Cost of Attendance Adjustments

The Cost of Attendance (COA) is also known as the student “budget,” and is determined by the main campus Berkeley Financial Aid  & Scholarships office. The estimated COA includes tuition, fees, and other living expenses and is used in calculating financial aid packages. Students can view the estimated COA under the “My Finances” tab in CalCentral. An overaward may exist when a student’s total financial aid awards exceed the cost of attendance. In some but not all cases, financial aid will be reduced to resolve the overaward.

A Cost of Attendance Adjustment Request (COAAR) is a process that allows students to ask for adjustments in the amount of financial aid they might be offered by increasing the individual estimated COA. For example, if a student is paying rent and utilities higher than the average posted on the standard COA, a COAAR may be appropriate. Increases to the Cost of Attendance, if approved, will typically only result in additional loan eligibility. 

Adjustment requests can be submitted for certain budget items. Please find a list of those items and the required documentation here: Cost of Attendance Allowance Chart 18-19 

Please note, if you are looking to request review for the rent and transportation items, you must be able to prove you have exceeded or will exceed the current budget for that item. See the Cost of Attendance for the current budget.


The process: Based on the information above, if you believe that you may be a candidate, please see the process below.

The Cost of Attendance Adjustment Request (COAAR) Form is now entirely online! In order to fill out the form, please email proof of completion of the preliminary process. Once approved, you will receive the information needed to access the online COAAR form. Once the online form is submitted, you must notify the Financial Aid Office. Otherwise, they will not know it has been submitted.  Please note, the preliminary process is not required if you are requesting an increase in your COA to make room for an approved and anticipated scholarship.


With the new 18-19 COAAR process, you will be able to:

  • Complete a Cost of Attendance Adjustment Request Form on your phone, tablet, or computer.
  • Securely upload required documents from any device.
  • E-sign your request



See Forms page.


Review time frame:

The review process can take up to 5-7 business days. If additional documentation is required or there is conflicting/unclear information that must be addressed, the review process may take longer. Please ensure your statements clearly explain the documentation you are submitting and that your screenshots are pasted on a word/pdf document.


Federal regulations prohibit the Financial Aid Office from providing Title IV funds to students for covering the following expenses: 

  • automobile payments, repairs and insurance
  • bar review courses
  • consumer debt (e.g., credit card payments, etc.)
  • interview costs