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Cost of Attendance

What is 'Cost of Attendance'?

The cost of attendance is an estimate of what it costs a typical student to attend USF for one year. It includes tuition, but also takes into account other living expenses like housing, meals, books, and travel so you get the full picture of what to expect.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • The cost of attendance consists of two types of costs:

    • Direct costs are those that will appear on your bills from USF — tuition, campus fees, and your housing and meal costs if you choose to live on campus.
    • Indirect costs are estimates of other costs you should budget for, like books, transportation, and personal expenses (as well as rent and food if you choose to live off campus). These expenses won’t appear on your USF bill, and will differ for each family, depending on the choices you make.
  • Tuition, fees and housing and meal plan costs are set by the university’s Board of Trustees. The board works to keep these charges as low as possible, but in recent years these costs have typically increased between 3% and 5% annually. We use the cost of a standard double room for on-campus housing and standard meal plan in our estimate. The averages for books, transportation and personal expenses come from an annual survey by the California Student Aid Commission.

  • The Office of Financial Aid uses the estimated cost of attendance to determine your eligibility for financial aid, like grants and loans. Federal regulations require that the total aid we give you not exceed your cost of attendance each year. When you apply for financial aid, your estimated cost of attendance should appear on any financial aid offer letter you receive from a university. That gives you a common starting point for comparing your aid offers from different colleges. Keep in mind that because the cost of attendance total is based in part on estimates of costs like books and travel, your actual expenses each year may be different than what’s listed on your offer letter.

  • No. The cost of attendance uses estimates for expenses like books and personal travel that will be different for every student. Your bill will only include direct costs like tuition, campus fees, and on-campus housing and meal plan charges. Those direct costs may differ from your estimated cost of attendance if you choose, for example, a more expensive meal plan or a single dorm room.

Office of Financial Aid

Lone Mountain Main 251
2800 Turk Street
San Francisco, CA 94118

Monday – Friday:
8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Fax (415) 422-6084