Cost to Attend DU
As you plan for your graduate education at DU, it's critical to make sure your program is the right financial investment for you and your professional goals. To help you navigate the cost of attending graduate school, we make the tuition and fees of a DU education clear, ensuring you understand all direct and indirect expenses and are empowered to take advantage of available financial resources.
How Do I Find My Graduate School Cost of Attendance?
Once you are admitted to DU and apply for financial aid, you'll receive your financial aid offer, which includes a cost of attendance (COA). It's likely that your actual expenses—especially for items like housing, meals, and transportation—will be different from the amount on your aid offer. Your tuition and fees may also differ depending on the number of credits you take each term.
The COA on your financial aid offer serves two purposes:
- to give you an estimate of the cost to attend DU for one year, and
- to set a limit on the amount of financial aid you can receive during the academic year.
Because federal regulations require us to set a limit on the amount of aid you can receive, your total aid—including scholarships, assistantships/fellowships, loans, work-study, and other resources (such as AmeriCorps and employer-paid tuition benefits)—cannot exceed the cost of attendance listed on your financial aid offer.
Additionally, to stay in compliance with federal regulations, DU cannot change student budgets based on discretionary expenses. We may, however, be able to make adjustments to your cost of attendance for reasons outlined on the budget adjustment form. These decisions are made on a case-by-case basis and do not guarantee additional financial aid.
Unless otherwise noted on your financial aid offer, your cost of attendance will not include costs for the summer quarter/semester. Eligibility for financial aid for the summer is limited; if you need financial aid for the summer, you must complete a separate application in the spring.
Cost of Attendance Examples
These are just a few examples of cost of attendance figures for graduate students. The COA for your program will be listed on your financial aid offer.
Direct vs. Indirect Costs
Every cost of attendance is made up of both direct and indirect costs.
Direct costs are charges that appear on your DU bill, which you receive each quarter or semester you're enrolled. These include tuition, fees, and health insurance (if enrolled in the DU plan).
All financial aid you receive, including student loans, first pay toward your bill, so you pay less than the full amount of direct costs listed for your program once your aid is applied.
Indirect costs do not appear on your bill. Instead, these are estimated expenses associated with attending graduate school, such as books, off-campus housing, meals, and transportation.
Many full-time graduate students choose to borrow student loans to help pay for these additional expenses. Please remember the total amount of your financial aid can't exceed the cost of attendance listed on your aid offer.
How is the Cost of Attendance Calculated?
When reviewing their COA, most students see the following items included
- Tuition: The tuition amount listed on your financial aid offer is based on the average enrollment of students in your program. The amount you actually pay, however, depends on the number of credits you take each quarter or semester. Tuition rates typically increase by 3-5% each academic year.
- Please note: Although your COA assumes a certain number of credits per term, we can make adjustments if you plan to enroll in more credits than what your aid offer shows by submitting an enrollment adjustment form.
- For federal student aid eligibility, half-time enrollment, which is considered four credits per quarter/semester, is required.
- Fees: DU charges all graduate students a technology fee of $4 per credit and may also charge a student activity fee of $10. Your bill itemizes the specific fees for your program. Review fees for the upcoming academic year.
- Health Insurance: Many full-time graduate students are automatically enrolled in and charged for the DU Student Health Insurance Program. If covered by another plan, you can waive participation in this plan.
- Books, Course Materials, Supplies & Equipment: This is an estimate of the cost of books and supplies for a typical student in your program. DU does not bill you directly for books or supplies.
- Housing & Meals: This is an estimate of the cost of off-campus housing and food in the University of Denver area, determined by the recommended guidelines published by the Colorado Department of Higher Education. Your actual housing and food expenses may differ.
- Transportation: This is an estimate of the cost of traveling to and from campus or other transportation needs related to your graduate program. Unless you buy a DU parking permit, you are not billed directly for transportation expenses.
- Personal Expenses: This is an estimate of other day-to-day costs, such as clothing, haircuts, entertainment, etc. Money spent on these items may vary from student to student.
- Loan Fees: There is an origination fee for the Federal Direct Unsubsidized loan, which is taken out of the loan before DU receives the funds. The cost listed for loan fees is the average fee for students who borrowed these loans last year—actual fees depend on the amount borrowed.
- Bar Exam Fee: This is the cost to take the Colorado Bar Examination and only applies to the COA for law students.
Enrollment Adjustments for Law Students
DU bases the cost of attendance for law students on the average enrollment (per semester) of students in the program:
- Full-time JD students: 12-15 credits
- Part-time JD students: 8-11 credits
- Full-time LLM and master's students: 10-12 credits
- Part-time LLM and master's students: 4-6 credits
We verify the enrollment of all students in the Sturm College of Law at the end of the 100% add/drop period each semester. If enrolled for fewer or more credits than listed above—or enrolled for both semester and quarter credits—you may need to have your cost of attendance and financial aid adjusted. If you are enrolled in fewer credits than anticipated, your financial aid refund may be too large, and DU will bill you for overpayment after the add/drop period ends. If you enrolled in more credits than anticipated, you'll receive a smaller refund to use for living expenses (if you plan on borrowing for those).
You can revise your cost of attendance by completing an enrollment adjustment form and indicating your intended enrollment in the "Standard Enrollment Adjustment" or "Dual-Degree Enrollment" sections.
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