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Cost of Attendance for Graduate Students ILASFA Conference 2014 Emily Osborn, Director Northwestern University Chicago Campus Michelle Ortiz Wortel, Director.

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Presentation on theme: "Cost of Attendance for Graduate Students ILASFA Conference 2014 Emily Osborn, Director Northwestern University Chicago Campus Michelle Ortiz Wortel, Director."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Cost of Attendance for Graduate Students ILASFA Conference 2014 Emily Osborn, Director Northwestern University Chicago Campus Michelle Ortiz Wortel, Director University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Medicine

3 Agenda  Overview of Cost of Attendance  Professional Judgment and Common Issues

4 Cost of Attendance A student’s cost of attendance (COA) provides the foundation for reasonable educational expenses. COA, along with the EFC, is the means for awarding need-based financial aid and limits the total financial aid a student may receive.

5 COA Allowable Costs Allowable costs determined by school  Tuition and fees  Books and supplies  Transportation  Miscellaneous personal expenses  Room and board  Loan fees See HEA Part F, Sec 472; FSA Handbook Vol 3, Ch 2

6 COA Allowable Costs (continued) Add on an individual basis  Dependent care  One time cost for first professional license or certificate  Study-abroad expenses  Disability expenses  Employment expenses for co-op study

7 Tuition and Fees  Normally assessed for a student carrying the same academic workload  Includes costs of rental or purchase of equipment (including equipment for instruction by telecommunications), materials, or supplies required of all students in the same course of study

8 Books, Supplies, Transportation, Miscellaneous Personal Expenses  Includes a reasonable amount, determined and documented by the school, for the rental or purchase of a personal computer  May also include costs for operating and maintaining a car used to and from school (but not for the purchase of a vehicle)

9 Room and Board  For students without dependents, living at home with parents, the allowance is determined by school  For students living on campus, the allowance is the standard amount normally assessed most residents  For those living off-campus, not with parents, the allowance must be based on reasonable expenses for the student’s room and board

10 Loan Fees For students receiving loans, the loan fees required to receive them  Required for federal loans  e.g. origination fee  Optional for non-federal loans  Use exact loan fees charged or an average charged for same type of loan

11 Dependent Care  Covers care during periods that include, but are not limited to class time, study time, field work, internships, and commuting time for the student  Amount based on the number and age of dependents  Amount not to exceed reasonable cost in the community for the type of care provided

12 Professional License or Certificate  One-time direct costs for first professional license or certificate  Program must require license or certificate  Only allowed one time per student per eligible academic program

13 Professional License or Certificate (continued)  Costs must be incurred during (not after) a period of enrollment, even if the exam is after the end of the period  fees to take a licensing exam  costs of applying for and obtaining the license or certification  at school’s discretion, costs incurred in traveling to a residency interview for a medical student

14 Study Abroad  If approved for credit by the student’s home institution, reasonable costs associated with such study may be included  May include transportation to and from the study abroad location

15 Disability Expenses Allowance for expenses related to the student’s disability  Special services  Personal assistance  Transportation  Equipment  Supplies reasonably incurred and not provided by other agencies

16 Employment Expenses for Co-op Study Allowance for reasonable costs associated with such employment For example:  Travel to and from work  Uniforms

17 COA Restrictions & Exceptions Less than half-time enrollment  Only include tuition, fees, books, supplies, transportation, and limited amount for dependent care  Room & board for a limited duration  Do not include miscellaneous or personal expenses

18 COA Restrictions & Exceptions (continued) Correspondence study  Generally, COA is restricted to tuition, fees, books and supplies  If required residential training may include books, supplies, travel allowance, room and board

19 COA Restrictions & Exceptions (continued) Incarcerated Students  Limited to tuition, fees, books and supplies  Ineligible for FSA loans  If student is in a federal or state penal institution, they are ineligible for Pell

20 Professional Judgment Nothing in this part shall be interpreted as limiting the authority of the financial aid administrator, on the basis of adequate documentation, to make adjustments on a case- by-case basis to the cost of attendance… HEA Sec 484(c)

21 Professional Judgment (continued)  Authority to adjust COA on a case-by-case basis to allow for special circumstances  Adjustments must be documented in the file  Justify it  Student request  Receipts  Credit card statements

22 One-Time Licensure Increases

23 One Time Licensure Increases  At Northwestern we provide increases under the “One Time Licensure” allowance for students in the Law and Medical programs  Costs associated with registering for the Bar  Costs associated with traveling for residency interviews

24 Costs Associated with Registering for the Bar Exam  Each year we collect all of the costs associated with registering for the Bar Exam in Illinois to determine our standard allowance.  These costs include the on-time registration costs of: the IL Bar Exam, Character and Fitness Questionnaire, MPRE, exam laptop fee, loan fees  We do not automatically build in this allowance. 3L students are notified of this allowable increase and must request the increase by contacting the aid office  If student is not taking the IL Bar and the costs associated with another state’s Bar exceed the IL Bar, student must gather documentation of the other state’s expenses and submit those along with the request for the increase.

25 Residency Travel Request  We allow a one-time increase of up to $3,000 with no documentation, though students must complete a request form  If students incur costs greater than $3,000, they must document all of the costs associated with residency travel  In 2013 a total of 9 students requested increases  6 took the $3,000, 1 borrowed $1,000 and 2 appealed for additional funding  Both were in very selective tracks and so were told to pursue a second track as well  1 increase for $14,957  1 increase for $20,922

26 Residency Travel Request Form

27 What are some of your unique COA cases?

28 Questions?

29 Contact Info Emily Osborn, Director Northwestern University Chicago Campus – Michelle Ortiz Wortel, Director University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Medicine –


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