Financial Aid

Cost of Attendance

A Cost of Attendance budget is established for a student by combining the student’s direct costs (tuition & fees, room & board, when applicable) and estimated indirect costs (books, supplies, transportation and other personal expenses).


A standard, nationwide formula is used to calculate need and estimates what a family can contribute to the student’s education. The formula considers the following family characteristics to establish the student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

  • Student and/or Parent income,
  • Family size,
  • Assets (Parent/Student) and,
  • Number of family members in college, not including parents.


The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to collect this and other information from the student and family. Once established, the EFC is subtracted from the student’s Cost of Attendance in order to establish the student’s Financial Need and ultimately, their eligibility for need-based financial aid.

* *While eligibility for some financial aid is not based on financial need (e.g., merit scholarships), a student may never receive financial aid that exceeds the student’s financial need or cost of attendance.**


Western Connecticut State University establishes cost of attendance and awarding policies in accordance with federal regulations governing federal student aid programs.