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Beyond Tuition: The Hidden Costs of College

Embarking on a college education is an exciting and promising step towards a brighter future, but it's important to be aware of the various expenses that come with it. While tuition fees are a significant concern for students and their families, there are other hidden costs. From housing and meal plans to textbooks and class materials, the expenses can add up quickly. For example, in the 2022-23 academic year, the typical cost of attendance for full-time undergraduate students ranged from $19,230 to $57,570, depending on the type of institution they attended.

Source: College Board, Trends in College Pricing and Student Aid 2022

But don't let these numbers discourage you from pursuing a college education. In this blog post, we'll explore some of the hidden costs of college and offer tips and options for managing these expenses, so you can focus on your education and future success.

The “Hidden” Costs

Room and Board

Living on campus vs. off campus

When it comes to the expenses associated with college, housing is often one of the biggest factors to consider. One of the most significant decisions students and parents will face is whether to live on campus or off.

Living on campus can be very convenient, with easy access to everything from meals to social activities. However, many colleges require students to purchase a meal plan, which can be quite expensive. Additionally, on-campus living can come with additional fees for parking, laundry, and other amenities that aren't always included in the initial room and board package.

Living off campus can also come with its own set of expenses. Renting an apartment usually requires a deposit, and often involves additional costs for utilities like water and electricity that are not covered by the landlord. Additionally, off-campus living may require students to furnish their own apartment or pay for internet and cable.