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Paying for College

Policies and Procedures Manual

06.08 Paying for College

Original Approval:  04/01/2022
Last Updated:  04/08/2024
Last Reviewed: 04/08/2024


It is the policy of Coastal Alabama Community College to collect college receivables in compliance with federal and state law and Alabama Community College System (ACCS) policy related to tuition and fees and Cost of Attendance (COA).


This policy applies to all Coastal Alabama Community College students.


Cost of Attendance (COA): The COA is an estimate/average dollar amount which includes estimates of standard expenses such as tuition, fees, books, supplies, housing and food, and personal expenses, such as clothing, transportation, etc. Students must have unmet need to qualify for Title IV aid. COA (cost of attendance) – Student Aid Index (SAI) - Other Aid = Unmet Need.

Resident Student: A Resident Student will be charged the in-state tuition rate established by the Alabama Community College System Board of Trustees. A Resident Student is an applicant for admission who is a citizen of the United States or a resident alien in the State of Alabama for at least 12 months immediately preceding application for admission, or whose non-estranged spouse has resided and had habitation, home and permanent abode in the State of Alabama for at least 12 months immediately preceding application for admission. Consequently, an out-of-state student cannot attain Resident Student status simply by attending school for twelve months in the State of Alabama. In the case of minor dependents seeking admission, the parent(s) or legal guardian of such minor dependent must have resided in the State of Alabama for at least 12 months immediately preceding application for admission. If the parents are divorced, residence will be determined by the residency of the parent to whom the court has granted custody.

Minor: For the purpose of this policy, a minor is an individual who because of age, lacks the capacity to contract under Alabama law. Under current law, this means a single individual under 19 years of age and a married individual under 18 years of age, but excludes an individual whose disabilities of non-age have been removed by a court of competent jurisdiction for a reason other than establishing a legal residence in Alabama. If current law changes, this definition will change accordingly.

Supporting Person: Either or both of the parents of the student, if the parents are living together, or if the parents are divorced or living separately, then either the parent having legal custody or, if different, the parent providing the greater amount of financial support. If both parents are deceased or if neither has legal custody, supporting person will mean, in the following order: the legal custodian of the student, the guardian, and the conservator.


  1. Tuition: Tuition for the current academic year are available at Students from the following counties may be eligible for in-state tuition: Santa Rosa (FL), Escambia (FL), Walton (FL), Okaloosa (FL), Clarke (MS), Wayne (MS) and Lauderdale (MS).
  2. Eligibility for Alabama Resident Tuition Rate: It is the policy of Coastal Alabama Community College to classify applicants for admission in one of three categories for the purpose of assessing tuition.
    • Resident Student
    • Minor
    • Supporting Person
      1. In determining Resident Student status for the purpose of charging tuition, the burden of proof lies with the applicant for admission.
      2. An individual claiming to be a resident will certify by a signed statement each of the following:
        • A specific address or location within the State of Alabama as his/her residence.
        • An intention to remain at this address indefinitely.
        • Possession of more substantial connections with the State of Alabama than with any other state.
      3. Though certification of an address and an intent to remain in the state indefinitely will be prerequisites to establishing status as a resident, ultimate determination of that status will be made by the institution by evaluating the presence or absence of connections with the State of Alabama. This evaluation will include the consideration of all of the following connections:
        1. Consideration of the location of high school graduation.
        2. Payment of Alabama state income taxes as a resident.
        3. Ownership of a residence or other real property in the state and payment of state ad valorem taxes on the residence or property.
        4. Full-time employment in the state.
        5. Residence in the state of a spouse, parents, or children.
        6. Previous periods of residency in the state continuing for one year or more.
        7. Voter registration and voting in the state; more significantly, continuing voter registration in the state that initially occurred at least one year prior to the initial registration of the student in Alabama at a public institution of higher education
        8. Possession of state or local licenses to do business or practice a profession in the state.
        9. Ownership of personal property in the state, payment of state taxes on the property, and possession of state license plates.
        10. Continuous physical presence in the state for a purpose other than attending school, except for temporary absences for travel, military service, and temporary employment.
        11. Membership in religious, professional, business, civic, or social organizations in the state.
        12. Maintenance in the state of checking and saving accounts, safe deposit boxes, or investment accounts.
        13. In-state address shown on selective service registration, driver’s license, automobile title registration, hunting and fishing licenses, insurance policies, stock and bond registrations, last will and testament, annuities, or retirement plans.
      4. Students determined to be eligible for resident tuition will maintain that eligibility upon re-enrollment within one full academic year of their most previous enrollment unless there is evidence that the student subsequently has abandoned resident status, for example, registering to vote in another state. Students failing to re-enroll within one full academic year must establish eligibility upon re-enrollment.
  3. Fees: Fees are required each semester and are subject to change without notice. Fees are available at  In addition to paying the appropriate tuition fee, students may also be required to purchase certain necessary tools and supplies for some courses or programs. Fees are required each semester and are subject to change without notice.

    NOTICE: Students who owe the College any type of fee, such as a tuition and/or fees or a parking/traffic violation fine or a library fine, etc., will be prohibited from enrolling in subsequent semesters at the College, unless that balance is the result of federal funding returns. The College will not release official College credits, transcripts, or diplomas until all delinquent balances are paid in full.

  4. Due Dates: Tuition is due prior to the first day of class.

  5. Methods of Payment: Coastal Alabama Community College accepts cash, checks (U.S. banks only), money orders and credit cards (Discover, Visa, American Express and MasterCard). If at any point a check is returned against a student’s account, a service charge will be applied to the student’s account. In the event of delinquent student payments, no college credits, transcripts, or diplomas will be issued or released. A student with a delinquent account will not be enrolled in subsequent semesters, and all accounts will be turned over to a collection agency. The student will be responsible for all associated collection fees.

  6. Federal Student Aid: Refer to the Financial Aid Policy.

    All returning students for the Fall Semester must reapply for Financial Aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA for the upcoming academic school year should be completed and submitted early to avoid delays in being awarded financial aid.

    Students who have not been awarded Financial Aid MUST be prepared to pay for tuition, fees, and books at the time of registration.

  7. Tuition Deferment Plan: Coastal Alabama Community College has a tuition deferment plan for those needing tuition payment assistance. Through this plan, students pay a processing fee and at least one-half of total term charges no later than the first day of each term. The remaining balance will be paid no later than midpoint of the term.

    In the event of delinquent student payments, no official grades, college credits, transcripts, or diplomas will be issued or released. A student with a delinquent account will not be enrolled in subsequent terms until all delinquent balances are paid in full. To fill out an application for this program, students should visit the Fiscal Services Office. There is a deferment fee to enroll in this plan.

  8. Third Party Payments: There are several third-party agencies responsible for the payment of tuition and fees for students attending the Alabama Community College System. Because payments are not usually received by the end of the registration period, payment of tuition and fees may be deferred from third party agencies (private, federal, and state). However, federal and state agency payments may be extended after the registration period in accordance with each individual program’s procedures.

    Students sponsored by third-party private agencies will be responsible for payment of tuition and fees immediately if the private third-party agency has not paid by the end of the registration period or by the extension. If payment is not rendered immediately, the student will be administratively withdrawn.

  9. Cost of Attendance:

    1. A student’s estimated cost of attendance (COA) is used to establish financial need and sets a limit to the amount of  financial aid a student may receive.

    2. Cost of Attendance is NOT a bill and is provided for planning purposes only. Additional cost information and estimates are available via the Net Price Calculator.

    3. Cost of Attendance includes both direct (billable) and indirect (estimated) costs for two semesters, generally fall and spring. Direct costs may include tuition, fees, housing, food, books, and supplies which are billed by the College.  Indirect costs include off campus living expenses, transportation, loan fees, and other personal/miscellaneous expenses. All these costs associated with COA vary by student and that is why the COA is an estimate of costs, not an actual cost. COA figures are estimates and are subject to change. COA is originally estimated based on full-time enrollment and will adjust according to actual enrollment status.

    4. Student expense budgets are constructed for each of the following populations:

      • In-State – Living with Parents
      • In-State – Living On Campus
      • In-State – Living Off Campus (not with parent)
      • Out-of-State – Living with Parents
      • Out-of-State – Living On Campus
      • Out-of-State – Living Off Campus (not with parent)

        All COA budgets are considered good‐faith estimates of the projected educational expenses that the majority of students may incur while attending Coastal Alabama. Individual students may experience varying costs because of special educational expense needs. Adjustments to a student’s budget will be based on special educational expenses and must be documented by the student. All documentation will be evaluated by the Director of Financial Aid on a case-by-case basis. Examples of items that may need to be increased are dependent care expenses, cost of a personal computer, tool costs, other excessive costs not included in the COA calculation.

        Estimated costs of attendance are based on full-time enrollment of 15 hours each semester for two semesters.  Budgets are automatically adjusted in the College system based on actual enrolled hours. Financial aid offers will be adjusted accordingly. The COA budgets are estimates and subject to change.


  1. Pay your bill at

Additional Provisions / Information:

Refer to the Financial Aid Policy.