The cost of going to college has changed dramatically since many of our parents have gone. Many parents consider starting to save for there children's education as soon as they are born. When evaluating college costs, the first numbers people usually turn to are tuition, room, and board. While the tuition figures listed in most financial aid guides are fairly accurate, the average room and board figures can sometimes be off. There are many expenses that aren't always discussed and that you might not consider. Although the cost of college has risen it is almost necessary to have a college degree in this day and age.
Tuition is fairly simple to understand; it's the amount the college requires to attend class. At some colleges, there's a flat tuition amount regardless of how many credit hours are taken. At others, the amount depends on the number of credit hours. In a government study taken in 2000, "Over three quarters of all college students attend an in state college or university due to the relatively low in state tuition (U.S.1)".
The first thing you'll want to do when adding up the total cost is put down the exact tuition amount. If the school bases the amount on number of credit hours, assume 15 hours per term. There are some fees required of all students and some that may have to be paid simply because of the major you choose. For example, science majors may have to pay a refundable lab breakage deposit of $50 to $100 per lab course. Assume that you'll get none of this amount refunded, since even the most careful student breaks a beaker occasionally. Some colleges may also have an optional student services fee, depending upon whether you choose to participate in certain activities.
Books are another huge...