Student Expense Budgets / Cost of Attendance (COA)

​​​​The Student Expense Budget, or Cost of Attendance (COA) is determined by the Financial Aid Office and is based on the estimated costs a student will incur during the academic year.

These student budgets should not be used as to estimate the actual bill from the college.  The costs below include averages and estimations and also a majority of items not found on the bill owed to the school.  These budgets should be used to better judge how much it may cost a student to take classes AND pay for other items while in school—such as rent and getting back and forth to campus.   

Included in the budget are:

  • tuition
  • books, course materials, supplies, and equpment
  • housing and food
  • transportation
  • personal/miscellaneous expenses.

The budget the student will be placed in will vary depending on whether a student is dependent or independent on the FAFSA.  Dependent students are initially placed in an “living at home” budget; independent students are initially placed in an “off-campus” budget.  A third budget is set aside for students who live in DMACC owned housing (Boone and Carroll campus only).

The estimated costs reflect typical expense patterns for DMACC students. While actual expenses will depend on your lifestyle and level of enrollment, the estimated costs listed on this page should assist you in planning your own personal student budget.​



​(Independent or De​pendent)

The Net Price Calculator can also be used in planning a budget while attending school.

  • Tuition is based on 15 credits per semester (fall & spring) and 10 credits for summer semester. Full-time enrollment for fall and spring semester is 12-18 credits (8+ credits for summer). Actual tuition expenses will increase or decrease based on enrollment.
  • Housing and Food amount is based on data supplied from government data compiled annually from the Fair Market Rent Documentation System complied annual for the State of Iowa and data collected from the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. The room costs are based on the average cost of rental data in the local area or the estimated cost of living with parents or the costs of living on campus (Boone Campus Rates). Actual costs may vary by individual choices related to location and circumstances.
  • Books, course materials, supplies, and equpment is the average cost of books and various supplies necessar for classes for a typical student enrolled in Fall/Spring (15 credits each semester) or Summer semester (10 credits) from the previous year.
  • Transportation expenses for independent and dependent students are based on select data collected from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics most recent available data: 2023, Midwest Region. On campus transportation costs are configured on averages of distance of campus to permanent home address for housed students from previous award year.  The allowance is based on one round-rip per month.  Students of extremely or significant more distance can be considered for additional costs if not approximately covered by current rate.  However, the consideration is still averaged and not meant to fully reimburse students for all travel.  For example, any student needing to fly to DMACC will only be provided budget consideration for one round trip per term.
  • Personal and Miscellaneous expenses are based on select data collected from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics most recent available report: 2023, Midwest Region.​
  • First time licensure exam fee and federal student loan fees are expenses built into the electronic version of a student’s budget.  Because there are select costs for a specific portion of the student population these costs are only included when the student is taking a loan or enrolled, as a second-year student or higher, in an educational program that requires the licensure exam.  These expenses are added automatically.

Other costs can be included on a case-by-case and limited basis.  Unusual expenses such as purchase of a computer (for education); other more expensive supplies, tools and uniforms; significant out-of-pocket medical, dependent care or sibling educational costs can also be taken under consideration.  Contact the financial aid office directly if you or your family has any of the requests.   Note that some expenses may only be allowed one time, requests may be denied, and even if the request is granted aid eligibility or programs may not change.  Often, the expanded budgets only allow for additional student loan usage.