Cost of Attendance

What is Cost of Attendance?

Cost of Attendance (COA) is an estimate of how much it will cost a student to live and attend school for a semester or a nine-month academic year. The estimate includes both direct and indirect costs of attending the university. Direct costs are expenses students pay to the university, such as tuition and fees and on-campus housing. Indirect costs are costs for educational-related expenses such as books and supplies, transportation, an allowance for medical/dental expenses and personal expenses, and off-campus housing and food.

The initial estimated COA for an academic year assumes you will be enrolled full-time for fall and spring. These estimated budgets are used to award financial aid and are published annually.

In addition to the estimated COA Calculator, CU Denver offers a Net Price Calculator, designed to offer individual undergraduate student/family estimates of the net price to attend CU Denver.

Estimated Costs/Budget

Cost of Attendance for CU Denver is determined by the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office (FASO), the U.S. Department of Education, and the the Colorado Department of Education (CDHE) guidelines. CU Denver COA reflects a modest but adequate estimate of expenses based on research conducted by FASO and CDHE.

Enrollment level, number of completed credits, major field of study and housing options can impact your individual costs.
Estimated costs are provided to assist you with planning your own college budget. Actual expenses will depend upon lifestyle and enrollment level.

Adjustments to the Cost of Attendance

Students may appeal for an increase to the standard cost of attendance if they have unusual expenses that are greater than those of the typical student.

The standard COA includes allowances for tuition, fees, books, supplies, transportation, medical insurance, and a reasonable living allowance. 

Unusual expenses could include a variety of items.

  • High medical/dental costs not covered by insurance
  • Costs of equipment or supplies required for a specific class
  • Disability related expenses not covered by other programs
  • Dependent childcare expenses incurred during periods of university attendance
  • Purchase of a computer or computer-related equipment or upgrades
  • Actual tuition and/or course fees that are higher than the average