What is a cost of attendance?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 10,807
    Financial advisor Brad Barnett discusses what the cost of attendance is.

    Brad Barnett

    Brad received his Bachelor of Science degree from Southern Arkansas University, with a major in Psychology and a minor in Business.  He furthered his education by graduating from the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University with a Master of Science degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, specializing in Mental Health.  He has been involved in the financial aid and/or rehabilitation professions for the past 15 years. Brad, a Past President of the Virginia Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (VASFAA), currently serves as the Senior Associate Director of Financial Aid & Scholarships for James Madison University.  Immediately prior to JMU, he served as an Assistant Director of the Financial Aid Office at Virginia Commonwealth University.  Brad has presented numerous sessions at state, regional, and national conferences, and has served on a variety of association committees.  In addition to speaking at professional conferences, Brad has conducted an abundance of workshops and presentations in non-conference environments, including teaching a credit based financial literacy course at JMU entitled “Dollars and Sense.”  Many of the topics Brad’s speaks on include communication, leadership, values, financial aid policies and procedures, financial literacy, and saving for college.  He has also facilitated strategic planning and value development retreats.

    Host: What is Cost of Attendance?

    Brad Barnett: A Cost of Attendance is the starting point for a financial aid office. When we review you for financial aid eligibility, we have to first determine, what do we think, it s going to cost you to go to school. So, we look at factors like what do we think your Tuition And Fees or Room And Boards going to be and how much will you spend on books or miscellaneous expenses or maybe some transportation expenses, and that s the basis for awarding your financial aid and the formula is, first, what is it going to cost you, to go to the school? Most of the expenses in that cost of attendance are estimated and what we think you are going to spend, but Tuition And Fees, Room And Board, at times those are more fixed but some school do use averages when they develop their cost of attendance