Cost of Attendance Calculation for Federal Student Loan Programs


Your “cost of attendance” or “COA” is a term used by financial aid administrators to reflect the dollar value cap that graduate students can borrow under the unsubsidized direct student loan program.

The Department of Education has defined  Cost of Attendance  as:

“The total amount it will cost you to go to school—usually stated as a yearly figure. COA includes tuition and fees; room and board (or a housing and food allowance); and allowances for books, supplies, transportation, loan fees, and dependent care. It also includes miscellaneous and personal expenses, including : An allowance for the rental or purchase of a personal computer; costs related to a disability; and reasonable costs for eligible study-abroad programs. For students attending less than half-time, the COA includes tuition and fees and an allowance for books, supplies, transportation, and dependent care expenses, and can also include room and board for up to three semesters or the equivalent at the institution. But no more than two of those semesters, or the equivalent, may be consecutive. Contact the financial aid administrator at the school you’re planning to attend if you have any unusual expenses that might affect your COA. “

Additional information for the calculation:

  1. 2015-2016 Tuition and Fee schedule
  2. The Room and Board allowance for seminarians is also listed on the tuition and fee schedule, along with an allowance for the cost of health insurance. These same allowances will be used for students in any masters degree program at NDS unless they are living at home with a parent or relative.
  3. Book and Supply Allowance: We allow $50 per credit hour.
  4. Transportation Allowance:  $2,166 annually
  5. Miscellaneous Expense Allowance : $1,600  annually
The difference between your Cost of Attendance and payments made by your bishop (for the seminarians)  employer (non-seminarians), or tuition discounts offered to Archdiocese of New Orleans employees represents the maximum annual amount that you can borrow under the unsubsidized Direct Loan Program.
So you still want to apply for a federal direct unsubsidized student loan?  Here is a quick summary of what you need to do.:
  1. Complete and submit  The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (the “FAFSA”)
  2. How much  will your loan ultimately cost you? Check out your options with the loan calculators on http://www.finaid.org/calculators/ . Remember, interest begins to accrue on the loan once it is fully disbursed. The longer it takes you to repay, the higher your final costs will ultimately be,
  3. Complete and submit the Loan Application Addendum to the Financial Aid Office at NDS
  4. Complete and submit the online graduate  entrance counseling module and a Master Promissory Note on the StudentLoans.gov website