Students’ lives are far from being always funny and easy. Young people, who enter higher educational institutions, face a variety of challenges.
Somebody has to save for many years to be able to study at college, while the others get frustrated when they learn how many hidden costs are there in the modern universities. Problems with money are the most terrifying for young people as many of them have to earn their living themselves or ask parents for money, so they never have a spare dollar. While hidden college fees appear to be one of the worst news for students when they start studying. Let us learn how much should a student have in his pocket to be able to pay for all the hidden costs required at colleges and universities.
Personal Experience or What to Expect from Studying
When you graduate from school your future seems bright and inspiring if you manage to enter the university or college. But is it really so? If you are ‘lucky’ enough to be from the family with the low average income, your chances to finish an educational establishment are three times lower. All this is due to additional expenses that can be made not by every student.
Angela Pupino has told about her personal experience of studying in the private university located in Washington DC. Her hidden college fees can be divided into two parts: ones asked by college representatives as an obligation and ones spent for personal comfort. The last ones include payment for a hostel, additional services (railing installation for $20, mini-fridge rental for $140 a year etc.), the cost of any damages, a necessity of the laptop etc. But it is more important to focus on the fees demanded by college:
Freshman orientation attendance cost $160.
A class associated fee is set individually for each class and varies between $40 and $100.
Use of lab science classes should be paid too.
Printing costs per each page.
School insurance plan estimated at $2,000 per year.
Paid doctor appointments (about $20 per a visit).
Additional fee charged by the school for use of a credit card (3%).
Raising of tuition costs (once in a couple of years).
Hidden Fees in Numbers
These are only some of the extra charges from the educational establishments. In general, hidden college fees are divided into:
- Charges when you start college (orientation fee and freshman fees);
- Ones to be paid finishing a college (senior and commencement fees).
But they are not restricted only to these two types. Many educational institutions try to disguise their real fee for studying putting all the blame and charge on the students’ shoulders, who have to treat headaches that appear as a result of a new reason to collect money.
Modern students have not only to study but also pay salaries to their teachers and making repairs. For example, Indiana University obliged its students to pay $8.50 for each two days when a student dropped a class, while Alfred State College asks $3,049 for a chance to major in animation and digital media.
Let’s look at the figures connected with hidden fees for several years. In 2012, students’ mandatory fee was about $1,400 and their supplemental expenses reached $700 in average. But there were examples when figures were really overwhelming. How should parents react when they see $1,652 bill for meals (University of Wisconsin, Madison) or $2,176 bill for academic activities and $3,622 bill for student services (University of Mary Washington)?
Many students can’t stand all those difficulties and start protesting. Representatives of the University of Arizona signed a petition against 2.5% they had to pay extra for a credit card use and $300 for sociology courses. Of course, that hasn’t changed the situation greatly as university administrators still tell about almost thirty percent cut in state funding over the decade and say that extra fees are a necessity that makes up budget shortfalls.
Today the average US student spends between $250 and $500 each month on the hidden costs and that is a great sum in comparison with his earnings.
The Checklist of the Unanticipated University Fees
Apart from all the fees mentioned above as an example, there is a great list of other costs that await every young man, who enters a university or college.
Students must also be ready to collect money for:
Academic transcript fee;
Payment for an athletic center;
Tutoring, computer (software), use of books and media;
Dorm room outfitting;
Spending on rent and utility bills as well as storage fees in summer;
Money for transportation;
Joining campus organizations and clubs as well as entertainment.
Scholarships and Financial Aid vs. Hidden Fees
Some students decide that when they are awarded with scholarships from the universities or receive financial aid they are not subjected to paying additional fees. That is a great mistake. Many parents receive huge bills for their kids despite the fact that they won prizes and these young people finish universities and colleges with huge debts.
Financial aid for students, whose families are not able to maintain their children, does not insure from extra expenses asked for colleges and universities. Even if you are lucky enough to get this support, it does not mean that you will not have to pay more. And this fact is a real disappointment for not wealthy families, who send their children to higher educational institutions.
Hidden costs are the most unpredictable expenses required by higher educational establishments. They are impossible to plan and sometimes the sums are so sky-high that graduates have to give back debts for many years after they finish it. If you are going to enter a college, it is always important to evaluate the situation in advance and ask students, who study there, what awaits you in future and think if you are able to cope with that. Only by doing so you will realize if studying meets your budget and you are able to finish it.
Also published on Medium.