Paying For College: The Hidden Costs

BOSTON (CBS) – Colleges post the cost of tuition, room and board and the miscellaneous fees but these are not the only expenses you will need to plan for.

Your kiddo applied to your alma mater, Vanderbilt University, in Nashville. And she was accepted! How much is it going to cost to fly that kid home? Three or four times a year?

Did your kid get into UMass Amherst and now he wants a car so he can bring his laundry home?

The school will probably require a new computer and printer. The dorm room may need a rug or lamps. Also new linens that fit the extra-long mattresses. New clothes are probably on the shopping list.

Some schools do not guarantee housing after freshmen year. So, will your kiddo be apartment hunting and need you to co-sign the lease sophomore year? Will they be competing for housing in the tight Boston market?

Got yourself a jock? You may be looking at purchasing equipment so they can play hockey.

Who pays for the concerts that appear regularly on campus, the spring break trips and the nightly pizza run? Laundry? Toiletries? Transportation? Health Insurance? The cell phone bill?  Your kiddo is going to want to text all her friends and hopefully you.

Sit your student down and have a money talk with them before they head off to college. Help them create a budget. Discuss who is going to be responsible for each expense? Have them earmark their summer earnings to pay for some of these extra costs.

For a student to get a credit card, they will need to have an adult co-sign. This would be a good time to tell them there is no credit card fairy to bail them out if they blow it.

If you do co-sign put a limit on the card and explain that using the card is a form of borrowing and they must pay it back. And if they are late with a monthly payment there will be fees such as late charges and they will pay interest on the loan to the credit card company as well.

One more thing:  Friday, November 3, 2017 is the next WBZ Business Breakfast, “Getting Into College or Trade School: Exploring The Options”, being held at the Westin Copley Boston from 8:00am-10:00am. You may register onsite prior to the event. Hope to see you there!

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You can hear Dee Lee’s expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m. and 3:55 p.m.

Subscribe to Dee’s Money Matters newsletter here.

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