Develop a Budget

The Cost of Attendance or Budget covers educational costs only. Budget components are defined by regulation and are limited to those expenses related to your status as an enrolled student for the nine-month academic year. The allowances provide a moderate standard of living with the expectation that students can live within these limits. (Note: the cost of attendance is not designed or intended to address individual circumstances or lifestyle.) Reducing expenses will reduce your need to borrow.

Review Personal Resources

Before borrowing, consider resources already available such as savings, part-time employment (after the first year) and family support. Get creative in cutting expenses. Explore outside scholarships.

Borrow Wisely

Consider ways to reduce the amount you borrow. While you may borrow up to the cost of attendance you may not need to with careful budgeting. Ways to minimize expenses include sharing housing, renting books, and taking public transportation. Develop a budget and stick with it. The financial aid office can help.

Bring Cash

If borrowing for living expenses, be aware that loan funds are not available until the first week of classes. Have enough money available to pay for textbooks and living expenses for the first month of school. If relocating, save ahead to meet moving expenses. The cost of attendance cannot be increased to cover relocation costs.


  • Take public transportation
  • Grocery shop with a list
  • Save for emergencies
  • Use coupons
  • Check out free things to do in the city for entertainment
  • Bring coffee and lunch from home
  • Buy in bulk
  • Limit eating out
  • Pay bills on time to avoid late fees

Helpful Links:

Save on textbooks

Amazon Kindle Textbooks




Chegg.com Textbook Rental


Discount Textbooks

Coupons and Discounts


Living Social




100 Free (and almost Free) things to do in DC : http://washington.org/100-free-and-almost-free-things-do-dc

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Office Hours
- Mon-Fri 9am-5pm

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Financial Aid Office
American University Washington College of Law
Suite 505
202-274-4040 F: 202-274-4107