With one full year of expenses under our belts, I thought I would take the chance to look back and see exactly what the first year cost.
Here’s the tally:
Tuition/Room & Board/Books: $9879
- Room = $3342
- Tuition = $2651*
- Board (Meal Plan) = $2312
- Books = $1074**
- Deposits (Enrollment and Housing) = $500
- Required Campus Fees = $858
- Technology Fees = $438
- Orientation Fee = $130
- Cash for incidentals placed on student’s account = $200
- Parking Pass – $190
- Sports Combo Pass = $150
- Student ID = $10
Purchased for School (one- time expenses): $2322
- Computer, printer, software,etc. = $1749
- Dorm Room Expenses (Loft rental, microwave, refrigerator, bedding, etc.) = $572
- Dues: $2247
- Moms/Dads Weekends, Family Day, Initiation Luncheon, etc. = $727
- Pin: $159
- Rush Registration = $125
* In-state, public university after scholarships.
** Some of this cost was recouped when the books were sold back; I don’t have that amount.
What’s Not Included:
College Search Costs – These numbers don’t reflect the costs incurred while she was still in high school. That included things like ACT prep and tests, application fees, and travel for college visits.
Spending money – Our daughter was responsible for her own spending money for the year, so I don’t have detailed information on what she spent on things like eating out, clothes, laundry, gas, etc.
Travel expenses – Because she attends school close to home, there weren’t any travel expenses incurred, other than her gas going back and forth. Also remember that college expenses can be dramatically cut down if you’re pursuing an education online. Let’s say you’re pursuing a Masters of Science in Nursing, or MSN degree online. Through conventional means, a Masters of Science in Nursing may end up costing potential students a small fortune in books and lab fees. Taking an online version of this degree will not have any of these costs included, which ultimately saves you a good deal of money. Also remember that an MSN degree can be the first step to plenty of high paying jobs in the medical field.
So that’s a real-life look at one family’s first-year college expenses. Anything surprise you?