College tuition has an annual growth rate of 6.8% and the current average cost of college in the United States is $35,720. It’s no surprise to anyone that college is expensive and continues to increase in price every year.
Tuition costs are something you can always expect, but what about hidden college expenses. You know they are there, but what are they exactly?
Keep reading to find out.
1. Books and Class Materials
When it comes to college expenses, books and class materials aren’t added to your tuition. This means you’ll be paying for these things out of pocket.
You can save on costs by reusing old folders and saving pens and pencils. Books aren’t as easy to budget for. Unless you need a new textbook, buy used or rent one for the semester to save money.
Financial Planning For College Guide is a free guide that can help with textbook costs and more.
2. Parking Fees
If you are bringing your vehicle to campus, be prepared to pay for hidden college expenses like parking and other transportation fees. When calculating the cost of college, this expense is often forgotten about.
You’ll likely need to buy a parking pass that will last you for one year before you have to renew it for another. If you don’t live on campus, figure out if you can take public transportation instead to save on costs.
3. Greek Life
If you plan on joining Greek life, the dues and fees will add up fast. The bill varies widely which makes these hidden costs of college hard to plan for.
Membership dues can cost up to thousands of dollars. If you want to live in the organization’s house, it’ll cost you more.
4. Clubs and Sports Teams
Clubs and intramural sports can help you stay active and meet new people on campus. Until you join one, they might be hard to budget for as the costs vary.
You’ll only have to pay fees for the groups you are highly involved in.
5. Furnishing Your Space
When considering, “how much does college cost?”, furnishing your space might be at the back of your mind. Whether you are living in a dorm or student furnished apartment, you might need more furniture than what you’re given.
Plus, everyone wants to personalize their space. Don’t overbuy things you won’t use. Purchase the basics first then decide what else you need once you move in.
6. Tech Gear
Getting away with not owning a computer before college is easy. These days, most professors expect you to have access to a computer to complete online assignments and even exams.
You’ll want to splurge on a reliable laptop before getting to campus. Other tech gears like printers aren’t always necessary to purchase. Often, printing will be part of your tuition and you can use library printers for free.
Hidden College Expenses: What to Know Before You Go
Learning how to budget for college is difficult to get right until you are there. With tuition on the rise, factoring in other expenses can be overwhelming.
With this guide, you’ll have an idea of what other college expenses to expect. These costs won’t be as much as tuition but can add up quickly if left unchecked.
For more financial assistance guides like this, check out the other articles on our blog.