Last week, Tom and I accompanied Grant to his new student orientation at Saint Louis University (SLU).
It was a day and a half event, so we drove down on Wednesday evening and back on Friday afternoon. St. Louis is a four hour drive from Kansas City and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the three of us chatted the whole way up and back. We didn’t turn on the radio and Grant didn’t put in earphones. I was so grateful for that since our time together is quickly coming to a close. Tom decided to go with us at the last minute and it turned into a great time together.
In St. Louis we stayed at the Hotel Ignacio, which is a fun and funky boutique hotel with an art theme, just off the SLU campus. That view above was the one we had of campus from our hotel room window.
During our time at orientation, Tom and I met with the financial services office to get a look at what our costs will be. They provided us with an estimate, which will be pretty close to actual numbers.
Since I was transparent with the costs of putting our daughter through college (I still need to do a fourth year update) I thought I would share these numbers for our son here. These are the estimates for his freshman year.
Tuition after scholarships $17,350.
- Student Union Fee $100
- Student Technology Fee $100
- Student Wellness Fee $180
- Student Activity Fee $110
- Athletic Fee $30
- Orientation Fee $200
- Readership Fee $5
- Res Life Application Fee $50
- Lab/Course Fees $120
Room & Board $8966
We paid Lindsey’s college expenses in full, a semester at a time. Her lower costs enabled us to do that.
This time around we’re going to take advantage of a payment plan through the school, which will divide each semester’s costs among five equal payments. The fee for doing that is $75/semester, and each payment will be in the neighborhood of $2700.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, we have college savings equivalent to a bit more than the first year’s costs. Some of that is in a 529 account and some is in one of our Capital One 360 found money accounts.
But just like we’re doing with our HSA, we’d like to leave our college savings alone for now and try and make those payments by redirecting the money for some expenses we won’t have anymore, namely Lindsey’s college expenses and Grant’s parochial high school tuition, and then adding in my bookkeeping and blogging income.
On paper the numbers for this work, but like with the HSA, we’ll see how it will work in practice.
Another difference this time is that we plan to take out tuition insurance, which would reimburse us for the semester if Grant were unable to complete it due to medical reasons. That’s unlikely, of course, but the cost of just $45/semester, seems reasonable to protect a $13,000+ investment.
One thing we won’t have to purchase is a computer. Grant bought an Apple laptop for himself a couple of years ago and he’ll be taking that.
Of course we’ll have books, some transportation costs, and spending for incidentals, which Grant will be responsible for.
And speaking of incidentals, one thing on our summer to do list is to have Grant open a checking account at US Bank, which is SLU’s banking partner. This will allow him to bank right on campus. In fact, it’s possible for him to link his student ID to his checking account and use the ID as an ATM card and debit card, in addition to all the other things that students use their IDs for. That should simplify his life quite a bit.
So those are some of the financial takeaways of our college orientation. I’m still kind of amazed that we’ve managed to pay cash for Lindsey’s education and are in a position to possibly do it again for Grant. We were late to the college savings game so we’ve had to kind of make this up as we’ve gone along. You can read all of my paying for college posts here.
Have you been to a new student orientation recently? What were your thoughts?