Can a School Include Books, Course Materials, Supplies, and Equipment In Tuition and Fees?

Award Year: 2023-24 KA-36467 Helpfulness Rating 521 page views

This guidance is specific to the 2023-24 award year and later.

Yes, under certain circumstances. Changes to Section 472 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA), as amended, [20 USC 1087LL], effective with the 2023-24 award year, do not affect 34 CFR 668.164(c)(2) which allows schools to include the costs of books and supplies as part of tuition and fees in the cost of attendance (COA) if certain conditions are met. The U.S. Department of Education (ED) provided the following guidance in Dear Colleague Letter GEN-22-15, COA-Q2:

"Costs for materials or supplies required of all students in the same course of study moved from the tuition and fees component to the books, course materials, supplies, and equipment component. Does this mean books, course materials, supplies, and equipment can no longer be included in tuition and fees as allowed under 34 CFR 668.164(c)(2)?

No. Nothing in the Act prohibits an institution from incorporating books, course materials, supplies, and equipment as part of their tuition and fees nor considering them to be institutional costs. Under the Act, many COA components are broken out into their own specific category. This restructuring of the COA components is simply an organizational reordering to help clarify what items must or may be included in the COA."

Note: Effective with the 2023-24 award year, the COA component for “books and supplies” has been renamed “books, course materials, supplies, and equipment.”

See the AskRegs Knowledgebase Q&A, Under What Conditions Can a School Include Books and Supplies In Tuition and Fees?

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