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Before choosing a school, it is important to sit down and research what the best option is for YOU. There are a few things to consider, such as:

  • Current financial situation
  • Interests or career goals
  • Your ideal location (school size, campus life, etc.)
  • Admission requirements
  • Other important factors that could impact your decision

There are several search tools available such as built-in financial calculators on school websites based on their current cost of attendance.

calculator Breaking Down the Cost of Attendance

Most schools break down their cost of attendance into five major cost categories that contribute to the overall cost of attendance. This gives you a better idea of how much you will be paying for school.

Tuition and Fees -- Tuition and fees are the cost of taking classes. The amount varies based on the number of hours you enroll in per year, your program or degree, and the location (in state or out of state tuition) of your school. There are additional fees (ex. Recreation and Wellness Center), based on the school, which can be found on their website.

Room and Board -- This is the cost of living while you attend school. If you live on campus, this would include the cost of a dorm, meal plans, and any other on-campus living expenses. If you live off-campus, this would consist of the cost of rent, food, utilities, and any additional household-related costs.

Books and Supplies -- This is the cost of books and other supplies that you may be required to purchase for your courses. If possible, try buying used or renting textbooks to cut your costs in this category.

Transportation -- Transportation costs include expenses related to traveling to and from school, including trips home or commuting to campus. The expenses in this category vary based on the number of trips, distance, and mode of travel. If you have a vehicle, you will want to factor in the cost of gas.

Personal Expenses and Miscellaneous -- This category includes any personal expenses you are responsible for. This includes eating out, bills (cell phone, insurance, etc.), entertainment, clothing, or anything else that you plan to spend money on that do not fall into the previous cost categories.

check icon What Type of Aid is Available?

There are four main sources of financial aid:

  • Private
  • State Government
  • Federal Government
  • Institution

There are four main types of financial aid:

  • Scholarships
  • Grants
  • Loans
  • Employment

*Pay close attention to deadlines for financial aid!