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. 


Instructions: 17-18 COAAR Instructions (steps 1-5*). Please do not send any supporting documents (receipts, rental agreements etc.) prior to receiving a COAAR form.

The above steps are also required to obtain the COAAR form for allowable Bar Exam costs, unless you have already submitted the documentation for another COAAR request. E-mail your documents to to obtain copy of this form.


A completed COAAR form with all required supporting documentation must be submitted by Monday, April 2, 2018 for the 2017-18 academic year.

Review timeframe:

1-2 weeks depending on length of request and documentation.


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