When looking at the cost of college and budgeting your funds, there are two types of costs you need to consider: direct costs and indirect costs.
Direct costs are those that must be paid to WSU to attend (i.e. tuition and fees).
Indirect costs are things such as living expenses, transportation, miscellaneous expenses, etc.
It is important to differentiate between the two; indirect costs are simply estimates used by our office in the awarding process to ensure that you have enough aid, while direct costs are the actual amounts that will be charged to your myWSU account.
We include indirect costs in the budget so that aid can be awarded to assist you in paying living and miscellaneous expenses. The costs provided here are derived from past figures, institutional changes, and cost of living adjustments. They should be adequate for the average student; however, differences in lifestyle and individual tastes can dramatically affect these costs.
Keep in mind that financial aid awards cannot exceed the total cost of attendance (and in many cases will be less than that). If you have additional educational expenses or budget concerns that may change the amount of aid you’ve been offered, you may be eligible for a revision request or and special circumstances appeal.
If you have questions or concerns regarding your budgeted cost of attendance, please contact us.
These indirect costs are accounted for in the cost of attendance to ensure that students have the funds necessary to cover other aspects of their lives. It’s important to note that these allowances are calculated using averages. Your expenses may be higher or lower depending on your personal budget or spending habits. It is important for you to budget and plan accordingly.
Tuition is a direct cost that you must pay to WSU student accounts. The full-time tuition charge covers from 10 to 18 credits at the same cost. Course loads of fewer than 10 or more than 18 credit hours are charged on a per-credit basis.
A note for non-resident students: You should plan on paying non-resident tuition for each year you attend WSU. State policies do not allow individuals to become residents if they move to the state of Washington with the sole purpose of pursuing higher education. See the Registrar’s Office for more information on residency requirements.
Out-of-state students, who pay higher tuition than Washington residents, often need to carefully consider how they will finance their education. Most financial aid packages WSU offers to you as a non-resident, dependent student will include parent loans that require parents to be credit eligible. Families who are unable to assume these loans will need to pursue alternatives, such as finding someone to co-sign a loan with them or seeking other outside financial support.
Depending on which campus you decide to attend, you maybe responsible for paying mandatory fees. These are nonnegotiable and must be paid. This component, as well as the actual tuition, are the 2 aspects of the cost of attendance that are considered to be direct costs to you.
Room and board
This component of the cost of attendance estimates your costs of living for the academic year. It is comprised of average living costs, meal plans, and other factors. All students attending WSU receive the same allowance for room and board regardless of whether they live in a residence hall, Greek housing, or off-campus. It is important that you budget and plan accordingly. If you wish to live off-campus or in a Greek House you should consider the associated costs with that living choice along with this budgetary constraint. For Residence Hall students, Room and Board is considered to be a direct cost due to the University.
Books and supplies
Books and supplies estimates are calculated using the average expenses of most students. Depending on your major and program of study, these costs can vary. These are indirect costs, paid by you out of pocket. For degree programs requiring the use of extensive materials or books, a Revision Request can be completed to account for any these additional costs.