College Expenses: Some Forgotten Items Students Should Expect to Buy

When high school graduates go off to college, they think about the cost of tuition, room and board and books. There are many other expenses for which most students and their parents don’t think or budget. College is expensive, and there are many opportunities in which a student would like to have a little more cash and be slightly more financially secure. By planning for some of the expenses that most people do not think about a student can be more prepared financially.

Tuition Services

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For students that live on campus and would like to park on-campus parking permit is a necessary purchase. Parking permits can range in price from twenty to just under two hundred dollars. They must also be purchased at the beginning of every school year. For those students that do not live on campus and would like to park on campus sometimes or all the time, a permit or money for a meter will be required. At small schools and some community colleges, parking permits might not be needed.


Unlike in high school supplies for projects will very rarely be supplied. The cost of general school supplies such as pencils, pens, notebooks, binders, and paper can add up. Add to that expense poster board, lab supplies, engineering paper, goggles, and other project-specific supplies, the cost of each class will continue to rise.

Student Organizations

Becoming involved on campus is very important for all students. It might seem as though becoming involved in student organizations would be a cost-free endeavor, yet it most generally is not. Dues to local organizations, dues to national professional societies, t-shirts, the cost of attending conferences and the cost of activities are some of the expenses that can be attributed to joining student organizations.


If printing at any of the computer labs on most college campuses students are charged by the page that they print. Even printing on a student’s own personal printer can cost a fair amount of money when adding up the prices of paper and ink cartridges. The copy centers and other printing areas also charge for photocopies, and binding of resumes and projects. The cost of printing lab manuals, online resources, and the notes professors post online are just some of the materials a student will be printing and the cost of these commonly occurring projects can easily be considered in a student’s budget.

Concerts, Games and Charity Events

College campuses are busy and active places. There are constant concerts, charity events, and other entertainment type activities being held. The cost of attendance to most events held on campus is small from three to ten dollars but if a student attends an event a week the amount of money spent to attend these events can cause a serious dent in a student’s budget. It is hard to predict what events a student would like to attend and how much it will cost. If a student simply budgets a certain amount of money each month for entertainment and takes the cost of these activities out of these funds this cost can be managed.