When it comes to figuring out how much college will cost, most families stop at tuition. The trouble with that is there are a lot of other expenses beyond tuition that you need to budget for when sending your child to college. In fact, tuition is only about 50-70% of the cost of sending your child to college. There are a lot of other expenses you need to plan for.
Traditional college budgeting focuses a lot of tuition, but there’s so much more than that. Let’s break down the expenses your college freshman can expect and tips for dealing with them.
Room and Board
The biggest expense beyond tuition is room and board. If your child is going to be living on campus (which many freshmen do), your school will include these costs on your bill. However, living expenses alone aren’t enough to budget for. You also need to think about food and snacks. College kids will eat. You can get the university meal plan, but in most cases that won’t be enough. You need to plan on giving your student some extra money to buy food.
Books and School Supplies
Next, books and school supplies. Books are expensive. The National Association of College Bookstores (NACB) estimates that the average college student will spend…