4 Sneaky College Costs

As if the cost for obtaining a college education could rise any higher, the National Center for Education Statistics reports that sneaky costs of collegebetween the school years 2000-2001 and 2010-2011, the cost to attend college rose 40 percent at public institutions. Undergraduate tuition, room and board at private institutions also increased by 31 percent. Expenses add up along with tuition and on-campus living. While financially prepping for your child’s education, you’ll want to keep in mind these additional four college costs to avoid monetary shock:

Class Fees

College textbooks are costly, and textbooks can cost up to $300. In the 2012-13 school year, the average student dropped around $1,200 on books and school supplies, notes College Board. Trim this expense by buying used books, renting books, or trading books online. Also, if your student majors in a science or has to take a science course with a lab, expect to pay extra for the privilege of using that lab. At Clemson University, for example, fees range from $75 to $200 per class.

Insurance Costs

Your homeowner’s insurance might be enough to cover your student’s belongings while he or she is away at school, as long as the student lives in the dorm. Many policies will provide up to 10 percent of your property coverage to your student’s belongings while he or she is at school. Home Insurance recommends performing a home inventory of all your possessions while taking advantage of this coverage. When your student heads off to school, update the inventory to include any items he or she has acquired for college life.

Your homeowner’s insurance won’t cover your student’s belongings if he or she lives off-campus. In that case, you’ll need to purchase renter’s insurance to protect the student’s possessions. The average cost of renter’s insurance is between $15 and $30 per month.


If your child is headed to college across the country, flying back home for breaks or the holidays has steep costs. Whether your child studies a plane ride away or a three-hour drive away, visiting home can empty that bank account. Since the price of gas varies and public transit rates seem to always go up, pad the college funding budget for transportation costs. Set aside about 10 percent more than you think your student will need. The average transportation cost is about $1,110 per year, adds College Board.


If your student wants to join a sorority or fraternity, expect to spend a chunk of change after he or she is initiated. Greek life comes with dues, extra clothing expenses and housing fees. A parent writing for US News and World Report explains how she paid more than $3,000 the first year her daughter joined a sorority. Even if your student doesn’t go Greek, expect to pay dues or fees for any clubs or sports teams he or she joins.

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Ten to Twenty Parenting was created as an honest resource for those of us parenting kids between the ages of 10 and 20. Our needs are so different and the issues much more complex than diaper rashes and playground tantrums.

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