Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.
Slide Show

1 of 8

7 Hidden College Costs


When budgeting for your prospective college student’s four years on campus, it’s easy (and perhaps tempting) to think your costs are limited to the line-item expenses—tuition, fees, room and board, and books—so helpfully broken down by colleges for you. For example, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, our number-one choice for public-college value, out-of-state tuition is $31,505 per year, administrative/maintenance fees are $1,913, room and board is $10,902, and books are estimated to cost $1,442.

You’ve probably even weighed your student’s daily living expenses—about $2,000 each year for laundry, cell-phone bills, and "anything else you normally spend money on,” according to the College Board.

But for many students, the college experience will include a variety of costly budget-busters that families often overlook. Through interviews with college students and campus orientation counselors, we’ve uncovered several significant college cost “surprises”—from summer storage fees for your stuff to season tickets for the college football team—to help you and your college-bound child set and stick to a reasonable budget. Take a look.

View as One Page