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Seeds of Fortune Inc. List of Hidden College Costs

Updated: Jul 30, 2020

When attending college there are the clear cost of such as Tuition, Room and Board, Books, Transportation, and Healthcare Fees. We are breaking down the additional costs of college. 


Fees for paying college bills

  • e.g., direct charges, such as tuition and fees) with a credit card, typically a 3% add-on    

Interest and fees on student loans and credit cards   

  • Various college fees   

  • Student health center fees

  • Student health insurance

  • Athletic center fees

  • Student activity fees

  • Orientation fee

  • Matriculation fees (new student fees) 

  • Graduation/Commencement fees

  • Academic transcript fees

  • Technology fee, such as a printing fee

Money management costs       

  • Bank account/debit card fees

  • Taxes (especially differences in sales tax rates)

Study Abroad

  • Room and Board Fees

  • Foreign Exchange Rate 

  • Travel to and from home

  • Emergency mo

Books and media     

  • Tutoring

  • Required vs. recommended texts

  • Renting vs. buying vs. borrowing texts 

  • Newspapers and magazines    

  • Library fines

  • Computer Purchase 

  • Peripherals/Accessories 

  • Software

  • Photocopying costs    

Dorm Room (Life)

  • Needs vs. wants    

  • Cable/satellite TV vs. on-line streaming

  • Cost of telephone service, network drop, Cable/Satellite fees

  • Furnishings, Bedding (extra-long sheets), Lamps, Towels  

  • Decorations (posters and prints)   

  • Furniture, Laundry baskets, Waste baskets, Bulletin boards

  • Hair dryers, Appliances (Dorm-sized Refrigerator, Microwave Oven, Toaster Oven)

  • Sundries, Electronics, Non-essentials (video game systems, PDAs, flat-screen TVs)

  • Personal hygiene, Laundry detergent, Quarters for laundry machine

  • Soap and shampoo, Hair care, Cosmetics

  • Summer Storage Fees 

  • Housing costs during the summer and/or academic breaks for students who stay on campus or rent an apartment 

  • Insurance for the student's belongings    

  • Cost of replacing damaged, lost or stolen property    

Cost of an off-campus apartment    

  • Rent

  • Security Deposit

  • Utility Deposit

  • Renter's Insurance

  • Utilities

  • Transportation

  • Car Auto insurance/Fuel

  • Maintenance

  • Parking fees

  • Parking tickets, traffic violations

  • Other travel-related costs    

  • Bus Passes

  • Uber and Zipcar

  • Travel to and from home    

    • Fall Break (Thanksgiving)

    • Winter Break (Christmas, Chanukah)

    • Spring Break

    • Summer Break 

Eating out for meals and snacks beyond a meal plan

Late night food

  • Beverages (Starbucks, Jamba Juice, soda/juice/water from vending machines)

  • Spending $10 a week on pizza adds up to $2,000 over the course of a four-year college career, so even small expenses can add up


  • Climate differences

  • Formal attire for job interviews and internships

  • Fashionable clothing

  • Cell-phone    

  • Cost of smart phone

  • Cost of phone service and charges

Joining campus clubs and organizations (extracurricular activities)    

  • Dues for Greek membership

  • Sponsored vs. free activities

  • Entertainment    

  • Movies

  • Concerts

  • Music

  • Participating in Student Clubs

  • Tickets to the Big Game(s)


  • Business Clothing

  • Non-paid opportunities 

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