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College Cost Essay

1054 words - 4 pages

The cost of going to college has changed dramatically since many of our parents have gone. Many parents consider starting to save for there children's education as soon as they are born. When evaluating college costs, the first numbers people usually turn to are tuition, room, and board. While the tuition figures listed in most financial aid guides are fairly accurate, the average room and board figures can sometimes be off. There are many expenses that aren't always discussed and that you might not consider. Although the cost of college has risen it is almost necessary to have a college degree in this day and age.Tuition is fairly simple to understand; it's the amount the college requires to attend class. At some colleges, there's a flat tuition amount regardless of how many credit hours are taken. At others, the amount depends on the number of credit hours. In a government study taken in 2000, "Over three quarters of all college students attend an in state college or university due to the relatively low in state tuition (U.S.1)". The first thing you'll want to do when adding up the total cost is put down the exact tuition amount. If the school bases the amount on number of credit hours, assume 15 hours per term. There are some fees required of all students and some that may have to be paid simply because of the major you choose. For example, science majors may have to pay a refundable lab breakage deposit of $50 to $100 per lab course. Assume that you'll get none of this amount refunded, since even the most careful student breaks a beaker occasionally. Some colleges may also have an optional student services fee, depending upon whether you choose to participate in certain activities.Books are another huge part of the cost of college. Here again, this figure will vary according to the major. For example, science books can be extraordinarily expensive ($75 or more for some), and there could be ten or more books required for one English literature course. In addition, there may be lab workbooks, photocopied articles, and study guides that don't always get figured in. While the financial aid office usually provides an average annual amount, this figure is apt to be low. Estimate between $600 and $1100 per year.Now I bet you think that you are going to be able to save a lot of money by commuting to college instead of paying for room and board. You will indeed save some money, but when you break it down and figure it out it may not be as much as you anticipated. The commuting expense includes both the cost of commuting back and forth from the local residence to classes and the cost of getting to and from home during vacations and breaks. For a student living on campus, the transportation or commuting amount is probably zero, unless you have a car. If a car is involved, there are parking fees, insurance payments, and gas, oil, and maintenance costs. Not to mention the hassle of waking up earlier to make sure you give yourself enough time to compete...

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