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Cost of Attendance

The estimated Cost of Attendance (COA) for 2020-2021 includes both education and living expenses based on nine months of off-campus housing in the Durham area. Tuition and fees are subject to change each year and are not fixed until approved by the University Board of Trustees, usually in May. The COA will be used to determine total federal financial aid eligibility.

Note that Sanford's MPP students report a lower cost of living than many other Duke students.

Play the audio clip to hear a MPP alum's perspective on living in Durham.


Estimated Cost of Attendance for Duke Students 2020-2021

  First Year
Second Year
Educational Expenses    
Tuition $48,307 $48,307
Student Health Fee 858 858
Student Medical Insurance Program (SMIP) 3,605 3,605
Graduate Student Activity Fee (GPSC)
MPP Student Activity Fee 75 75
Graduate Recreation Facilities Fee
Graduate Student Services Fee 15 15
Transcript Fee (One time fee in 1st year) 120 0
Total $52,980 $52,860
Educational Supplies    
Books & Supplies 624 624
Total $624 $624
Student Living Expenses    
Board (Food) 3,330 3,330
Housing & Utilities 10,404 10,404
Miscellaneous Personal Expenses 3,600 3,600
Transportation 1,656 1,656
Total $18,990 $18,990
Average Federal Loan Origination Fees ***1,156 ***1,156
Total 1,156 1,156
Total Cost of Attendance $73,750 $73,630

Annual tuition and fees are divided evenly between the fall and spring terms. The MPP Student Activity Fee is charged each semester the student is enrolled at Duke. The living expenses listed above are the results of a Duke Financial Aid Office Survey of all Duke graduate students. MPP students were surveyed separately and the results of that survey is posted on the Forms and Resources Page of the Financial Section on our website. 

Students wearing blue duke gear and face paint getting ready for the big game*The Student Medical Insurance Plan is required for all MPPs and is charged during the fall term. Students may waive out of this plan if they can present proof of alternative coverage. International students with an F-1 or J-1 visa are required to purchase the student medical insurance plan. The actual cost of the Student Medical Insurance Plan is established before the fall term begins. The University Bursar's Office provides additional information regarding student medical insurance with fall tuition statements.

**Dual Degree students pay three semesters of Sanford tuition. Students completing a dual degree with another Duke program will pay a blended tuition rate in all years of study, reflecting the three semesters of Sanford tuition. 

***Federal Loan Origination Fees are automatically added to the budget assuming the student is borrowing the Unsubsidized and/or Graduate PLUS Loan. If a private/alternative loan is borrowed these fees will have to be reduced or removed.

Additional Considerations that may raise the Cost of Attendance for Aid Purposes

  • One-Time Computer Increase—Students must submit an invoice showing the price of the computer in order to receive an increase up to $2,500.
  • Study Abroad Expenses (Hertie Exchange Program)—Students can request an increase in transportation costs and living expenses. Copies of round trip airfare receipt and dorm/rental agreement must be made available to the financial aid office prior to the increase being made.
  • Dependent Increase—For actual childcare expenses up to $5,000. Documentation of the expense (canceled check, bill, statement) must be provided to the aid office.

Learn how we support Sanford MPP students with financial aid.