May 20, 2024  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Estimated Expenses

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Cost of Attendance Information

The purpose of the Cost of Attendance (COA), sometimes referred to as the “student budget”, is to provide an estimated cost to attend SMU for a single academic year consisting of two terms (fall and spring) or nine calendar months (September to the following May). The COA is updated annually. The following information should be used as a guide when planning educational finances for the academic year.

The COA not only assists students with understanding some of the potential costs associated with attending college, but it is also used to determine a student’s MAXIMUM eligibility for most types of financial aid including federal, state, and institutional need based aid, scholarships, as well as loan eligibility. It’s important to understand that the Cost of Attendance, as it relates to your Financial Aid, is the estimated cost for the majority of students in a specific degree program and includes an allowance for housing, dining, transportation, books, supplies, and miscellaneous expenses as well. It is NOT the actual amount that will be owed to the University.

Direct Costs vs. In-Direct Costs:

  • Direct costs are those billed directly by the University such as tuition and fees, along with housing and dining for students who are living on campus.
  • In-Direct costs are educationally related expenses that are not billed by the University. For example, students who live off campus are expected to pay rent and utilities such as electric, water, and internet service. These are all expenses related to their education, but may not be billed directly by SMU. They are “in-direct costs”. These expenses may vary significantly depending on a student’s choice in housing, neighborhood, utility, service plans, etc.

Again, the information below is estimated. Amounts may vary depending on the individual student’s degree plan, number of hours enrolled, choice of housing, and specific program of study. It should only serve as a point of reference for students and their families to determine how much it may cost to attend SMU. It is NOT the amount you will be required to pay.

Estimated Expenses

2020-2021 Cost of Attendance Information for
Undergraduate Academic Programs

Tuition and Fees (See Tuition and Fees  for your specific program’s tuition rate) Living on Campus Living off Campus* Living with Parents
Est. Tuition - (enrollment of 12-18 hours for fall and spring terms) $51,958 $51,958 $51,958
Est. General Student Fees - (enrollment of 12-18 hours for fall and spring terms) $6,582 $6,582 $6,582
Total Estimated Tuition and Fees $58,540 $58,540 $58,540
Housing/Dining Costs      
On-Campus Allowance - Weighted average of a Double Occupancy Room + The Works dining plan $17,110    
Off-Campus Allowance   $8,700  
W/ Parents     $1,700
Total Allowance for Housing/Dining $17,110 $8,700 $1,700
Other In-Direct Costs      
Books/Supplies/Loan Fees $876 $876 $876
Transportation $1,000 $1,000 $1,000
Personal/Misc Expenses $1,600 $1,600 $1,600
Total Allowance for Other In-Direct Expenses $3,476 $3,476 $3,476
Total Estimated Undergraduate Cost of Attendance $79,126 $70,716 $63,716

*Expenses for those living off-campus are specific to the individual student and should be considered when evaluating your housing options. Expenses will vary significantly due to the choice of neighborhood, apartment rental rates, number of roommates, or living with parents.

2020-2021 Cost of Attendance Information for
Graduate Academic Programs

Graduate tuition rates and fees vary per program. The information provided below will guide you through determining the estimated costs of attendance for your specific program of study.

The following assumptions are made when calculating the cost of attendance for a graduate program.

  • Anticipated enrollment in the fall & spring terms
  • Enrollment of six or more credit hours each term during the standard academic year
  • Off-Campus housing

Direct Costs (Billed directly by SMU)

Tuition  See Tuition and Fees  for your specific program
Student Fees See Tuition and Fees  for your specific program

In-Direct Costs (Estimated expenses not billed by SMU)

Allowance for Off-Campus Housing, Dining, Books, Supplies, Loan Fees, Transportation, other Misc. expenses $30,670**

In-Direct Costs for online programs such as Data Science are $610.

**Allowances are estimated based on off-campus housing. Expenses for living off-campus are specific to the individual student and will vary significantly depending on the type of housing, choice in neighborhood, home leasing/rental rates and the number of occupants. Each of these should be considered when evaluating your housing options.

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