The "Shopping Sheet" is college cost comparison tool developed by the federal government.
It is intended to help you compare aid offers from different schools based on your “Estimated Net Cost" after grants/scholarships. It also presents your financial aid data and estimated costs in a standardized format.
- It is optional for both students and schools. TU offers an online version.
- If you choose to use it, please carefully follow these instructions.
Understanding the Cost Data
The Shopping Sheet is not a bill.
All TU cost data is estimated.
- The USM Board of Regents will not approve TU's estimated 2017-18 rates until June 2017, and after that date they will remain subject to change by the Board of Regents at any time.
- TU offers several housing and dining plan options with different prices.
- TU "On-Campus Housing and Meals" estimates are based on a Multiple Occupancy in Standard University Housing, and our most popular meal plan (14 meals/week plus meal points). For more details on TU's current rates, visit the Bursar's Office.
The Shopping Sheet “Net Cost” is not an estimate of your total school charges after aid. At every school, your Shopping Sheet “Net Cost” will always be much higher than your estimated school charges because it is always includes estimated Direct Costs from your school and allowances for Indirect Costs that are usually not paid to your school, such as Transportation and Personal expenses and “Off-Campus" Housing and meal costs. (TU's Transportation Allowance does include a $349* estimate for our parking permit.)
Because the Allowances for these Indirect Costs can vary widely between schools, they can distort valid comparisons of each school’s Direct Costs. Many financial aid professionals believe that families can more accurately compare the relative costs of their potential schools by comparing their estimated Net Direct Costs instead of the (Total) Net Cost (Direct and Indirect) that is listed on the federal Shopping Sheet.
If you want to calculate your estimated Net Direct Costs, follow these formulas.
The following chart is not interactive.
|Estimated 2016-17 Costs||TU In-State||TU Out-of-State|
|Tuition & Fees||$ 9,694*||$22,140*|
|+ On Campus Housing & Meals||$12,184*||$12,184*|
|= Total Direct Costs||$21,878*||
|-Total Grants & Scholarships*||-||-|
|= Net Direct Costs||=||=|
*The USM Board of Regents will not approve TU's estimated 2017-18 rates until June
2017. We offer a variety of housing and meal plan options with varying costs. For
more information about these costs and these estimates, see our Cost of Attendance budgets.
Understanding the Aid Data
The federal Shopping Sheet combines all grant and scholarships into the following four categories:
- Federal Pell Grant
- Grants (& Scholarships) from your school
- Grants (& Scholarships) from your State
- Other scholarships (& Grants) you can use
Your TU Aid Notification list the actual names of each grant and scholarship that we are offering.
"Maximum"versus "Recommended" Loan Amounts
Your Aid Notification and the Shopping Sheet list the MAXIMUM amounts that you are eligible to borrow. The federal Shopping Sheet mislabels these "maximum" amounts as "Recommended" amounts. We do not encourage students to borrow the maximum amounts. Please carefully consider your options when deciding how much you choose to borrow.
Accessing TU’s Shopping Sheet
- Log in at: Towson Online Services
- Choose “Self Service,” and “Student Center”
- Below the "Finances" bar, choose “Accept/Decline Awards”
- Choose the appropriate aid year.
- At the bottom of the "Accept/Decline" page, choose “Shopping Sheet Link” under “Awards”
- Please ignore the “Download” button on the Shopping Sheet.