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! With the new 18-19 COAAR process, you will be able to: 1. Complete a Cost of Attendance Adjustment Request Form on your phone, tablet, or computer. 2. Securely upload required documents from any device. 3. E-sign your request

Please follow the steps below to obtain access to the COAAR form:

  1. Email proof of completion of the preliminary processPlease 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. Therefore, email the financial aid office directly for next steps.
  2. Once your preliminary document is approved, you will receive an email with next steps and access the online Cost of Attendance Adjustment portal. 
  3. Once you submit the online COAAR form through the portal (along with it’s supporting documentsyou must notify the Financial Aid Office. Otherwise, they will not immediately be notified.
  4. Lastly, if you are looking to request review for direct bar exam fees only, you will need to also submit the Bar Fees Addendum Form through the online portal. The form is typically released on our Forms page sometime in March.




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