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Cost of Attendance and Student Need

When you apply for financial assistance, the Office of Financial Aid makes a determination of what you and your family can afford to contribute toward the cost of your education. The difference between the expenses associated with your legal education (Cost of Attendance) and your ability to contribute to those expenses is your "need." Your need represents the maximum amount of assistance for which you will be eligible.

Expenses deemed acceptable in building a Cost of Attendance budget are those directly related to the cost of attending the School of Law. The Office of Financial Aid is concerned only with financing your attendance; therefore, you will be held to a "modest-moderate" living standard. In general, a uniform Cost of Attendance budget is used to determine the cost of attending UDC-DCSL, with variations only for the amount of tuition charged District residents and non-residents, loan fees, the one-time only purchase cost of a computer, and the graduation fee charged to third year students.

Full Time First Year Student Cost of Attendance (COA)

Student COA expense budgets are based on the local living expense costs for the DC metropolitan area. The estimated nine-month 2015-16 full-time student budgets for resident and nonresident students appear below.

Tuition1 $ 10,886 $ 21,772
Student Fees2 630 630
Student Health Insurance3 1,189 1,189
Laptop Computer4 1,500 1,500
Transportation 2,500 3,000
Books/Supplies5 2,000 2,000
Rent 14,400 14,400
Utilities 1,800 1,800
Food 4,000 4,000
Miscellaneous 4,000 4,000
TOTAL $ 42,905 $ 54,291
+ Loan Fees6 *** ***

1. Part-time students pay tuition per credit-hour: $369 per credit for District residents and $738 per credit for non-residents.

2. An additional $325 Graduation Fee will be added for third year full time students and fourth year part time students.

3. Students may waive university-sponsored coverage with proof of a comparable plan.

4. Each student is required to have a laptop computer. In determining the student budget, a laptop computer is a one-time allowance.

5. Part time student books/supplies are prorated at $1,400.

6. Loan fees will vary depending on the amount borrowed.


The budget above covers the standard nine-month, Fall and Spring, academic year. Summer tuition is charged per credit-hour: $369 per credit for District residents and $738 per credit for non-residents, and all applicable allowances above are prorated based on a 2-month attendance period.

Modifications to the Standard Cost of Attendance Budget

In most cases, the budget the Office of Financial Aid uses to determine a particular student's need will be the standard resident or non-resident budget. However, there are cases when specific data items in the standard student budget may be adjusted upwards or downwards to reflect special circumstances.

For example, COA budgets for students living rent-free at home will not include rent and utilities, and individual expenses relating to a medical condition, disability, or child care costs may be included in the Cost of Attendance Budget when the student provides acceptable documentation of the expenses to the Office of Financial Aid.


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