About Cost Estimates
The standard Cost of Attendance (COA) budgets are prepared by the University for calculating financial aid awards, as required by federal regulations. Even if you are not a financial aid recipient, you can use the charts to estimate your costs for full-time enrollment during the academic year (fall and spring semesters), or half-time enrollment during the summer (May and summer sessions).
COA expense categories
COA is based on five expense categories with figures that reflect typical "modest but adequate" spending patterns of University students based on published research, as cited below:
- Tuition & fees
- Tuition and fees figures in the budgets are for the current academic year. The figures are updated each year in July after approval by the University Board of Regents.
- Books & supplies
- This estimated figure is based on average credit load for a full-time student and book costs that represent the academic supplies required to be an effective student.
- Room & board
- The estimated room and board figures vary based on typical living situations (e. g., in a campus University residence hall, at home with family, sharing an apartment) and research by the U. S. Department of Agriculture on average living expenses in the Duluth area.
- The cost for local transportation in the Duluth area is free with a DTA U-Pass. The University does not include a personal vehicle in your estimated cost budget. However, an estimate for students to travel to/from their hometown a few times per year is included in the transportation figure.
- Personal & miscellaneous expenses
- The estimates for this category are based on average student needs that are necessary in order to live and function productively, including toiletries, laundry, and clothing.
"Typical" vs. actual expenses
Your actual costs may vary from the COA budget estimate, according to your individual lifestyle and circumstances. For example, your rent may be greater or less than the monthly standard used in the COA budget for undergraduates living independently.
If you apply for financial aid, your award eligibility will be based on the COA standard allowances, not on your individual preferences and spending habits. The One Stop Money Management web pages are an excellent source of knowledge, ideas, and tips to keep your expenses in line with your financial resources.