Cost of Attendance

Cost of Attendance Information

The purpose of the Cost of Attendance (COA), sometimes referred to as the “student budget” is to provide students and families an estimate of 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 information below should be used as a guide to families when planning 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 by the Office of Financial Aid to determine a student’s MAXIMUM eligibility for most types of financial aid including federal, state, and institutional need based aid, scholarships, and loan eligibility as well.   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 a student will pay to attend SMU.

Direct Costs vs. In-Direct Costs:

  • Direct costs are those billed directly by the University such as tuition, fees, along with housing and dining for students who are living on campus.
  • In-Direct costs are the expenses that are educationally related, but 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 students’ 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.   

Undergraduate Programs 2017-2018

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.

Graduate and Professional Programs

Amounts below are based on the following assumptions:

  • Anticipated enrollment in the Fall & Spring terms.
  • 6 or more credit hours each term during the standard academic year
  • Off-Campus housing
 Direct Costs (Typically billed by SMU):
  Tuition rates and fees for Graduate programs vary depending on your academic program.
To determine exact direct costs, please see the University Bursars Direct Costs of Attendance page.
  (See Bursar's Direct Cost page)*
  Student Fees
  (See Bursar's Direct Cost page)*
 In-Direct Costs (Estimated expenses not billed by SMU)
  Allowance for Off-Campus Housing & Dining,
Books, Supplies, Loan Fees, Transportation,
& Miscellaneous expenses

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.