Indirect costs are college costs that are NOT paid directly to the college, such as books and supplies, transportation, and personal expenses.  If a student is living in off campus and has no college meal plan, then these room and board costs will also be indirect costs.  Colleges estimate what these indirect costs will be for students annually and include line items for these indirect costs in the cost of attendance.  Be aware that a student's actual indirect costs may be greater than what is calculated by the college.