Hidden College Costs – You’d think that shelling out thousands of dollars for tuition was bad enough, but the truth is that there are dozens of more hidden costs when a student heads off to college. Life on campus isn’t cheap– in fact, the prices are often inflated and the number of fees that surface seem to lurk around every corner. So how does a student or parent of a student afford all these college costs?
Hidden College Costs
First, let’s take a look at some of the most common hidden college costs. Then it’s onto some money-saving solutions that might make your degree actually affordable.
Room & Board – Not included in tuition and yet thousands of dollars a semester.
Books & Supplies - You need them to pass your classes, but they’re hundreds of dollars a pop.
Food - Overpriced cafeteria plans are often a required purchase of many freshman.
Coffee, Alcohol - What students end up consuming on their own which sucks up their cash.
Computer, Printing, Photocopying - You need these to do well on papers and it ends up costing an arm and a leg.
Cell Phone Plan - At least $40 a month.
Transportation - Car, bus, or even a plane ticket home. It adds up!
Now, how can you afford to go to college with these extreme hidden costs and tuition consuming your bank account? Let’s take a look at some ways to cut college costs.
Community college can be a great way to knock off two years of classes at an affordable price before transferring to a four year school. Do well and you might qualify for a scholarship at a great university.
College Credit in High School
Why not use your free public education to get some college credit? An excellent high school student may qualify to take AP classes which gives them college credit– aka classes they won’t have to pay hundreds of dollars for the following year!
Cash In On Tax Credits
The federal government offers tuition tax credit programs which can reduce your family’s federal income tax bill. See if you qualify!
Get Somebody Else to Foot the Bill
Your service to national organizations won’t go unnoticed– joining the Army or other government programs will pay for your tuition in full. This also includes Americorps, Teach for America, Peace Corps, National Health Service Corps. Explore your options, make a difference in the world and get your college paid for.
Cut costs at school by working whilst there. Work studies look great on a resume and put money back in your pocket.
Also consider applying for grants and scholarships before you head off to school.
Yes, college is a ridiculously expensive experience. Not only do you have to pay a crazy amount of money in tuition but there are dozens of hidden college costs you will face. Take the initiative to plan ahead and cut costs by some of the suggestions above. It could save you thousands of dollars!
Related: Graduate College Debt-Free
Thanks for reading – Hidden College Costs