The Real Cost of Your Education: Understanding College Expenses

There are the five factors that you should look into to determine the true cost of your college education. These are things you normally wouldn’t look at when choosing a university so before you decide, take a look at what these hidden costs are. You’ll be surprised that even something as simple as deciding where to live during college will greatly affect your overall costs.

Interested in learning more? Keepreading.

The Real Cost of your Education: The Top 5 Hidden Expenses

1. Tuition fee

When going to college, you need to pay the tuition fee. Unless you got a scholarship or a grant, a tuition fee is required for the school to cover things like campus facilities, clinic, library, etc. Every college tuition fee is different but a quick look at the university’s infrastructure should give you a idea of how expensive it will be. The more prestigious a school is, the higher the tuition will probably be.

2. Room and board

The type of quarters you choose to live in while at school will greatly affect your expenses. Decide whether you’ll be staying at home (if the university is within your city), in a dorm, or an apartment.

You’ll save a lot of money if you’re living with your parents but you can also enjoy a lot of freedom if you live separately. Of course, this comes at a cost. Are you willing to pay for that cost?

If the university is within the city centre, expect rent prices of places nearby to be much higher. But then again, if your apartment is a far distance from the university, you’ll be making up for it in transportation costs.

How about food? Will you be cooking for yourself or eating out mostly? How close are you to the grocery stores and food establishments? You want a place where food is easily accessible in case you can’t cook for yourself.

3. School supplies

Supplies for school include books, a backpack, laptop, flash drive, papers, pens, calculator, paper clips, etc. Certain majors will require specific types of supplies. For example, if you’re in arts, you may need to invest in quality art supplies unlike English majors who might require more books and highlighters. Do your research and find out what supplies are needed for your major.

4. Transportation

Transportation can vary depending on where you live. If you reside within the school’s dormitory, there’s no need for a car or bike. However,having one does make getting around the city easier especially if you’re living away from your parents.

Decide which mode of transport is best for your situation. There’s lots of options with the more expensive ones being by car and motorcycle. To save money, consider riding a bike to school or taking public transport. Having a car or motorbike means extra spending for maintenance costs.

Also, don’t forget the transport costs involved in going home. Ask yourself how often you’ll be visiting home. Every month? Two months? How about Thanksgiving and Christmas? The money you spend traveling back home should be accounted for.

5. Personal expenses

Personal expenses vary for each person. This is because every person’s wants and needs are different. For example, Bob does not mind having his laundry done once every two weeks while Suzy can’t live without having her laundry done at least once a week. This personal preference will of course affect one’s daily expenses. Some of the most common personal expenses college students have are the following:

  • Laundry
  • Medical
  • Travel (camping trips, road trips)
  • Music
  • Clothes
  • Clubs and organizations
  • Hygiene
  • Entertainment (movies, concerts, parties)

In Conclusion

Some college graduates end up in a lot debt because they didn’t factor these things in their college expenses. With options like student loan refinancing, young professionals are able to slowly pay off their student loans without getting overwhelmed by the high expenses. However, it’s always better to err on the side of reducing your costs.

It’s easy to miss these things when you’re too focused on picking a university and major. Make sure to consider these factors as it will greatly impact your future. Student loans may not seem like much today but they can take a toll on your finances when you start working.

Did we miss any items on this list? What other hidden expenses come with a college education? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


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