Learn & Earn: Understanding College Costs


It is no mystery that college costs are on the rise!  But sometimes students and parents are still mystified by what college costs include.  Tuition, books, and fees are typical costs that most students consider.  But what about housing, food, lab fees, transportation, health insurance, and some money for fun?  Once you consider all the expenses, it will be easier to know just how much money you really need for college.




Tuition The cost of taking courses. Course costs vary by school.
Room and board Lodging and food costs vary by school.
Books and school supplies Books can be expensive. School supplies include

  • book bags;
  • notebooks;
  • pens and pencils;
  • paper and computer paper; and
  • desk accessories such as folders, trays, and pen holders.
Fees Fees depend upon your school. Examples include activity fees and parking decal fees. Schools can provide a list of fees.
Equipment and room materials This category might include

  • a computer and printer;
  • reading lamps;
  • a microwave and refrigerator; and
  • sheets, towels, etc.
Travel and miscellaneous expenses
  • If you commute to school, include transportation costs.
  • If you live on campus, include travel during school breaks.
  • You may also want to include clothing and mobile phone costs.

Image and information from Federal Student Aid


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