The Hidden Costs of College
Looking at a school’s base tuition is just the start of considering the true cost of a college degree. Not only are there a ton of hidden fees, but things like meal plans, parking, school supplies and insurance premiums can add up. So how much will you really be spending year to year?
Average tuition and fees, 2015-2016
- Public, two-year, in-state: $3,440
- Public, four-year, in-state: $9,410
- Public, four-year, out-of-state: $23,890
- Private, four-year: $32,410
2.9% = Raise in tuition and fees for four-year public colleges in 2015-16. Tuition and fees have risen 13% since 2010.
The cost of college is continuing to rise, but not just because of tuition increases. Here are some more expenses to consider. (3,4,5,6)
- Room and board: $10,138 (Average annual cost of housing at a public, four-year college)
- Books: $1,298 (Average annual cost of books and supplies at a public, four-year college)
- Parking: Parking on campus can range anywhere from $40 per semester to $2,500, depending on where the college is located. Parking at campuses in bigger, busier cities tends to cost more.
- Laundry: Most washers and dryers cost $1.50 for each use. Washing a few times a week can cost you between $9 and $12, plus the cost of detergent and softener.
- Meals: A typical budget per semester for a student who eats most meals on campus is $500 – $1,000.
- Transportation: $3,215 (Average cost of transportation and other personal expenses at a public, four-year college)
- Tech: The average college student owns 7 tech devices, including smartphones, tablets, MP3 players, video game consoles and more.
College Cost Checklist
Here is a handy, comprehensive checklist to use when creating a monthly budget: (7)
- Credit card/student loan interest
- College fees
- Student health fees
- Athletic center fees
- Student activity fees
- Orientation fees
- Matriculation/new student fees
- Graduation/commencement fees
- Technology/lab fees
- Textbooks and supplies
- Health insurance
- Car insurance
- Gas/car maintenance
- Bus pass
- Computer software
- Printing/photocopying costs
- Cell phone
- New phone
- Dorm furnishings
- Personal hygiene products
- Renter’s insurance
- Parking spot
- Food for dorm
- Wardrobe purchases
- Student activities
- Sports games
- Greek living fees (sorority/fraternity)