Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Real and hidden cost of college

For most college age students and their families, it has become very difficult to afford the sky rocketing cost of education. The typical college expense can run from $30,000 - $50,000 per year. Each year the cost to attend college  rises 3%  which out paces inflation. This cost typically does not include hidden costs  such as extra fees,  student activity fees, class dues etc.

While the economy continues to slump,  many people are questioning  whether the huge cost on a bachelors degree is even worth it.  The latest statics show, only 1 and 5 college graduates had a job prior to graduation in 2009. To help you and your family afford college, you should look at tuition and any additional fee that may be charged, these additional fees are not disclosed unless requested.

By federal law, Universities are required to provide the overall cost of attendance. The reality is, many schools provide the lowest possible estimates and only reveal these costs when asked. As consumers, we must factor in activity fees, lab fees, health clinic fees, gym fee and technology fees. You also have to account for room and board,  text books, supplies, health insurance, and transportation  expenses. You can do some research on various costs at

How to prevent wasting good money?
The number one way in which families waste money on college is when students drop out or take forever to finish. The drop rate for the average freshman is 55%. In addition, 45% of the students take 6 years to get their degree. When the economy is down these numbers are worse.

The worst case scenario is when the student flunks out of school. To prevent drop out, the student has to want to be in school  and recognize the value in the investment in education. College is an investment and you should look to get the greatest return on your investment. Of course, this is easier said the done.

Financing college -- if you are looking at college in the next few years, here are some tips:
Scholarship link

Financial aide from admissions

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