Each academic year a standard budget is developed which is designed to adequately cover tuition and fees, books and modest living expenses for the period of enrollment (August to May in most cases). A student may receive aid (from any source) up to the amount of this budget, also known as the cost of attendance. A student's need is determined by subtracting calculated resources from the amount of the budget. The amount of calculated resources is derived from the information the student provides on the FAFSA application.
The cost of attendance figures for the 2013-2014 academic year are listed below. The estimated cost of books and supplies which is included in the budget, is currently $1,500 for the year.
Students may not receive aid beyond the amount of their cost of attendance. Students with extraordinary documented expenses may request that their budgets be increased to allow for such expenses. Medical or dental costs not covered by insurance and child care expenses are two examples of expenses which may be added to the cost of attendance. In addition, in some cases there may be an allowance for an increase in a student's budget to cover the cost of purchasing a computer. These increases are done on an individualized basis and appropriate documentation will be required before such an increase will be approved. However, individualized budget increases are subject to strict federal regulations and will only be approved for compelling reasons and with appropriate documentation.
Students must submit a written request to increase their budget. All requests must include an itemized list of the expenses along with supporting documentation of the expenses (receipts, bills, etc.). The expenses will be calculated for the period the student is enrolled in school, not for the calendar year. Approved budget increases allow for additional loan eligibility up to the amount of the increase.
Students are advised that credit card and car payments are not included in the cost of attendance and cannot be used to increase the student budget. Students with such expenses may experience difficulty in meeting other expenses and should plan accordingly.