Cost of Attendance (COA), sometimes referred to as student budgets, is intended to provide students with estimated/reasonable program costs. Student budgets are intended to cover the cost of the student only. The guiding principal in defining the Cost of Attendance is reasonableness. The costs should reflect reasonable and realistic costs that a single student, in a given program, will incur to attend an institution for a given period of time—the academic year. Many students may not need a living allowance; nonetheless, most students will. If the living allowance is not necessary, the expectation is the student will remove this line from their personal overall cost estimate. The same goes for student health insurance, books, etc. For some, tuition/fees may be paid by an education trust account so financial aid is not needed for these costs.
You must determine what costs must be funded with financial aid by developing a solid budgeting plan to meet your costs.
The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA) defines the COA components for all Title IV programs as follows:
Tuition: Tuition rates are approved in late June by the University of Nebraska Board of Regents (BOR). In an effort to provide COA and financial aid awards at the earliest possible time, the UNMC Financial Aid Office projects a modest increase of tuition/fees each year and develops the tuition/fee cost of attendance components based upon this modest increase. Tuition rates are approved by the BOR in accordance with academic program structure. Our office will not adjust the estimated cost of tuition/fees unless our estimates exceed a plus/minus $500 value.
Fees: BOR approved costs that are program specific, as well as, assessments charged to all full time students. Fee assessments include: lab, course, technology, equipment, student health, student health insurance, disability insurance, campus specific fees, etc.
Books/Equipment: Using established program curriculum, the financial aid office makes every attempt to provide a reasonable allowance for required books and equipment for each program. These allowances are based on costs provided on the UNMC Bookstore web site. Students are not required to purchase books at the UNMC Bookstore. Students may obtain reduced pricing by purchasing on-line; renting; purchasing used books, etc. This cost is a standardized cost for all students in a specific program, during a specific year of study. The cost is not adjusted for each student individually to accommodate higher/lower costs.
Living Expenses: Each student is provided a standardized cost of living allowance of $2100/month. This living allowance covers the costs of a single student living in Omaha based on the NUMBEO cost of living city estimator. It is intended to cover normal living costs for rent, utilities, food, commuting to/from campus, car payments/insurance, phone/internet, etc. It is not designed to pay for extenuating circumstances the student may incur…medical expenses not covered by insurance, car repairs, child care, It may cost less to live in the cities of other UNMC campuses (Lincoln, Kearney, Scottsbluff, Norfolk). This standardized cost will not be adjusted for students who can live on less; or, do not need living expenses funded. If your personal costs exceed the $2100/month, you will need to determine what costs you can cut. If your personal expenses fall below $2100/month you can determine if you need to borrow student loan aid in excess of your costs or borrow just what you need to meet the monthly costs.
Academic Travel: At some point in time, most UNMC programs will require students to travel away from their home campus for clerkships and rotations. This additional travel is not expected to be met using the monthly living expense funds. This cost is standardized in accordance with each of the academic program expectations. If, this allowance is not sufficient, you must document your excess costs with receipts for the rotation costs. Keep detailed records if you are required to complete extended clerkships/rotations away from your home campus including hotel receipts, air fares, mileage to/from clerkship rotation. Food costs are provided in the living expense allowance, an additional allowance will not be provided for meals while on extended rotations.
Board Exams/Licensure Fees: Board Exam costs are included for programs that require board exams to progress through the program or to graduate. The cost is not included for exams that are required after graduation. Licensure Fees are included if the fee must be paid prior to graduation to ensure licensure upon graduation.
Loan Origination Fees: If you borrow DIRECT FEDERAL STUDENT loan aid, the Department of Education will take a percentage of the loan amount borrowed for loan origination fees. The loan fees listed in the cost of attendance are based on the student borrowing the entire cost of attendance in loan aid. This cost allowance will not be adjusted in the cost of attendance; however, if loan aid is reduced or not borrowed, the loan origination fees will be lower or will not exist. These fees are NOT charged to your student tuition/fee account. They are fees that are subtracted from your anticipated loan disbursement and reduce the total loan disbursed to you.Family Allowances: Due to federal regulations regarding the cost of attendance components, there are no allowances provided to single students supporting families, or families with non working spouses. Families are expected to take full advantage of the social services available to them…SNAP, Medicaid, and perhaps other resources available from agencies located in your city of campus location. A family allowance can be calculated for the student if the student chooses to borrow private student loan to subsidize the family needs. Contact the financial aid office for details on how to receive a family allowance calculation for private loan aid.