Cost of Attendance

Transfer Cost of Attendance

Did you know that USF offers one of the lowest tuition rates in the country? It’s true! We have been nationally recognized for our affordability and value by many outside organizations, including Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and U.S. News & World Report.

Tuition and fees are based on a number of factors, including undergraduate or graduate status, residency and the type of housing chosen. However, even if you live out of state, our costs often competitive with the in-state rates at your local university.

Tuition Rates

Average Cost of Attendance

Your award letter will list the average cost of attendance (COA) to attend USF for one academic year. Your actual expenses may vary, but this is an estimate. To arrive at your estimated cost of attendance, University Scholarships & Financial Aid Services (USFAS) calculates your expected fees for tuition, housing and meal plans, and includes the cost of living expenses for our local area. All figures change slightly every year.

The COA serves two purposes:

  1. to give you an estimate of the cost to attend USF for one year, and
  2. to set a limit on the amount of financial aid you can receive during the academic year (which federal regulations require us to do). The total amount of your aid—including scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study—can’t exceed your total cost of attendance.

What does cost of attendance include?

Your cost of attendance includes more than tuition: It also takes into account your basic living expenses, which is why it’s sometimes referred to as a “student budget.” The COA is made up of two different types of costs: direct and indirect.

  • Direct costs are items that will appear on your OASIS account, such as tuition, fees and your housing and meal plan (also called room and board). You will have estimated costs whether you live on-campus, off-campus in an apartment or with your parents.
  • Indirect costs will not appear on your bill, but are estimated costs associated with going to college and should be included in your budget. These include items like books, transportation and personal expenses.


  • Tuition and Fees:  These figures reflect the cost of tuition and fees for a student taking 15 credits during each of the Fall and Spring terms in the 2016-2017 academic year (which is considered full time). There is another, separate budget for the summer.
  • Room & Board:  Otherwise known as “housing and meals,” USF calculates this figure by using the weighted average of all rooms available for all USF campuses (Tampa, St. Pete and Sarasota-Manatee) and the average meal plan costs available on all USF campuses.  
  • Books:  This is the average cost of books and supplies for a typical student for the entire academic year. Your individual costs for books or supplies will vary depending on whether you purchase or rent, and if you are getting new or used books. Once registered, you can use your course registration numbers (CRN’s) to log into your OASIS account to see the variety of purchasing options and the costs for each.
  • Transportation:  This is an estimate of the cost of traveling to and from campus, and the cost of operating and maintaining a vehicle. (Keep in mind that parking permits are a separate cost and are paid for independently). In other words, your parking permit is not charged to your student account.
  • Personal Expenses:  This is an estimate of costs for clothing, laundry, haircuts, entertainment, etc. for the year. What you actually spend on these types of items will likely be different. These items will not appear on your OASIS account.


Direct costs are determined by the University Scholarships & Financial Aid Services (USFAS) in Tampa. For indirect costs, we use the recommended guidelines of the cost of living expenses for our local area. All figures change slightly every year.


When comparing financial aid packages from other schools, it’s important to focus on your unmet cost (or “bottom line”)—not just the sticker price or the amount of financial aid you were awarded.

Cost of attendance is one of the most complicated aspects of the financial aid process, so please contact us if you have additional questions.


Discover how USF keeps costs low while still offering a world-class education. This includes affordable tuition rates even for out-of-state students.