You and your family should understand the combination of factors that determine your official Catholic University aid package and costs. This allows you to know fully what will be expected of you financially, from freshman to senior year.

The Cost of Attendance (COA)

The Financial Aid office knows that college costs reach beyond tuition and living expenses.

Estimated Cost of Attendance (COA) at The Catholic University of America includes:

  • Tuition and fees based on enrollment status
  • Allowance for an average room and average board costs (student must be registered at least half-time)
  • Allowance for books and supplies for a student carrying the same academic workload
  • Allowance for transportation costs (student must be registered at least half-time)
  • Allowance for personal expenses (student must be registered at least half-time)
  • Average Federal Loan Fees (student must be registered at least half-time)

Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is a measure of your family's financial strength and indicates how much of your and your family's financial resources should be available to help pay for your education. The U.S. Department of Education uses a need analysis formula called Federal Methodology (FM), along with the information reported on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), to calculate your EFC.

In determining your EFC, the Federal Methodology system takes into account your family:

  • Income (taxable and untaxed)
  • Assets
  • Benefits
  • Size and number of family members who will be attending college

The Federal Methodology computes both a Parent Contribution (PC) and a Student Contribution (SC), adding the two together to arrive at the Expected Family Contribution. Your EFC will appear on the Student Aid Report (SAR) you receive after you file your FAFSA. Your EFC is calculated independently from the school you attend/apply to and generally should not change.

Your Expected Family Contribution is not the amount that your family will have to pay for college nor is it the amount of federal student aid that you will receive. Your Expected Family Contribution is not intended to represent a minimum or maximum dollar amount that the student and family are required to pay. It is a number for the school to use to determine your eligibility for federal student aid programs and to calculate the amount that your family will be expected to pay for college.

Need, Unmet Need and Unmet Cost

The Department of Education defines need as the difference between how much college costs and how much you can actually pay for it. The Financial Aid Office uses the following federal need-analysis formula to compute need for every student who applies for federal aid:

Cost of Attendance (COA)
- Expected Family Contribution (EFC)*
Financial Need

The Catholic University of America does not have sufficient funds to meet the calculated needs of all applicants. Your financial aid offer generally will not meet your entire calculated financial need because each federal aid program has annual and aggregate limits per student. The difference between the Financial Need and your financial aid offer is considered unmet need. This amount is added to the EFC to calculate what the student/family would be responsible for paying. Unmet Cost (of Attendance) is calculated by taking the Cost of Attendance (COA) and subtracting the financial aid. However, there are several options that families can consider to fill the unmet costs. Our financial aid staff would be glad to discuss them with you.

*Additional income and asset information from the CSS Profile may be used to determine financial need for institutional need-based assistance.

Use the Net Price Calculator to determine the estimated cost of attendance.