The Cost of Attendance (COA) is a budget used by any financial aid office to estimate the average student’s cost to attend SCC. This is usually given as an annual amount. COA includes tuition and fees; living expenses (or a housing and food allowance); and allowances for books, supplies, transportation, and loan fees as well as estimates for miscellaneous and personal expenses you may incur as a result of seeking a degree.
- Tuition and fees — An amount normally assessed a student carrying the same academic workload, as determined by the institution.
- Books, course materials, supplies, and equipment — An allowance for books, course materials, and equipment, which must include all such costs required of all students in the same course of study, including a reasonable allowance for the rental or upfront purchase of a personal computer, as determined by the institution.
- Transportation — An allowance, as determined by the institution, which may include transportation between campus, residences, and place of work.
- Miscellaneous personal expenses — An allowance, as determined by the institution, for a student attending the institution on at least a half-time basis.
- Living expenses — An allowance for food and housing costs, as determined by the institution, to be incurred by the student attending the institution on at least a half-time basis.
COA is a limit to how much federal, state, or institutional financial aid a student may receive. If you are only receiving privately funded awards, you are not limited by COA unless specifically restricted by the awarding agency. COA is also used to determine your financial need based on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
The SCC Financial Aid Office has determined COA based on local, state and national information. Since COA is based on your enrollment, it is possible for it to fluctuate if you add or drop classes. For this reason, COA is locked based on your enrollment at the end of forth week of class also known as the Census Date. Any courses added after the Census Date will not be included in your COA.
NOTE: Your financial aid package may be affected if you drop courses prior to the Census Date.
The tuition and fee portion of your COA will be based on your level of enrollment. There are four levels of enrollment for financial aid: full-time, three-quarter time, half-time, and less-than-half-time. For students attending less than half-time, the COA includes tuition and fees as well as allowances for books, supplies, and transportation.
Only those classes that meet the following criteria will be included in the COA:
- Courses required for your degree program
- First repeat of a previously passed course
- Course added prior to the end of the fourth week of class day (Census Date) for the fall and spring semesters
- Course added prior to 10th day of the summer semester
Federal regulations mandate that each student has a Cost of Attendance that accounts for averaged, estimated expenses that any degree-seeking student at the institution may incur as a result of pursuing their education at that institution. These regulations also mandate that a student’s total financial aid package must be limited to the student’s COA. This means that, as you begin to accrue additional financial assistance, you may lose eligibility for existing or new awards to prevent an over-award on your file. This also means that your financial need could be reduced, which could also affect your financial aid.
Financial Need is calculated by the COA minus the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is a result of the FAFSA. Financial Need can also be affected by Other Financial Assistance (OFA) including scholarships, grants, or other need-based aid you are receiving. Your Unmet Need is calculated by Financial Need minus OFA.
Some financial aid awards are considered need-based, which means you must have Financial Need to qualify. Some of these awards include Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), federal work-study, and federal direct subsidized loans.