A student with one or more dependents may request an increase to the Cost of Attendance (COA) to include an allowance based on the estimated or actual expenses incurred for dependent care if that care is necessary in order to allow the student to attend school. A dependent may include persons other than children, such as elderly dependent parents. The allowance is based on the typical costs for care in the student’s community.
Aside from the outright dependent care expenses, the dependent care allowance may also include the maintenance expenses of dependents when the family’s income meets the definition of insufficient to cover basic subsistence costs, such as costs for food and shelter. (Income less than the Income Protection Allowance (IPA) in the FAFSA EFC formula is an indicator the family’s income is insufficient to cover basic subsistence costs.)