Enter the tuition cost, cost of room and board, cost of books and supplies, and other fees to calculate the cost of attendance.

Cost of Attendance Formula

The following formula is used to calculate the cost of attendance.

COA = T + R&B + BS + M

  • Where COA is the yearly cost of attendance of college
  • T is the tuition cost per year
  • R&B is the cost of room and board per year
  • BS is the books and supplies cost per year
  • M is miscellaneous costs like computers etc.

Cost of Attendance Definition

Cost of attendance is a term used to describe the overall yearly cost of attending a college or university. It includes all costs associated with the college including tuition, room and board, and all else. It’s used to more accurately describe the financial cost of attending college over just the tuition.

Cost of Attendance Example

How to calculate a cost of attendance?

  1. First, determine the tuition per year.

    Calculate the average tuition per year.

  2. Next, determine the cost of room and board per year.

    This averages from $8,000-$12,000 for most universities.

  3. Next, determine the cost of books and suppliers.

    The US average for this figure is $1,300.00.

  4. Next, determine any additional costs.

    This includes costs of computers and other fees directly associated with attending college.

  5. Finally, calculate the COA.

    Calculate the cost of attendance using the equation above.


What is the average cost of attendance?

The average student will pay roughly $25,000.00 per year to attend university.

cost of attendance calculator
cost of attendance formula