Cost of Attendance

Cost of Attendance FAQ


  1. What is Cost of Attendance?

    • The cost of attendance (COA) is not the bill that you may get from your college; it is the total amount it may cost you to go to college each year. The COA includes tuition and fees; on-campus room and board (or a housing and food allowance for off-campus students); and allowances for books, supplies, transportation, loan fees, and, if applicable, dependent care. It can also include other expenses like an allowance for the rental or purchase of a personal computer, costs related to a disability, or costs for eligible study-abroad programs.

  2. Can I receive more aid than this ceiling?

    • Except in rare occasions (student-athletes receiving a full scholarships, students receiving veterans’ education benefits), you cannot receive more aid than the COA.

  3. How do I increase my COA?

    • Submit an Appeal Form to Adjust the Cost of Attendance to the Financial Aid Office.  Make sure to submit any additional information asked for with your appeal form or your request will be delayed.

  4. Can my Cost of Attendance include how much I pay for rent off campus? Other bills I have?

    • The Cost of Attendance considers the cost of rent in the “Room and Board” estimate, for off-campus students, which is based on a survey from the California Department of Education.

  5. How is the Room/Board determined?

    • For on-campus students, the estimate is the average cost of housing plus the default meal plan (O plan).  For off-campus students, the estimate is based on a survey from the California Department of Education.

  6. Why isn't Sickness Insurance included in my COA?

    • Because Sickness Insurance is waivable and is not a mandatory fee for all students.

  7. Why isn’t the Parking Pass included in my COA?

    • Similar to Sickness Insurance, it is not a mandatory fee for all students.

  8. What are direct expenses vs indirect expenses?

    • Direct expenses are items that are charged to students from the universal, such as tuition, fees and on-campus housing.  Indirect expenses are items that are not directly charged from the university but are associated with the costs of attending a college.

  9. Does the financial assistance package increase each year as tuition and room and board increase?

    • No, however if financial circumstances change for yourself and/or your parents, you may submit an appeal for additional funding.