Budgets & Tax Info

Educational costs include not only the direct cost of tuition and fees, but also the indirect costs of out-of-pocket expenses such as housing, food, books, supplies, and personal expenses, including but not limited to clothing, medical expenses, personal items and transportation. Direct costs reflect the actual amount a student will be billed by the University. Indirect costs are what a typical student might expect for out-of-pocket expenses such as supplies, books, clothing, food, medical expenses, personal items, and transportation over a nine-month period.
These direct and indirect expenses are used in formulating a student’s budget and determining financial need. The Financial Aid Office will assign each student a budget depending on the information provided on the FAFSA. If the budgets shown below differ significantly from the expenses you expect to incur, please inform the Financial Aid Office.     

Naturally, individual habits and personal spending patterns will dramatically influence the scale of the indirect costs. Therefore, the budgets that follow are estimates only. 

Estimated Expenses for 2016-2017

These figures are intended for your use in estimating your costs for the upcoming academic year.


All Graduate Programs  
(Except Low Res MFA)  

(16-17) Summer MFA

Tuition (9-18 credits/sem)



Indirect Expenses    


Books & Supplies












Personal Expenses







Estimated Total




Students should note that there is a Graduate Thesis Continuation Fee of $892 (per half credit).


Students who reside in University-owned housing or who reside in housing that is owned by neither the University nor their parents or relatives. Students who live within commuting distance of the University will not be funded as residents, or as off-campus, but as commuters.

Most graduate students maintain their own homes and have correspondingly higher living expenses. Graduate students who live with parents or relatives will be assigned a commuter budget.

Part-Time Students

Budgets for part-time students are determined on an individual basis.
Tuition Tax Benefits

Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), more parents and students will qualify for a tax credit, the American Opportunity Tax Credit, to pay for college expenses.

The American Opportunity Tax Credit modifies the existing Hope Credit for tax years 2009 and 2010 under ARRA. The credit was extended to apply for tax years 2011 and 2012 by the Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2010. The new credit makes the Hope Credit available to a broader range of taxpayers, including many with higher incomes and those who owe no tax. It also adds required course materials to the list of qualifying expenses and allows the credit to be claimed for four post-secondary education years instead of two. Many of those eligible will qualify for the maximum annual credit of $2,500 per student.

The full credit is available to individuals whose modified adjusted gross income is $80,000 or less, or $160,000 or less for married couples filing a joint return. The credit is phased out for taxpayers with incomes above these levels. These income limits are higher than under the existing Hope and Lifetime Learning Credits.

If you have questions about the American Opportunity Tax Credit, these questions and answers might help.