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Getting a Handle on Extra College Expenses

College Parenting Expert, Wendy David-Gaines, reveals hidden college expenses that are often non-publicized and unknown to parents of first-time college students.

All my winning scholarship secrets are revealed right here >>

Let’s face it, sending a student to college is extremely expensive and even with scholarships, most families still need extra financial help while their students are in school. When families are looking at college costs, the numbers shown on college websites are usually for tuition, room, and board, and sometimes textbooks. 

What colleges typically don’t reveal are the hidden costs consisting of many of these:

  • Transportation
  • Food from anywhere other than campus dining halls
  • Laundry fees
  • Entertainment
  • Extra class fees, such as labs and special equipment
  • Dorm outfitting and decorating expenses

College Parenting Expert, Wendy David-Gaines, reveals hidden college expenses that are often non-publicized and unknown to parents of first-time college students and states,

College costs may be a frequent topic for the parent-student team to address but even the most thorough estimates can be off by thousands. That’s because there are huge hidden costs not mentioned by the colleges and not covered by financial aid. The good news is families can form a plan to reduce these extra expenses before they pop up unexpectedly.

Whether living on campus or commuting, COA (Cost of Attendance) does not include:

• Start-up costs

COA does not include one-time huge start-up costs like setting up a dorm room (bedding, desk and floor lamps, rug, mini-fridge, TV…) or purchasing a car (although COA may include campus parking fees. If not, add them in.). COA assumed costs may be dead wrong. The computer you bought may be hundreds of dollars more costly than the college includes- if it budgets for one at all.

• Program expenses

Your student may have classes and activities that require more costly textbooks and/or special equipment (scientific calculators, art/music supplies, athletic equipment, specific attire…).

• Parent travel expenses

Transportation costs under COA refer to student travel, not parents. So if you’re planning to visit your student on your own or for a college-sponsored event, factor in your meals and lodging, gas or plane tickets.

• Borrowing costs

If you and/or your student are taking out loans, even the low-cost federal government loans have their own start-up fees and POCS should add in interest charges.

To help you figure your POCS COA at different colleges, I created this chart:

Tuition and Fees
Books and Supplies
1Room and Board
Student Transportation
Personal Miscellaneous Expenses
Start-up Costs
Program Expenses
Parent Travel Expenses
Borrowing Costs
1 Commuters include their living expenses.

While you are comparing, here’s another POCS tip to keep in mind. Tuition can cost the same at an expensive private school as it does at a public state university. With the help of financial aid from the federal government and the school, as well as state programs and outside scholarships, college can be made affordable.

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To help you compare your POCS COA at colleges your student received admission offers along with financial aid awards, I created this chart:

Financial Aid Free $ Awards
Free $ from Federal
Free $ from State
Free $ from College
Free $ from Outside Scholarships
TOTAL Free $
How to Pay
Cash on hand
Federal Student Loans
Federal Parent Loans
TOTAL Paid by Family
1 Before accepting, check for strings attached to grants/scholarships such as maintaining a certain grade point average and/or a specific major, playing on an athletic team, joining the band, only available for the first year of attendance.
2 If total costs are greater than the free money award, the family must pay the difference.
3 Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a financial aid program. When the student works, he receives a paycheck for his FWS job. However, since FWS does not reduce the college bill, it is not included on the chart.

Getting a Handle on Extra College Expenses https://how2winscholarships.com

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