The cost of attendance of one year of college is the sum of all of your expenses during the year. You can estimate your cost of attendance before you attend school. You can look up the cost of attendance for most schools on their website. You can calculate your actual cost of attendance at the end of each year.
Tuition is just one of the costs. Sometimes schools list fees, like student activity fees, separately from tuition. The cost of attendance is every cost associated with attending college.
Whether you live on campus, off campus, or at home, your housing and food costs are normally called room and board. Transportation, textbooks and supplies, and personal expenses are also part of the cost of attendance.
Example Estimating the Cost of a Two-Year Education
You used the Waterfield State's website to estimate the costs for your first year at this 2-year college. At this school, Tuition & Fees and Books & Supplies costs typically increase by 4% each year. You do not expect your other expenses to increase. Estimate the cost of a two-year education at Waterfield State to the nearest dollar.