Is the “estimated cost of college” what I'll actually have to pay?

Photo credit: Daniel Mosely

Here’s an example of the estimated cost of a college:

Books and Supplies $1,170.00
Computer Expense $1,039.00
Tuition and Fees $7,514.00
Personal Expenses $1,670.00
Room and Board $8,262.00
Transportation $1,022.00
Total: $20,677.00


This is the estimated cost of attending this college, it's not a bill. What you will pay to the college directly is the tuition and fees, and room and board if you live on campus. Everything else is just an estimated cost to help you prepare for what you may be spending. So for example, a computer expense is probably a one-time cost and you don’t have to spend the amount listed, nor do you have to pay the college for it.


Personal expenses could include anything from clothes and toiletries to money to go out on weekends. The amount listed is just to help you budget your money.

You definitely don't have to spend over $1,000 for books and supplies, and you shouldn't! There are tons of ways to save on books such as buying them online, renting them, going to the library... you can also check out 14 ways to save hundreds on textbooks.


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