• Home
  • Cost of Attendance

The U.S. Department of Education directs the University to determine costs associated with attending KU to determine the amount of financial aid for which a student may be eligible. The cost of attendance for a student estimates a student’s educational expenses for a period of academic enrollment.

Applies to: 

KU students

Policy Statement: 

The U.S. Department of Education allows certain educational expenses to be used when determining a school’s Cost of Attendance (COA). The COA serves as a limiting factor on how much financial aid a student may receive. At KU, the following educational expenses are considered when determining the COA:

  • Tuition: A student's tuition component in their COA budget will depend on a variety of factors including degree level, academic program, hours of enrollment, and residency. The tuition component also includes technology fees.There are COA budgets for students who are attending full-time as well as for those attending at a less than full-time course load. Students participating in online-only programs will have tuition costs set based on the specific program.
  • Campus, Infrastructure and Course Fees: All student budgets include an allowance for the required campus fee and infrastructure fee. (Budgets for students in online programs do not include the infrastructure fee.) Course fees incurred by students are included on a per student basis upon request by the student. However, course fees for graduate and professional students in law, pharmacy, social work and MBA programs are already included in the standard budgets.
  • Loan Fees: The origination fees required to receive federal student loans are included as an educational cost in all student budgets.
  • Housing and Meals: These costs are determined for undergraduate, graduate, and law students. Undergraduates receive a budget for either on-campus or off-campus costs or a budget for living at home with parents. Undergraduate on-campus costs are based on a weighted average of KU housing and food plans offered while off-campus costs are based on survey data. Graduate and law costs are based on survey data. All housing budgets include an allowance for the cost of a cell phone.
  • Books: This component is determined using an average cost for books for an academic year based on data from a random sample of students at each level.
  • Transportation: This category covers the cost of operating and maintaining a car, the cost of trips home to permanent residence at breaks, and the cost of a parking permit. Costs are based on survey data and yearly information about the cost of parking permits.
  • Personal Expenses: These costs are averaged from survey data. Personal expenses include clothing, laundry, personal grooming, household purchases, medical co-pays and prescriptions.

A student’s cost of attendance can be adjusted in certain circumstances. Each of the standard components above can potentially be increased if the student has excess expenses. These adjustments would be handled on a case-by-case basis using professional judgment. A student’s cost of attendance can also be increased for costs related to childcare expenses, the purchase of a computer or software, or additional study abroad fees.


Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships
1502 Building
1502 Iowa Street
Lawrence, KS 66045

Approved by: 
Associate Director, Financial Aid & Scholarships
Approved on: 
Friday, February 1, 2008
Effective on: 
Friday, February 1, 2008
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
Cost of Attendance, COA, Budgets, Expenses
Change History: 
03/09/2023: Updated contact section.
12/12/2022: Reviewed and updated to clarify inclusion of technology fees in tuition component.
10/10/2021: Reviewed and updated.
12/09/2020: Reviewed policy, corrected typoes, and added Edwards Campus.
10/07/2019: Reviewed and updated tuition and fees sections.
11/16/2017: Reviewed and updated housing section.
12/20/2016: Reviewed and updated tuition section.
09/09/2015: Reviewed and updated.
08/04/2014: Reviewed and updated.
07/29/2013: Reviewed and updated.
08/07/2012: Reviewed and updated. 
08/19/2011: Reviewed and updated. 
10/2010: Reviewed and updated. 
06/2009 Reviewed and updated. 
Financial Categories: 
Student Financial Aid
Tuition & Fees
Student Life Categories: 
Financial Assistance

Can't Find What You're Looking For?
Policy Library Search
New Policies in the last 30 days
KU Today
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times