Direct and Indirect Costs: Overview

The Budget on the financial aid decision letter is comprised of the items that represent the cost of attendance used to determine aid eligibility. It includes direct costs (things that will be charged on the bill) and indirect costs (estimated out of pocket expenses that will not be charged to your bill).

Direct Costs

The standard Direct Costs include tuition and fees, housing and food. Health insurance is charged on every student’s fall bill but is not included as part of standard budget during the awarding process because it can be waived if a student already has coverage.

Even though a returning student may live off campus starting in their junior year or choose a different meal plan option starting in their sophomore year, housing and food are listed as standard costs on the award notification, and do not reflect actual charges.

Indirect Costs

The standard estimated Indirect Costs are out-of-pocket costs that are considered necessary and include books and personal expenses. Travel may be included in the budget based on how far from Tufts your home is. For example, there is no estimated travel expense included in the cost of attendance for students from Massachusetts, but a student from another state such as California, or another country, will have an estimated travel cost as part of their cost of attendance.

2024-2025 Cost of Attendance

These figures represent the expenses used to determine the Cost of Attendance for each student. The Family Contribution and calculated financial need for individual students are not included here. Please note that the Cost of Attendance is not a bill, and does not reflect actual charges on your student account. Students are billed for each semester through eBill. Each year you can log in to SIS to view your fall eBill in early July, and your spring eBill in early November.

Undergraduate Student Costs

On Campus:

First Year


Entering Transfer

Resident Assistant

On Campus:



Off CampusCommuter
Health and Wellness Fee1$1,162$1,162$1,162$1,162
Activity Fee1$396$396$396$396
  1. Health and Wellness Fee and Activity Fee are mandatory fees.
  2. Housing does not reflect the actual charge for an on campus room selection, or the actual cost of off campus rent. Federal Student Aid regulations require the use of the average cost of housing for each housing category.
  3. Food does not reflect the actual charge for a meal plan selection, or the actual cost of food for a student who did not purchase a meal plan. The amount is based on the cost of the Tufts Full Plan.
  4. Books and Personal are estimates of costs that will be paid out of pocket.
  5. Transportation is an estimate of costs that will be paid out of pocket. The cost is $0 for students from Massachusetts, and varies based on how far from Tufts a student's home is.