You’re aware of the line item costs associated with higher education. Tuition, fees, books and supplies apply to all students while meals and housing only apply to students who are attending school full-time away from home. To steal a quote from Donald Rumsfeld, these are “known unknowns.” You have a feeling there are extra costs are out there, but how many hidden costs of college can you list?
Sneaky sources of cash depletion include but are not limited to:
- Club sports: There are intramural sports, often associated with the college’s recreational center (whose fee is a line item) and there are official college teams. Club sports occupy a middle ground that is more competitive than intramural sports, but not as much of a time commitment as official college sports endeavors. Participation in club sports is booming. Why? With more than 40 million children playing organized sports, more students are graduating from high school with extensive athletic interest and skills but fewer than 5 percent, are good enough to play a varsity college sport. That leaves a lot of students still in search of a competitive outlet and place for camaraderie. Consider the costs of traveling to games and tournaments in other cities and states. Dead set on participating? Consider raising the money first or dedicating money from a part-time job for this purpose.
- Fraternities and Sororities: This is hard to pin down but The University of Central Florida, the second largest university with a Greek system in the country, publishes cost comparisons of all its fraternities and sororities. According the most recent data, the average new sorority member will pay $1,280 per semester and the average fraternity member will pay $605 per semester, not including room and board. The higher costs for sororities are associated with gift giving and formal attire.
- Parking Permits: Many college students and especially those commuting to school bring their cars. For a few local examples, parking costs at the University of Colorado at Boulder parking will run you $16/week or $576 for 9 months. Parking costs at UNC in Greeley vary widely but range from $227 – $768 a year.