The costs of studying and college isn't just about your tuition fees. The student life comes with a lot of "hidden" costs that can add up to a hefty amount of money.
Housing costs make up a significant percentage of your total studying and college expenses, and it's usually second only to your course fees. If you're living on campus, in a homestay arrangement, or your own private apartment, you'll be paying thousands or more a year on your housing. Housing in itself has hidden costs like meal plans for on-campus accommodation, security deposits, and dorm fees. Additionally, furniture and decor - such as linen, desks, and chairs - can cost you hundreds of dollars. You might consider using local rent reports like this one from Columbus, Ohio, for example, to find the pest price when renting.
As a general rule, it might be cheaper to stay on campus if you’re in an expensive area. However, it might be better to stay off-campus if you're commuting or it's an area with low rental costs. Research different options and do detailed breakdowns to get the best deal. For example, you might decide to commute a little farther is worth the cost savings for housing. Likewise, sharing an
It's easy to overlook food as an expense item when in reality it's a major one. If you're staying on campus, some of your meals might be covered in your student accommodation costs. However, it's likely you'll need to buy your own groceries and snacks. Over the course of a semester, this could add up to thousands of dollars.
Whether you're in private accommodation or living on campus, budget for your meal costs ahead of time. Also consider how much you'll spend on eating out, which might be a few meals out a month or more.
Textbooks, stationery, and course supplies might not sound like a large expense category, but they can quickly take up a big chunk of your budget. You could be looking at more than $1,000 a year spent on books and supplies. Some courses require you to buy special equipment and software for exercises and assignments. In addition, if your notebook computer breaks down, you'll be spending hundreds or more to replace it.
Ways to minimize costs include buying second-hand textbooks, sharing equipment and software with a classmate, and taking advantage of library resources. Always ask for a student discount and haggle when you're replacin
Health insurance might be required for your visa if you're studying abroad, and it's easy to forget about essential costs like GP visits and dental exams.
To get the best deal, research health insurance plans to find the best deals for students. Look for medical and dental clinics that give student discounts, and check if there are any on-campus as these will likely be cheaper.
If you're studying away from home - abroad or in another state - those flights or long commutes home each break will add up. Over the course of a three-year degree, you could be looking at four round trips or more if you're studying abroad, so that's thousands of dollars on airfares. Currency fluctuations can make these costs more manageable or worse.
In addition, if you're living away from campus, you'll be paying for transport costs, whether that's a monthly bus pass or for daily train rides. If you're driving, factor in parking costs as well as running costs for your car.
Keep an eye out for cheap flights and try to travel dur
Membership fees for campus clubs, concert tickets, and eating out - these are some of the hidden costs of having an active social life as a student. Yet maintaining friendships and meeting new people is part of the studying experience, so you don't want to miss out.
Realistically budget for your social life, and explore low-cost or free recreational activities to do with friends. Always take advantage of student discounts where possible for eating out, events, and other recreational activities.
Doing an unpaid internship might be critical for experience and contacts in your industry, but both paid and unpaid internships can end up costing you. And if it's in another city, you could be paying more in accommodation and living expenses as well.
Look for internships where they offer to cover some of your daily costs, like lunch and transport. Carefully weigh up whether you can afford an unpaid internship before committing.
Whether you're studying abroad or close to home, life as a student and at college can come with a long list of hidden costs you hadn't thought about. By planning for these, you can get a more realistic est