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Cost of Attendance

What is the cost of attendance?

Every student who applies for financial aid is assigned a cost of attendance (COA). This COA—sometimes referred to as a "student budget"—serves two purposes:

  1. to give you an estimate of the cost to attend DU for one year, and
  2. to set a limit on the amount of financial aid you can receive during the academic year (which federal regulations require us to do).

This means your actual expenses may be different from what's listed on your financial aid offer, and the total amount of your aid—including scholarships, grants, loans and work-study—can't exceed your total cost of attendance.
 

Direct Costs vs. Indirect Costs

Components in the cost of a college education are divided into two categories: the direct costs that are billed by the University, and the indirect costs of living in/near Denver. When we calculate eligibility for financial aid, we account for both types of costs.

Direct Costs (Billed by DU):
Indirect Costs (Paid by the Student):
  • Off-campus housing and food
  • Books and supplies
  • Transportation
  • Personal expenses
student studying

Cost of Attendance Examples

2020-2021 Academic Year

These figures are based on estimated expenses for a student enrolled in the fall, winter and spring quarters of the 2020-2021 academic year.

  • Full-Time Student Living On Campus
    Direct Costs: Tuition $52,596
      Fees $1,179
      Housing & Meals $14,178
      Subtotal $67,953
    Indirect Costs: Books $1,000
      Transportation* $1,536
      Personal Expenses $1,440
      Loan Fees** $80
      Cost of Attendance $72,009

    *DU will add an additional transportation allowance of $653 for students who are not Colorado residents.

    **A 1.059% origination fee is taken out at disbursement of Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans. The $80 listed above is the average fee for undergraduate students who borrow these loans. Actual fees will depend on the amount borrowed.

  • Full-Time Student Living Off Campus
    Direct Costs: Tuition $52,596
      Fees $1,179
      Subtotal $53,775
    Indirect Costs: Housing & Meals $12,663
      Books $1,000
      Transportation* $1,536
      Personal Expenses $1,440
      Loan Fees** $80
      Cost of Attendance $70,494

    *DU will add an additional transportation allowance of $653 for students who are not Colorado residents.

    **A 1.059% origination fee is taken out at disbursement of Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans. The $80 listed above is the average fee for undergraduate students who borrow these loans. Actual fees will depend on the amount borrowed.

  • Full-Time Student Living at Home
    Direct Costs: Tuition $52,596
      Fees $1,179
      Subtotal $53,775
    Indirect Costs: Housing & Meals $4,626
      Books $1,000
      Transportation $1,536
      Personal Expenses $1,287
      Loan Fees* $80
      Cost of Attendance $62,304

    *A 1.059% origination fee is taken out at disbursement of Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans. The $80 listed above is the average fee for undergraduate students who borrow these loans. Actual fees will depend on the amount borrowed.

  • Working Professional in the Bachelor's Completion Program
    Direct Costs: Tuition (2 classes per quarter) $16,440
      Fees $96
      Subtotal $16,536
    Indirect Costs: Books $500
      Housing & Meals $12,663
      Transportation $1,665
      Personal Expenses $1,440
      Health Insurance* $3,150
      Loan Fees** $80
      Cost of Attendance $36,034

    *Health Insurance is a direct cost if you don't waive the insurance offered through DU.

    **A 1.059% origination fee is taken out at disbursement of Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans. The $80 listed above is the average fee for undergraduate students who borrow these loans. Actual fees will depend on the amount borrowed.

students in snow

Cost of Attendance Examples

2019-2020 Academic Year

These figures are based on estimated expenses for a student enrolled in the fall, winter and spring quarters of the 2019-2020 academic year.

  • Full-Time Student Living On or Off Campus
    Direct Costs: Tuition (full-time) $51,336
      Fees $1,179
      Housing & Meals $13,437
      Subtotal $65,952
    Indirect Costs: Books $1,200
      Transportation $1,536
      Personal Expenses $1,404
      Loan Fees* $70
      Cost of Attendance $70,162

    *A 1.059% origination fee is taken out at disbursement of Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans. The $70 listed above is the average fee for undergraduate students who borrow these loans. Actual fees will depend on the amount borrowed.

  • Full-Time Student Living at Home
    Direct Costs: Tuition (full-time) $51,336
      Fees $1,179
      Subtotal $52,515
    Indirect Costs: Housing & Meals $4,617
      Books $1,200
      Transportation $1,536
      Personal Expenses $1,251
      Loan Fees* $70
      Cost of Attendance $61,189

    *A 1.066% origination fee is taken out at disbursement of Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans. The $70 listed above is the average fee for undergraduate students who borrow these loans. Actual fees will depend on the amount borrowed.

  • Working Professional in the Bachelor's Completion Program
    Direct Costs: Tuition (8 credits per quarter) $16,032
      Fees $96
      Subtotal $16,128
    Indirect Costs: Books $600
      Housing & Meals $13,437
      Transportation $1,665
      Personal Expenses $1,404
      Health Insurance* $3,150
      Loan Fees** $69
      Cost of Attendance $36,453

    *Health Insurance is a direct cost unless you waive the insurance offered through DU.

    **A 1.066% origination fee is taken out at disbursement of Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans. The $69 listed above is the average fee for undergraduate students who borrow these loans. Actual fees will depend on the amount borrowed.

aerial view of campus

84% of undergraduate students received financial aid last year

Affordability

Additional Cost of Attendance Notes

  • If you apply for aid, your financial aid award letter will itemize the costs that make up your individual student budget (which vary annually).
  • Federal regulations require us to set a limit on the amount of aid you can receive. This means your total aid—including scholarships, grants, loans, work-study and other resources (such as AmeriCorps and employer-paid tuition benefits)—cannot exceed your cost of attendance.
  • The budgets above do not include costs for the summer quarter. 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.
  • To be fair and to stay in compliance with federal regulations, we 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.
  • Direct costs are determined by the University of Denver. For indirect costs, we use our own research and the recommended guidelines published by the Colorado Department of Higher Education. Most figures change slightly every year.
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Estimate Your Cost

Want a personalized estimate of your out-of-pocket costs as a first-year student at DU? Determine what you might pay with our Quick Cost Estimator.

Quick Cost Estimator
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Meet the Team

The staff in our Office of Financial Aid is dedicated to ensuring you have the resources you need to effectively finance your education. Get to know our dedicated financial aid staff or make an appointment to meet with an advisor.

Learn More
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Financial Aid 101

Financing your education can be intimidating and confusing. That's why we've developed "Financial Aid 101"—an email series designed to help prospective students fully understand the financial aid process at DU.

Financial Aid 101

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