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How Graduate Cost of Attendance is Determined

The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships establishes estimated budgets, also termed Cost of Attendance, which are used to determine eligibility for financial aid awards. The Cost of Attendance also provides students and their families with a reasonable estimate of all costs, both direct and indirect. These budgets include allowances for tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation, personal and miscellaneous expenses as well as loan fees.

Tuition and Fees

The tuition and fee amounts used in the cost of attendance budgets are based on full-time enrollment.

Rent/Utilities and Food

Rent/utilities and food allowance is based on the average expense a student may incur. The cost associated with the student’s individual circumstances may vary from budget estimates.

Books and Supplies

The books and supplies allowance is based on an estimate provided by the UMBC Bookstore for full-time enrollment. However, the expense of these items may vary based on the courses selected by the student.


The transportation allowance is based on the average expense a student may incur. The cost is associated with the variety of transportation expenses a student may incur (e.g. gas, maintenance, public transportation, travel to home state during vacations and holidays). The cost associated with the student’s choice of travel may vary from budget estimates.

Miscellaneous Expenses

Miscellaneous expenses include allowances for clothing, toiletries and other living expenses. These expenses may vary based on the individual student’s lifestyle. The allowance is based on a reasonable estimate.

Loan Fees

Students who borrow through the Federal Stafford and Grad Plus programs may have to pay certain fees to the lender associated with the processing of the loans. The average fee for all loan borrowers is added to each student’s cost of attendance to accommodate this expense.