Beyond Tuition – the Add-ons to College Add Up
Jul07

Beyond Tuition – the Add-ons to College Add Up

You’ve written the BIG CHECK for college tuition, but don’t think you’re done yet — there’s more to come! In the following guest post Suzanne Shaffer, founder of Parents Countdown to College Coach, lists some of the tuition add-ons — additional expenses that often catch parents by surprise right before their child heads off to college.   Parents: Get ready to pay!  Your college-bound teen has made that all-important college decision and is headed off in the fall to begin his/her new adventure. You’ve got the tuition, room and board taken care of with scholarships, grants, work study and possibly some loans. You know that you’ve got to figure in some costs for textbooks, dorm accessories and possibly a laptop. But, is that all you have to factor in for expenses? It’s unlikely. Here are just a few added costs that can tack on hundreds and even thousands to your college costs: Health Insurance—Colleges require that your child be covered by insurance. You can keep them on your policy until they graduate, but if you don’t have family medical coverage, plan on spending $500-$1000 for this little extra. Be sure to notify the college of your coverage so they won’t bill you for theirs. Gym fees—Some colleges include these in tuition, but some don’t. Michigan State and Penn State charge for the use of their on-campus facilities (up to $80 per semester). Parking and car registration—Many campuses discourage freshmen from bringing cars to college. But if your teen is commuting, they are going to have to pay those fees to park while they attend classes. Activity fees—These pesky little buggers appear on your bill every semester. They can start at $100 and go up into the thousands. What are they? Every college uses them to offset expenses without having to state specifics. Dorm damage deposit—This fee will appear on your bill if your child is living on campus. Don’t EVER expect to get it back. College students are notorious for abusing their dorm rooms. Even if yours is a neat freak, odds are their roommate won’t be. Computer insurance—If your child is bringing a computer to campus (especially a laptop), I highly recommend you purchase this insurance. It covers loss, damage and theft and it’s worth every penny you will spend. Dorm contents insurance—Although most campuses say they are secure, students tend to leave their doors unlocked and let anyone into their dorm halls (even if they don’t know them). It’s worth the added minimal expense. College campus cards—These cards are used for on-campus necessities (laundry, snacks, copies, class supplies). It’s like a debit card and you will need to...

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