UNDERSTAND THE TOTAL COSTS INVOLVED IN ATTENDING EACH SCHOOL In your award letter, a school will provide a calculation of the total costs for attending during the school year. This calculation is called the cost of attendance (COA). If you’re attending at least half-time, your COA is the estimate of:
• supplies • transportation back and forth to school • loan fees • child-care or dependent care
• other miscellaneous expenses, such as eligible study-abroad programs, disability costs, or a personal computer
• tuition • fees • on-campus room and board (housing and food) or off-campus living expenses • books
Health insurance is commonly included in the COA, but you may be able to waive that cost. You will need to do some research. • Are you already covered by your parents’ insurance, and will the school accept that coverage for you while you’re attending? • Does the school require its school-based insurance?
Expected costs include tuition, school fees, and room and board. Unexpected costs include equipment, books, school supplies, transportation, and other personal expenses.
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