Cost of Attendance Samples

What exactly is the "cost of attendance?"


The cost of attendance (COA)—sometimes referred to as the "student budget"—is an estimate of what it costs a typical student to attend a college or university for one academic year. Don't be startled by the COA you see on your financial aid offer from Eastern Iowa Community Colleges (EICC). Your cost of attendance doesn't only include tuition; it also takes your basic living expenses into account.

2024 - 2025 Full Year, Fall & Spring

Source Full-time Part-time
Tuition $6,136 $3,304
Books, Course Materials, Supplies, and Equipment $2,000 $1,000
Food and Housing $2,898 $2,898
Transportation, personal expenses $8,946 $8,946
Total Costs $19,980 $16,148

Source Full-time Part-time
Tuition $6,136 $3,304
Books, Course Materials, Supplies, and Equipment $2,000 $1,000
Food and Housing $8,496 $8,496
Transportation, personal expenses $11,034 $11,034
Total Costs $27,666 $23,834

Source Full-time Part-time
Tuition $6,136 $3,304
Books, Course Materials, Supplies, and Equipment $2,000 $1,000
Food and Housing $7,326 $7,326
Transportation, personal expenses $8,946 $8,946
Total Costs $24,408 $20,576

Why is this listed on my financial aid offer?

Every student who applies for aid is assigned a cost of attendance. This COA serves two purposes:

  1. To give you an estimate of the cost to attend EICC 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 aid offer, and the total amount of your aid—including scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study—can't exceed your total cost of attendance.

What's included in my COA?


Your cost of attendance is made up of two different types of costs: direct and indirect.

  • Direct costs are items that will appear on your bills, such as tuition, fees, and housing (if you live on campus).
  • Indirect costs will not appear on your bill but are estimated costs associated with going to college and should be included in your budget. These include items like books, transportation, and personal expenses.

Let's look at each line item in more detail:

  • Tuition: These figures reflect the cost of tuition for a student during each of the fall and spring semesters.
    • Average tuition per credit hour - $236
  • Food and Housing: EICC calculates this figure by using the Iowa Common Good data averaged between our 3 counties (Clinton, Muscatine, and Scott) adjusted to include CPI to account for inflation.
    • Food:
      • Monthly allowance - $322
    • Housing:
      • Living on campus monthly allowance - $492
      • Living off campus monthly allowance - $622
  • Books, Course Materials, Supplies, and Equipment: This is an estimate of the cost of books, supplies, technology, and equipment for a typical student for the entire academic year. 
    • Part-time: Semester allowance - $500
    • Full-time: Semester allowance - $1000
  • Transportation: This is an estimate of the cost of traveling between school, work, and home or the cost of operating and maintaining a vehicle.
    • Monthly allowance - $658
  • Personal Expenses: This is an estimate of costs for clothing, insurance, entertainment, etc. for the year. Money actually spent on these types of items will vary from student to student.
    • Living on campus or with parent monthly allowance - $336
    • Living off campus monthly allowance - $568
  • Average Loan Fees: There is an origination fee for Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized student loans, which is taken out of the loan before funds are sent to EICC. EICC includes an average loan fee in your COA to account for this.
    • Average loan fee $64

Where do these figures come from?

Direct costs are determined by EICC. For indirect costs, we use market research and the recommended guidelines published by the Iowa Common Good data and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Most figures change every year.