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College Talk Blog

Look at fees to see if your college is a good deal

Parents and students focus on tuition and dorm prices when they estimate what college will cost. However, consumers need to also take a look at the additional college fees that they will be expected to pay, which can be substantial. Colleges can and do charge fees for the a variety of services. A sampling of fees from college websites is listed below:
  • parking fees and fines, if students are permitted to bring cars to campus
  • student and library ID cards and replacement card fees
  • extra fees for meal plan options
  • extra fees for special housing plan options
  • health services fee
  • student activities fee(whether you plan to participate or not)
  • internet
  • technology fee
  • make-up exam fee
  • consolidated services
  • out-of-state student fee
  • out-of-district student fee (sometimes charged by community colleges)
  • lab fees
  • program change fee
  • graduation fee
  • breakage and locker fee
  • late registration fee
  • library fee and fines
  • materials fee
  • uniform fee (medical programs)
  • equipment replacement fee
Some fees are lumped into a tuition and mandatory fee figure and then there are other non-mandatory fees charged. Colleges vary a great deal on the number of services for which they charge extra and on the amount that they charge in fees. Once a family looks at fees, a more accurate picture of the cost of a college emerges. Knowlege of all charges helps a familiy know whether a college with a lower tuition bill is offering a good deal or if the college is simply making up for that low tuition charge with a large number of high fees.

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