Cost of Attendance

NASFAA U Online Courses LogoStart Date: March 31, 2020
Duration: 4 weeks
Cost: $299 per registrant (members and non-members)

Registration for this course is now closed.


This course focuses on cost of attendance (COA) components and calculations. Topics include the items that must be included in a student's COA and those which can be applied through the use of Professional Judgment (PJ). The process of COA construction is also covered, including possible research methods to find the data to use for determining the allowances for each COA component. Finally, the elements of a school's COA policies and procedures are reviewed, including policies on required and optional COA recalculations. This course will provide useful information for new financial aid professionals and for those with more experience who want to review their school's COA methods and policies. The course provides the perfect collaborative learning tool for understanding statute and regulations as well as forming connections with colleagues across the country.

Upon passing the course, you will receive complimentary access to the credential test.

Course Outline

  • Lesson 1: Principles, Purpose and Components of COAs
  • Lesson 2: Methods for Constructing a COA
  • Lesson 3: COA Adjustments for a Student
  • Lesson 4: COA Policies and Procedures   

Course Structure

This course utilizes multiple teaching and learning methods to ensure participants develop a true understanding of the topic. Live instruction, reading assignments, discussion forums, interactive content, and assessments will reinforce key course concepts.

As a participant of this course you will be asked to:

  • Review educational video lessons
  • Complete learning assessments
  • Engage in online discussions
  • Collaborate with other financial administrators

Weekly due dates for assessments are included in the course syllabus, and all assessments must be submitted by the course end date. The live instruction classes last approximately one hour and are recorded for on-demand viewing by the course attendee. While attendance in the live sessions is optional, we do encourage you to attend due to the collaborative nature of the courses. Please see the Get-Together schedule below for this course (subject to change at the discretion of the course instructors).

Live Instruction Schedule





2:00 pm ET

Intro Session and Lesson 1 Instruction


4:00 pm ET

Application Session


2:00 pm ET

Lesson 1 Review and Lesson 2 Instruction


4:00 pm ET

Application Session


2:00 pm ET

Lesson 2 Review and Lesson 3 Instruction


4:00 pm ET

Application Session


2:00 pm ET

Lesson 3 Review and Lesson 4 Instruction


4:00 pm ET

Application Session


2:00 pm ET

Lesson 4 Review & Wrap-Up


Credential Test Access

Complimentary access to the credential test is provided after successfully completing and passing the course.

Course Instructors

Tonya HsiungTonya Hsiung joined NASFAA's Training and Regulatory Assistance team in 2019. Prior to joining NASFAA, she was the Senior Assistant Director of Financial Aid at Franklin & Marshall College. She started her financial aid career as a work-study student. She has worked professionally in financial aid for over 16 years. She has experience in several areas of financial aid including verification, federal grants, veterans affairs, direct loans, scholarships, work study, professional judgment, international students, and study abroad. She enjoys teaching financial aid and has previously served as an adjunct instructor for NASFAA U courses in addition to teaching multiple NASFAA Authorized Events. She received a bachelor's degree in Secondary Mathematics Education and Master's Degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a second bachelor's degree in Business Administration/Accounting from Millersville University. She is married to her husband, Danny, and they have a six-year old daughter, Alana.

David TolmanDavid Tolman has been in the financial aid field since 1992. Like many financial aid administrators, he thought his first financial aid job would just be a temporary thing. Prior to joining NASFAA, David had worked in many positions in the financial aid office, including Director. He also taught Principles of Microeconomics courses when his schedule allowed. As an Instructional Design and Content Specialist at NASFAA, David is able to combine his experience in financial aid and his love of teaching and training. His education includes a Master's degree from Arizona State University and a Bachelor's degree from Brigham Young University. David lives with his family in Boise, Idaho.

Marian DillMarian Malone Dill currently serves as Director of Financial Aid for Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee. Prior to her arrival at Lee in 1998, Marian was the Assistant Director of Financial Aid at Cleveland State Community College and a financial aid counselor at Tennessee Wesleyan College. Marian Dill currently serves as a NASFAA Representative at Large. She has served as President for SASFAA, the Southern Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. She has also served as Vice President, a New Aid Officers Workshop (NAOW) Trainer, Budget /Finance Chair and Membership Chair. She is also a member of TASFAA, the Tennessee Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, where she has held the positions of President, Treasurer, District Chair and Chair of the Financial Aid Awareness Committee. Dill has also enjoyed presenting at The College Board - PowerFAIDS National User Conference. She earned her M.Ed. in Community Counseling at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Marian is married to Michael Dill. They enjoy hiking and admiring the beauty of the Appalachian Mountains. She also enjoys traveling and spending time with family.

NASFAA U Course Policies

Attendance Requirements and Due Dates

While there is flexibility built into our online courses to accommodate busy work and life schedules, our courses have weekly due dates, and all assessments must be submitted by the course end date. These due dates will be available in the syllabus, which becomes available on the first day of the course.

We also strongly encourage participation in the live instruction sessions, but archives will be available for on-demand viewing.

Technical Requirements

Your online course will be fully browser-based. We strongly recommend using Google Chrome or Firefox as your internet browser for the live instruction meetings. Internet Explorer is not supported. The audio portion of online courses will be delivered directly through your computer's speakers or attached headphones. We recommend you test your computer's ability to stream audio prior to joining the first live session. We encourage you to have a microphone set up so you can participate in our live instruction sessions, although it is not required.


If you require any special accommodations for this course, please contact us at Accommodations must be requested at least two weeks prior to the start of the course.


By submitting your registration, you agree to the following cancellation schedule:

  • $25 cancellation fee before March 27, 2020
  • $50 cancellation fee March 27, 2020 - March 30, 2020

If you do not cancel by 6:00 a.m. ET, March 31, 2020, you will be responsible for the full amount of the registration fee. Medical emergencies will be rescheduled to another available course with a doctor's note.

Requests to cancel must be sent to

Additional Questions

For additional questions, please review the helpful guide of Online Course Frequently Asked Questions.

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