The Florida Legislature
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Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

College Attendance Costs Vary and Result From Higher Tuition, Room, and Board, Report No. 03-33, June 2003
Full report in PDF format

  • While attending college, students must pay for educational expenses as well as living costs. Educational expenses account for 18-25% of the cost of attendance.  The cost of attending college, as calculated by each university and community college, is used to determine a student’s financial need and eligibility for financial aid. 
  • The cost of attendance varies among universities and community colleges.  Some of this variance is caused by institutional differences in the methods used to calculate living costs.  Different methods are used most often in calculating transportation and personal expenses.  Regional differences in living costs, particularly room and board, also contribute to the varying costs.
  • Since 1994-95, the cost of attendance for Florida students has increased 5% - 10% (after adjusting for inflation).  This increase is due to higher tuition and fees, as well as higher room and board costs. 
  • Florida’s cost of attendance is higher than the national average for state universities, yet Florida ranks below the national average in tuition and fees.  Florida ranks below the national average in tuition and fees at community colleges.

Which Government Program Summaries contain related information?

State University System
Florida College System
Florida Prepaid College Board
Student Financial Assistance
Board of Governors

What other OPPAGA-related materials are available?

  • Report No. 06-57 Progress Report: Legislature Increases FRAG Awards; Residency Determination Rules Improved, published in August 2006.
  • Report No. 04-54 Information Brief: The State Has Several Options Available When Considering the Funding of Higher Education, published in August 2004.
  • Report No. 04-44 Information Brief: Stronger Financial Incentives Could Encourage Students to Graduate With Fewer Excess Hours, published in June 2004.
  • Report No. 04-12 Information Brief: Florida Universities’ Tuition and Fees Slightly Below Peers, But All Costs Consume a Higher Percentage of Family Median Income, published in February 2004.
  • Report No. 03-70 Justification Review: Private Colleges and Universities Program—Department of Education, published in December 2003.
  • Report No. 03-47 Information Brief: Compilation of College Affordability Data for Students Who Applied for Federal Aid, published in August 2003.
  • Report No. 03-17 Program Review: Bright Futures Contributes to Improved College Preparation, Affordability, and Enrollment, published in February 2003.
  • Report No. 03-16 Justification Review: Office of Student Financial Assistance Generally Performs Well, But Performance Measurement and Default Prevention Should Be Improved, published in February 2003.

Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
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