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Estimate Costs & Aid

Understanding Your Estimated Cost of Attendance

Here are some common questions about estimated cost of attendance and bills:

Click Here for Tools to Estimate Costs and/or Financial Aid


What Does Cost of Attendance Mean?

Estimated cost of attendance is the total amount it may cost a student to go to school. A student's cost of attendance is composed of all educational expenses that can be included for financial aid purposes that a student may accrue while pursuing their education for the semester and/or year. A student's financial aid cannot exceed their cost of attendance for financial aid.

  • This is not necessarily the actual amount you will pay the institution.
  • The estimated cost is made up of both direct and indirect costs.
  • Students are encouraged to develop their own budget based on the provided estimates.
  • Estimated cost of attendance is usually based on anticipated full-time enrollment (at least 12 credit hours for undergraduate level; at least 9 credit hours for graduate level). Should a student not enroll full-time, their cost of attendance and financial aid may be adjusted accordingly to reflect their cost and aid eligibility for their actual enrollment.

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What May Be Included in the Estimated Cost of Attendance?

The estimated cost of attendance includes direct costs (costs the student would need to pay WVU) and indirect costs (other costs a student may have while pursuing their education that are not charged by the institution).

If you are trying to determine how much your bill may be, focus on direct costs. If you are trying to determine how much your total educational expenses may be - including those you may have that are not billed by the University- use both direct and indirect costs.

Examples of Possible Direct Costs:

  • University tuition
  • University fees
  • College tuition (based on the student's program of study and level)
  • Room and meals (if living on-campus)
  • Student health insurance
  • Materials and instruments

Examples of Possible Indirect Costs:

  • Books and supplies
  • Personal expenses
  • Transportation costs (car payments cannot be included)
  • Room and meals (if living off-campus)

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What Can Impact Estimated Cost of Attendance?

Various elements can impact a student's estimated cost of attendance such as:

  • Program of study (Engineering, Biology, Accounting, etc.)
  • Degree the student is pursuing (associate, bachelor, etc.)
  • Hours enrolled
  • Level (undergraduate, graduate, professional)
  • Residency (charged tuition/fees as a resident of West Virginia or non-resident of the state) or if the student qualifies for a reduced tuition program
  • Living at home/with parents, on campus, or off campus
  • Campus (Morgantown, Beckley, Keyser, etc.)

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Where Can I Find My Estimated Cost of Attendance?

Students who have been offered financial aid can find their estimated cost of attendance through their WVU portal. Please remember this is not your bill. This is your estimated cost for financial aid purposes.

  1. Go to portal.wvu.edu
  2. Enter your login credentials (WVU master ID and password)
  3. Click on "Financial Aid Information"
  4. Click on "Award"
  5. Click on "Award by Aid Year"
  6. Select the appropriate aid year (Example: Fall 2019, Spring and/or Summer 2020 would be the 2019-2020 aid year)
  7. Click on the "Award Overview" tab
  8. Both direct and indirect costs are listed under the Cost of Attendance table

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Where Can I Find My Bill or Balance Due?

Charges usually are available online through the WVU Portal for students to review in early July for the fall semester and mid-November for the spring semester.

Students who have a balance due after payments and financial aid are also sent notifications to their MIX email with their eBill attached.

For more information on how to view charges online or pay a balance due, visit the Payments website.

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What Is the Difference Between Estimated Cost of Attendance and a Bill?

A bill is composed of institutional charges. This can include things like tuition, fees, room, meals, new student ID fees, library fees, materials, instruments, and student health insurance. The bill or balance due is what the student must pay.

A student's estimated cost of attendance is composed of all educational expenses that can be included for financial aid purposes. These are expenses a student may accrue while pursuing their education for the semester and/or year. Since a student's financial aid cannot exceed their cost of attendance, this gives an idea of the maximum amount of financial aid - including loans - that a student could potentially receive if eligible.

This is particularly important when a student wants to take out financial aid - including loans - to cover indirect costs. For example, a student may have grants, scholarships, and loans that cover their full cost of attendance. That financial aid will disburse to cover direct costs (that are billed), then whatever is remaining is refunded to the student to use for indirect costs - such as books or room and meals if living off-campus.

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Can I Use My Estimated Cost of Attendance to Estimate My Out-of-Pocket Expense?

Yes you can! Since bills are not available until July (fall) or November (spring), it is a good idea to use your estimated cost of attendance to determine what your estimated bill may be or what your estimated overall cost of attendance could be. This will help you determine how much will be due each semester if you want to sign up early for the monthly payment plan or plan ahead for the bill due date. It will also help you determine how much you may need to apply for should you choose to borrow loans.

  1. Review your estimated cost of attendance and develop your own budget for fall/spring. If trying to estimate your bill, only look at direct costs.
  2. Subtract any grants, scholarships, and waivers you accept.
  3. Subtract any external scholarships or sponsorships you receive from third-parties (outside of the University).
  4. The remaining balance will be your out-of-pocket expenses. You may consider accepting federal loans or exploring other funding options.

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Estimate Costs and/or Financial Aid

If you have not received a financial aid or scholarship offer, your estimated cost of attendance may not be available. Please use the resources available here to estimate your costs and/or financial aid.

If you are in a program under the Health Sciences Center or College of Law, download the spreadsheet available here for estimated costs.

There are multiple options to estimate direct costs only or your full cost of attendance.

Estimate direct cost only:

Estimate full cost of attendance (both direct and indirect costs):

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