Understanding Your Cost of Attendance

Understanding Your Cost of Attendance

Aside from tuition and fees costs, there may be additional expenses that you may incur over the course of the academic year while attending Teachers College. Please see below for some information regarding Cost of Attendance at Teachers College, direct and indirect expenses, as well as financial planning for future years.

Your Cost of Attendance (COA) at Teachers College

The Financial Aid Cost of Attendance (COA) is a set of estimated expenses that are used by the Office of Financial Aid to determine what a student is projected to need during the academic year, which includes tuition and school fees, books and supplies, as well as personal and living expenses. Depending on each student's admission terms, enrollment plans, as well as individual circumstances, these costs will vary.

Direct vs. Indirect Expenses

Given Teachers College’s diverse student population, your individual needs may differ and therefore affect your costs of attending TC. These costs may be differentiated between direct and indirect expenses. Direct expenses are typically charges that are directly assessed on your student account record through the Office of the Bursar, such as tuition charges, school fees, as well as on-campus housing. Indirect expenses, on the other hand, are costs incurred as a result of enrolling at TC but not directly paid to the college. These may include books and supplies, personal/living expenses, or any applicable off-campus room and board costs. Note that indirect expenses listed on your COA does not mean that you will owe the college when you begin or continue your studies.

What does the COA budget at TC include?

The COA budget at TC includes tuition and fees, books &  supplies, transportation, personal expenses, and living expenses. Additionally, students may also opt-in for health insurance billed through TC. Below is a breakdown of items factored into your budget.

2023-2024 Cost of Attendance

2023-2024 Academic Year

Budget Items Estimated Annual Budgets*
Tuition: Varies based on enrollment (estimated at $1,970 per credit)
College Fee: $1,016
Books and Supplies**: Varies based on enrollment (estimated at $50 per credit)
Transportation: $1,143
Personal Expenses: $9,954
Living Expenses (Room & Board): $19,989
Columbia Health Fee:*** $410 for part-time students ($205 per semester)
$1,364 for full-time students ($682 per semester)
Columbia Health Plan/Insurance***:

$5,647 - ($2,145 for Fall 2023 and $3,502 for Spring 2024)

* Estimated annual budgets are calculated based on a student enrolling across the Fall and Spring semesters only over a nine-month period of enrollment. Budget figures will fluctuate for students planning to attend for the Summer term.

** Budget for Books and Supplies is determined based on a student's enrollment at $50/credit hour. This figure will fluctuate based on a student's actual or anticipated enrollment per academic term. (IE: A student enrolling for half-time across Fall and Spring will have $50*10 credits =$500 budgeted for Books and Supplies.  A student enrolling for full-time across Fall and Spring will have $50*18 credits =$900 budgeted for Books and Supplies.)

*** For more information regarding the Columbia Health Fee and what is included in the cost of service, please visit Columbia Health Fee Cost of Service. For more information about Columbia's Student Health Insurance, please visit Columbia Plan (Student Health Insurance).

Your Federal Financial Aid Offer and COA

Students who are applying for federal financial aid through the FAFSA may receive a total federal aid offer up to the allowable COA determined by TC. This may include federal loans, work-study, scholarships as well as grants. The total amount of funding including federal and other sources of aid (ex: scholarships, fellowships, stipends, etc) offered may not exceed the COA budget based on each student’s enrollment status. In addition, some aid programs (ex: work-study) may also take EFC, or your financial need into consideration in determining eligibility. All students, with the exception of some special cohort programs, which have alternative tuition structures, are provided with an initial federal aid offer based on half-time (5 billable credits) of enrollment.

With that in mind, students are encouraged to complete the repackaging process with the Office of Financial Aid to determine their student aid eligibility if they will be enrolled in more than or less than the anticipated half-time (5 billable credits) enrollment. For example, students who enroll in higher amounts of coursework (ex: full-time) will typically have higher tuition costs, and students who are progressing in their degree program during the dissertation advisement stage may have lower tuition costs than those who enroll based on half-time (5 billable credits) of enrollment.

Additional Information

Student financial aid award eligibility may change based on any internal or external aid (Institutional Scholarships, third-party scholarship payment, Employer Tuition Exemption, etc.) that are administered throughout the duration of the academic year.

Note: These guides are intended to help you budget for the academic year. Fall/Spring students are enrolled for a total of nine months, which is the number of months used to determine some of the numbers found in the budget(s). If you intend to enroll in only one term, or if you plan to enroll in the summer, contact our office to discuss your budget.

If you are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID, or are concerned about your ability to pay your account balance by the due date, the Office of the Bursar can assist you in enrolling in a deferred payment plan that offers the opportunity to pay in installments. Or, you can contact the office to discuss your student account. You also may reach out to your Financial Aid Liaison—a counselor assigned to students in your particular program—for further advice and assistance. If you are unsure to whom you should speak, you may email the general inbox of the Office of Financial Aid at financialaid@tc.edu.

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