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).
Source: Trellis Company