Technical Notes

The Cost of Education Calculator is a tool designed to demonstrate the impact of elements on the cost of a college education at CU.  The calculations are based on actual data from Academic Years 2013-14 to 2018-19 to apply tuition & fees, average financial aid packages (grants and scholarships), average Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

Cost Assumptions

Cost of Attendance is assumes base tuition rates for 30 credit hours combined with base room and board rates for on-campus students for four-year costs, plus transportation and personal expenses from the CDHE Student Budget guidelines. For off-campus costs, a percentage of the on-campus rate is applies using the off-campus budget from the CDHE student budget parameters for housing, food, transportation and personal expenses compared to the on-campus rate.

All Calculations assume fall/spring enrollments for tuition, fees, and student budgets for 9-months.

Tuition

Approved tuition tables are used to calculate cost in increments of 20, 24, 30 (published) and 40 credit hours. For Colorado Springs and Denver, the adjustments for tuition are linear. Boulder’s tuition window starts at nine credit hours and then increases above 18 credits in a term. The only adjustment to Boulder cost was for the 40 credit hour.

Mandatory fees

Applies approved mandatory fee rates. All mandatory fees assume two terms. The only adjustments to fees are to fees charged on a per credit hour basis up to the 40 credit hour rate unless otherwise noted (Denver’s wellness fee stops at 30 credit hours per year). There was no adjustment to Boulder fees, assumes all charged on a per term basis.

Financial Aid Packages

The financial aid packages are averages that have been presented historically in the financial aid presentation. The average includes a blend of traditional and non-traditional students. Assumptions for working adults apply a percentage of the current average based on independent student packaging as a proxy.

Filters

Student Type:

  • Traditional   Default value - Includes average Cost of Attendance for Income Range

  • Working Adult   Includes average Cost of Attendance for Income Range, less Housing, Food, Personal Expenses; Excludes Average Aid Package for income > $100k;

Credit Load per Year

  • 20 Credits per Year (6 yrs)  Default value - Sums six years of costs

  • 24 Credits per Year (5 yrs)  Sums five years of costs

  • 30 Credits per Year (4 yrs)  Sums four years of costs

  • 40 Credits per Year (3 yrs)  Sums three years of costs

Transfer Credits

  • No Transfer Credits  Default value - No adjustment to approximate total cost

  • 15 Credits (1 Term)  Reduces approximate total cost by one-half of final year

  • 30 Credits (1 Year)  Reduces approximate total cost by subtracting final year costs

  • 45 Credits (1.5 Years)  Reduces approximate total cost by subtracting final 1.5 years of costs

  • 60 Credits (AA/AS)  Reduces approximate total cost by subtracting final two years of costs

Housing

  • On Campus  Default value - Includes 100% of average Housing+Food in year 1, uses Off Campus rate for remaining years

  • Off Campus  Includes adjusted Housing+Food (BLD 73%, UCCS 102%, DEN 92%)

  • Exclude All Years  Excludes Housing + Food from average COA

  • Exclude 1 Year Excludes last year of Housing + Food from average COA

  • Exclude 2 Years  Excludes last 2 years of Housing + Food from average COA

  • Exclude 3 Years  Excludes last 3 years of Housing + Food from average COA

Books (Savings could derive from book rentals, digital text, Open Education Resources (OER), etc)

  • 100%  Default value – Includes 100% of books expense for fiscal year

  • 75%  Includes 75% of books expense for fiscal year

  • 50%  Includes 50% of books expense for fiscal year

  • 25%  Includes 25% of books expense for fiscal year

  • 0%  Includes no books expense for fiscal year

Personal Expenses (Transportation and Miscellaneous Expenses)

  • 100%  Default value – Includes 100% of personal expenses for fiscal year

  • 75%  Includes 75% of personal expenses for fiscal year

  • 50%  Includes 50% of personal expenses for fiscal year

  • 25%  Includes 25% of personal expenses for fiscal year

  • 0%  Includes no personal expenses for fiscal year

% Aid Package (Grants & Scholarships; Does not include loans; Average aid package based on SURDS Financial Aid data by fiscal year, including Federal, State, Institutional and Other Scholarships, need-based and merit-based aid)

  • 0%  Default value – Includes zero aid package

  • 25%  Includes only 25% of average aid package based on income range

  • 50%  Includes only 50% of average aid package based on income range

  • 75%  Includes only 75% of average aid package based on income range

  • 100%  Includes only 100% of average aid package based on income range

  • 125%  Includes only 125% of average aid package based on income range

Total College Savings (i.e. 529 College Savings Accounts)

  • $0  Default value, $5k, $10k, $15k, $20k, $25k, $50k, $75k, $100k

Tuition & Fee Adjustment (Adjusts Tuition & Mandatory Fees)

  • -2%  Reduces annual tuition & mandatory fee rate by 2% each year

  • -1%  Reduces annual tuition & mandatory fee rate by 1% each year

  • Current Rate  Default value – Includes published tuition & mandatory fee rate for resident undergraduate

  • +1%  Increases annual tuition & mandatory fee rate by 1% each year

  • +2%  Increases annual tuition & mandatory fee rate by 2% each year

Part-Time Employment (Assumes that all earnings are applied to the Cost of Attendance)

  • No Employment  No Adjustment

  • $10/hr 10 hrs/week 50 wks/year  Assumes part-time job at $10 per hour, 10 hours per week, 50 weeks per year = $5,000

  • $15/hr 10 hrs/week 50 wks/year  Assumes part-time job at $15 per hour, 10 hours per week, 50 weeks per year = $7,500

Annual/Monthly Payment Calculation