Step 1: Anticipate Costs

Cost of Attendance, Explained

The cost of attendance (COA) is an estimated average cost of expenses a student could incur for one year in college. You can find your COA on your financial aid page in myZou. Some financial aid eligibility is determined by your cost of attendance and FAFSA® expected family contribution (EFC) calculation, if available.

Your university bill and ongoing living expenses may be higher or lower than these estimates, so you should estimate your personal cost of attendance to estimate your out-of-pocket costs most accurately and decide how to pay for out-of-pocket costs, through self-funding or student loans.

What’s included in COA?

  1. Direct Costs: expenses shown on your student bill and paid directly to Mizzou, including:
    • Tuition and fees
    • On-campus housing and meals (also referred to as “room and board”)
  2. Indirect Costs: Expenses that are not paid directly to Mizzou, but are estimated expenses necessary to attend Mizzou, including:
    • Books and supplies
    • Transportation
    • Off-campus housing and meals
    • Miscellaneous and personal expenses


Copy the list below into a blank document (or write it out in a notebook) and estimate ways you can reduce and manage your personal cost of attendance.

  • Tuition & Fees
  • Housing
  • Food
  • Books & Supplies
  • Transportation
  • Personal Expenses