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Section 5: Financial Aid:
Financial Aid Cost of Attendance (COA)

Financial Aid Cost of Attendance (COA)

The Financial Aid Cost of Attendance (COA) is an estimate of the educational costs for the academic year and is used for calculating a student’s Federal Student Aid (FSA) program fund eligibility (Pell Grant, FSEOG, Direct Loans, and TEACH Grant). Students may view their cost of attendance along with their financial offer on their myFinAid page.

Walden includes the following components in the COA:

  • Tuition
  • Technology Fee
  • Books, course materials, supplies, and equipment
  • Direct Loan Fee
  • Living Expenses – Housing
  • Living Expenses – Food
  • Transportation
  • Personal and Internet

Walden reviews the COA annually and adjusts the COA components based on institutional information and economic data.

The following allowable charges may be added to the COA within predefined caps if accompanied by requested documentation. Eligibility for additional loan funding to pay for these allowable charges depends on additional financial aid eligibility after the initial offer is determined. Students who seek an increase in the COA for any of the allowable charges below must start by discussing their financial aid options with a Walden financial aid counselor. 

  • Computer Purchase
  • Program-required residency and field experience fees, transportation, and lodging
  • Dependent Care Expenses associated with time in school
  • Disability Related Educational Expenses not covered by a third party
  • Doctoral research and editing

Generally, the FSA program funds available in an academic year exceed the costs for tuition and fees and Walden strongly encourages students to borrow only what they need for educationally related expenses.

Special Circumstances and Standard COA adjustments

Every university is required to establish a Title IV COA that is reasonable and consistently applied to serve as the basis and limit on the total aid a student may receive. The United States Department of Education requires students to be packaged financial aid based on a COA comprised of allowable costs for students carrying similar academic workloads. Components for living expenses are factored into the COA in a standardized manner to ensure parity between students. As Walden is an online university with students living throughout the United States, the housing and food components of the Walden COA are based on national data gathered by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. These components are neither regionalized nor individualized to ensure parity of treatment among our student body. We review the standard values of the COA and make necessary adjustments on an annual basis. 

A professional judgment decision to use your personalized living expenses begins with an evaluation of how your special circumstances have changed since enrolling at Walden University, and if those special circumstances are unexpected and unusual.  Special circumstance requests must be accompanied by such supporting documentation as copies of lease agreements, documentation of unemployment from a state agency, or other relevant third-party documents. The COA cannot be adjusted for such expenses as moving costs or legal bills. Walden does not use COA allowances from prior institutions. Students wishing to pursue special circumstance adjustments to their COA should contact Financial Services.  Financial Services is available 24/7 at 1-800-925-3368 Option 2 or via chat within your Walden Portal. If you are enrolled in a Tempo Learning program®, contact 855-639-5499 Option 2  or email