Estimating Cost of Attendance

When evaluating your cost of attendance to your choice colleges and universities, it’s important to look beyond the “sticker price,” or the published tuition price, of a school and find out exactly what scholarships, work-study and other assistance are possible. Below you’ll find help in beginning to estimate your cost of attendance.


Compare Out-of-Pocket Costs

The average 4-year private college tuition costs $33,480¹, and the average Adventist college tuition is approximately $21,722². You can often get a quality private Adventist education for less than many other private schools. A big key is to ask all the schools under consideration to provide an estimate of the total out-of-pocket costs to attend per year for four years. Looking at estimated out-of-pocket costs is really the best way to compare what different schools will actually cost.

When comparing an Adventist college with a public institution, consider total cost of attendance through degree-completion. Nearly 80 percent of the graduates of a private college or university complete their degree on time compared with approximately 60 percent from a state institution³. One reason is good academic advising which is a big strength of Adventist colleges.


Use School’s Net Price Tuition Calculator

Each of the accredited Adventist colleges and universities is required to provide a net price tuition calculator (NPC) on their website. The NPC is designed to help college-bound students and their families to better understand the real cost of attendance and make more accurate cost comparisons between schools.

The net price tuition calculator should include the following estimates³:

  • Price of attendance
  • Tuition and fees
  • Room and board
  • Books and supplies
  • Other expenses (such as transportation, personal expenses, etc.)
  • Total grant aid
  • Net price
  • Percent of the cohort (full-time, first-time students) that receive grant aid
  • Caveats and disclaimers, as indicated in the Higher Education Opportunity Act

The key to using the NPC is to remember it is only an estimator. While each college is required to include the above minimum information, some colleges will invite prospective students to submit additional information, such as GPA and/or test scores, and factor those into the estimated net price calculation. If grades or test scores go up or down, or family financial situations change, the estimated cost of attendance can change also.

College/University Cost Calculator Link
Adventist University of Health Sciences, Fla. Calculator
Andrews University, Mich. Calculator
Burman University (formerly Canadian University College), AB, Canada Costs
Kettering College, Ohio Calculator
La Sierra University, Calif. Calculator
Loma Linda University, Calif. N/A for first-time college students.
Oakwood University, Ala. Calculator
Pacific Union College, Calif. Calculator
Southern Adventist University, Tenn. Calculator
Southwestern Adventist University, Texas Calculator
Union College, Neb. Calculator
Walla Walla University, Wash. Calculator
Washington Adventist University, Md. Calculator


Other College Cost Estimators

FinAid’s custom calculators can help you figure out how much college will cost, how much you need to save and how much assistance you’ll need. For a list of popular calculators, visit the FinAid Calculator page at:


Estimating your cost of attendance is just the beginning. The key to funding your college degree is to fully explore all the scholarship and financial aid options before deciding if the cost is too much.

Learn more at How to Pay for College, ABCs of Scholarships and FAFSA, Grants and Awards.


¹The College Board.
²IPEDS. Does not include LLU.
³Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.