When you think about what it costs to go to college, you probably think about tuition, room and board, or the invoice you receive from the University each quarter. However, the cost of attendance - sometimes also called the "student budget" - actually includes other expenses related to studying and living at college each year. Some of these expenses, like tuition, are "direct" costs for which you will receive a bill. Others, like books, are considered "indirect" costs - expenses you will have, but will not see on an invoice.
The Evanston undergraduate cost of attendance typically includes:
- Tuition and mandatory fees: Same rate for in-state or out-of-state students; charged based on your enrollment (i.e., full-time, part-time, etc.).
- Room and board: Allowance based on the weighted average cost of an on-campus double room and a full meal plan; same budget estimated for students living in off-campus apartments.
- Books and supplies: Average cost of required course materials and school supplies; based on student-reported averages.
- Personal expenses: Incidentals and living expenses, such as clothing, toiletries, and entertainment. Estimate based on student-reported averages; individual spending habits vary.
- Transportation: Allowance for travel expenses from your home to campus, if applicable.
- Loan fees: If you are borrowing any Federal Direct Stafford or Federal Direct PLUS loans, your cost of attendance will include average origination fees charged on these loans. Actual fee amounts will vary based on the type of loan and how much you borrow.
Why is the cost of attendance listed on your financial aid award letter? Three main reasons:
- To determine your eligibility for need-based financial aid
- To give you an estimate of total costs for the year
- To set the limit on the total amount of financial aid and loans you can receive for the academic year (which federal regulations require us to do)