) PDF

Independent College 500 Index (College Board ) Web URL

Monograph 24: Developing the Cost of Attendance (National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators) Web URL

Paying for College (American Council on Education) PDF

State of Student Aid and Higher Education in Texas - 2019 (Trellis Company) Web URL

State of Student Aid in Texas - 2021 (Trellis Company) Web URL

Student Financing of Undergraduate Education in 2015-16: Income, Tuition, and Total Price (National Center for Education Statistics) Web URL

Student Financing of Undergraduate Education in 2015-16: Students’ Net Price, Expected Family Contribution, and Financial Need (National Center for Education Statistics) Web URL

The Condition of Education (National Center for Education Statistics) Web URL

Trends in College Pricing and Student Aid 2021 (College Board ) PDF

Trends in Higher Education (College Board ) Web URL

What Is the Price of College? Total, Net, and Out-of-Pocket Prices in 2015-16 (National Center for Education Statistics) Web URL