What fees are hiding in your college tuition bill?

Posted on April 1st, 2013

How closely have you examined your college bill?

There’s more than just tuition, room, and board charges–many schools pack on several hidden fees, sometimes to the tune of thousands of dollars per year.

College fees have risen dramatically

ProPublica took a close look at several colleges’ additional fees and found that several are charging students up to 30 obscure fees, often for services or programs they aren’t interested in or are unaware of.

For example, Howard College charges all students a $100 “globalization fee” to “support internationalization initiatives” such as study abroad. However, even students who have no plans to study abroad must pay the fee.

And the University of California Santa Cruz tacks on an additional $24 to students’ bills annually for “campus childcare“–regardless of whether or not the students have children or use the university’s services.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, like college tuition and living costs, college fees have risen dramatically over the past ten years. For students already burdened by staggering tuition and room and board charges, these fees can really add up.

In fact, at some schools, they can even outstrip the cost of tuition–students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst pay mandatory fees for six times the cost of in-state tuition.

Reducing college costs

The worst part is, most students and parents don’t even realize they’re paying these miscellaneous fees because they’re rarely mentioned as a source of financial hardship for college students.

Some schools, for example, will allow you to opt out of things like health insurance fees or other extras–but they conveniently neglect to let students or parents know.

With student fees potentially adding thousands of dollars to your college bill, it’s extremely important to be vigilant when selecting a college and understanding the financial implications of your decision.

It can be useful to seek the help of an expert who can interpret your college bill and help you figure out a way to avoid unexpected fees and charges. We’d be happy to discuss your situation–call us at 1-888-234-3907 for a free consultation or send us a message using our contact form.

Category: Financial Aid News

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