2023/2024 Costs of Attendance (COA) for Graduate Programs
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. This 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. Direct costs will be billed to your MSU Denver account. Indirect costs are costs for educational-related expenses such as books and supplies, transportation, personal expenses, and off-campus housing and food. Indirect costs are not billed to your student account.
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.
Cost of Attendance for MSU Denver is determined by the U.S. Department of Education, the Colorado Department of Education (CDHE) guidelines the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships (OFAS). MSU Denver COA reflects the best estimate of expenses a student might expect to incur.
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.
The following costs are included in your COA:
Tuition and fees are determined by your graduate program of study annually. Costs may vary depending on enrollment status.
Books and Supplies are defined annually by the Colorado Department of Higher Education based on the high range of textbook costs published annually by the College Board.
- Off-campus housing costs are defined annually by the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) and based on 50% of the average rent and utility costs for a two-bedroom apartment in guidance with the Fair Market and Rent Documentation System.
- On-campus housing costs are based on the U.S. Department of Education’s federal guidance and determined annually by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships based on whichever is the greater- the average or the median amount assessed to students residing at Lynx Crossing in the prior academic year.
- With parent housing costs are defined annually by the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) based on splitting the cost of a three-bedroom apartment split three ways in guidance with the Fair Market Rent Documentation System.
- Off-campus food costs are determined by CDHE based on the average annual expenditure for food in guidance with the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditure Survey and adjusted for inflation costs
- On-campus food costs are based on the U.S. Department of Education’s federal guidance and determined annually by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships which include a standard allowance that provides the equivalent of three meals per day through the meal plans provided through Lynx Crossing.
- With parent food costs are defined by the Colorado Department of Higher Education for students who live with their parents and assumes that food is a shared cost across the household
Health insurance costs are based on MSU Denver’s annual health insurance cost. Costs may vary per semester due to MSU Denver’s billing policy.
Transportation costs are established annually by CDHE who define local transportation expenses as the cost of using public transportation or sharing the operation of an automobile for the purpose of transporting to school, to home and to work.
Personal miscellaneous costs include the costs of laundry, dry cleaning, toiletries, clothing, recreation, and recreational transportation.
Students may appeal for an increase to the standard cost of attendance if they have expenses that are greater than those of the typical student due to special circumstances.
The standard COA includes allowances for tuition, fees, books, supplies, transportation, medical insurance, and a reasonable living allowance.
Special circumstances that may be considered could include a variety of items such as:
- 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
Students with expenses not included in the standard estimated COA may appeal to increase their COA by using the financial aid forms.