NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County


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Hidden College Costs

Hidden College Costs


                You’re ready for your college experience – you’ve budgeted for tuition costs, housing and books.  Your parents/friends/family have assisted you in moving into your dorm/apartment and you’ve picked up your book order from the bookstore. Ready to go – right?  Many college students are surprised when their education dollars do not cover all of their expenses and surprised by what those expenses can be.  

                But for many students, the college experience will include a variety of costly budget-busters that are often overlooked.  More info below.

                Travel - How many times each year will you return home from college?  Air fare, gas, bus or train tickets all add up.

                Summer housing - At the end of each school year, most college students have three options: 1) remain near campus throughout the summer, 2) trek home with belongings in tow, or 3) return home after moving all the belongings into storage near campus.  Continuing to pay rent on an apartment or placing items in a storage unit can be several hundred dollars per month and many leases do not allow you to sublease a room or a full apartment.

                Business clothing -Clothing upgrades for internships, career fairs and, eventually, job interviews can add up quickly.

                Having fun: Campus life often includes socializing and entertainment. However, movies, concerts and sporting events come with a cost. If this is a priority, explore purchasing a discounted season sports or events package vs. paying per event.

                 Replacing lost items- Hang on to that student ID, your meal card, the jump drive for your lab work, your parking sticker, etc. Replacement fees are usually in the range of $15-20.

                Returned checks: Don’t bounce checks to your school! Not only will your bank charge you, the school may also charge you a fee and or late fees!

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