Fairview High School > What Are the Costs?

Fairview High School

What Are the Costs?


The Numbers

The costs of attending college can vary widely, depending on whether the school is a community college, a state university, or a private college or university. Are you in-state or out of state? Will you graduate in 4 years? And it’s more than just tuition, room & board. In general, the total cost of attending college includes:
  • Tuition & fees
  • Books & supplies
  • Room & board (consider area's cost of living)
  • Transportation
  • Health insurance
  • Personal expenses
  • Number of years attending (read about Graduation Rates)
However, the “sticker price” of a particular school is only the beginning. Depending on the school, your family’s financial situation, your academics, your financial and/or merit aid, the cost may be reduced significantly.

Personal expenses include the cost of joining a sorority or fraternity. A 2018 article from Investopedia, "How much does it really cost to go Greek," has a good discussion.

Here is the calculation used by all U.S. colleges & universities:


COA - EFC = DN
Cost of Attendance minus Expected Family Contribution equals Demonstrated Need

  • Cost of Attendance (COA)
    All colleges are required to calculate their estimated cost of attendance & have the information readily available. You can generally find it on a school’s Financial Aid page, or on sites such as Naviance, Big Future, or College Data.

  • Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
    Expected Family Contribution is an amount officially determined by filling out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and possibly the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE (depending on the school’s requirements). However, there are calculators that will closely estimate your EFC, such as this one. See Fairview's FAFSA and CSS PROFILE page for more information.

  • Demonstrated Need (DN)
    Often times, Demonstrated Need will be met in a Financial Aid package from the college, which may include:
    • Scholarships and Grants
      need or merit-based awards from federal, state, school or other sources that do not need to be paid back
    • Work-Study
      paying jobs provided by school
    • Loans
      federally backed student loans
    Unfortunately, not all schools are able to meet 100% of a student's Demonstrated Need. This may be an important factor when choosing which schools to apply to. You can learn whether a certain school will meet a student's Demonstrated Need by looking at its profile on sites such as Big Future, or College Data.

Some Ideas for Making it Work

Click here for information on financial aid, scholarships, and programs that reduce the cost of college.