Study costs and benefits

Cost bannerThe study costs and the benefits available will depend on your personal circumstances.

Study Costs:

Cost of Attendance (COA)

The total amount of money that a student requires for educational purposes is known as the Cost of Attendance (COA).

Federal law allows your COA to include:

  • tuition fees;
  • an allowance for books, supplies and transport;
  • an allowance to cover room and board (rent or hall charges);
  • an allowance for dependent care if necessary;
  • an allowance to assist with any disability;
  • coverage of any charges or premiums associated with a Federal Loan.

As part of the loan application process, you will have the opportunity to tell us about the costs that you will face as an individual.  When calculating your COA, a number of costs are decided by the University in accordance with average costs.

General Living Allowance

Within your COA an amount will be included as a 'general living allowance'. 

For 2017/18, these set figures include:

  • £53 per week for food and toiletries;
  • £25 per week for transport;
  • £30 per week for utilities (gas, electric, etc);
  • £60 per week for clothing and leisure;
  • £10 per week for cell phone;
  • £1000 per year for photocopying/books;
  • Computer/software allowance of £900 per year for first years and £300 per year for continuing students.
  • Loan origination fees

As part of your loan application, you will be able to provide individual costs for:

Interest rates for Federal Loans

Under the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013, interest rates are established each year for Federal Loans for which the first disbursement is on or after July 17 through to the following June 30. The interest rate for a loan, once established, applies for the life of the loan. Interest rates are published via the Federal Student Aid website.

Budgeting resources

The US Department of Education provides several budgeting resources to help you prepare for the costs you may face whilst at University:

Benefits:

Tax Benefits

The Internal Revenue System (IRS) provides tax benefits for education, reducing the amount of tax or interest you pay.The Internal Revenue System (IRS) provides tax benefits for education, reducing the amount of tax or interest you pay.

Student loan interest deduction

If you took out a student loan, you may be able to deduct up to $2,500 in interest paid yearly. To qualify, you should have used proceeds from the loan towards qualified higher education expenses, including tuition fees, room, board, supplies and other related expenses by you, your spouse or dependant.  To claim this deduction, taxpayers must file the Form 1040

The student loan interest deduction is taken as an adjustment to income. This means you can claim this deduction even if you do not itemize deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040).

Tuition and fees deduction

You may be able to deduct qualified higher education expenses paid during the year for yourself, your spouse or your dependent. 

The tuition and fees deduction can reduce the amount of your income subject to tax by up to $4,000. To claim this deduction, taxpayers must file the Form 8917.

This tuition and fees deduction is taken as an adjustment to income. This means you can claim this deduction even if you do not itemize deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040). 

Generally, you can claim the tuition and fees deduction if all three of the following requirements are met:

  • you pay qualified education expenses of higher education;
  • you pay the education expenses for an eligible student;
  • the eligible student is yourself, your spouse, or your dependent for whom you claim an exemption on your tax return.

You cannot claim the tuition and fees deduction if any of the following apply:

  • your filing status is 'married filing separately';
  • another person can claim an exemption for you as a dependent on his or her tax return, you cannot take the deduction even if the other person does not actually claim that exemption;
  • your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is more than $80,000 ($160,000 if filing a joint return);
  • you were a non-resident alien for any part of the year and did not elect to be treated as a resident alien for tax purposes; more information on non-resident aliens can be found in Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens;
  • you or anyone else claims an education credit for expenses of the student for whom the qualified education expenses were paid.

Student activity fees and expenses for course-related books, supplies and equipment are included in qualified education expenses only if the fees and expenses must be paid to the institution as a condition of enrolment or attendance.

Educational tax credit

Students may choose to claim educational tax credit (including American Opportunity Credit and Lifetime Learning Credit) instead of tuition and fee deductions.  As the University is not a US tax paying institution, we cannot supply a 1098-T form to students.  

For more information on Tax Benefits, visit the IRS website.

Veterans Affairs (VA) GI Bill Benefits

The University of Birmingham has been approved by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to administer GI Bill benefits to eligible students.

Our degree programs do not have automatic approval from the VA. We are required to seek approval for specific degree programs as and when eligible students enrol.

If you know you are eligible for GI Bill benefits and have been given an offer on a degree program at the University of Birmingham, please log an enquiry for Funding, Graduation & Awards including your:

  • full name;
  • student ID number;
  • Social Security Number (SSN);
  • intended program of study.

Please note that GI Bill benefits are only available to students on taught programmes with a physical presence at the University (therefore Distance Learning programs are not eligible).

Once your degree program has been approved by the VA, the University will submit an Enrolment Certificate on your behalf. 

Information on the benefits available to veterans and eligibility criteria can be found at US Department for Veterans Affairs.

In-school deferment

In-school deferment allows you to temporarily suspend payments on any previous loans (Stafford, PLUS or Consolidation) whilst you are studying. It will also ensure that you are not charged interest on your current Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan. 

For more information, please visit the in-school deferment page.