Can you think of some of the most expensive things you may have purchased recently? Maybe it was a new pair of Nike shoes, or new speakers for your car. But think about something that costs young adults all over the globe a pretty expensive penny: paying to attend college. For some, paying for higher education is an expense that breaks a bank or two.
Along with paying for college tuition, there are other hidden costs that tend to add up as the semesters move along. While some costs may seem obvious, it is important to take note of where you can save some extra $$$.
Picture this: it’s a month before your freshman year. While you may be getting excited to experience all of the freedoms that come with going away to school for the first time, your parents are shaking in their boots with the stressful thoughts of watching the dollar bills escaping from their wallets. First things first—we must do some shopping for your new home: the dorm. You see this as getting excited to shop for bedding, posters, iPod docks to blast some tunes, and a new flat screen TV. But those costs add up, quickly.
Once you’re moved in, it’s time to think about: FOOD. Without mom or grandma’s AMAZING cooking, you realize you’re going to have to eat somehow, someway. You have two options: on-campus dining which amounts to paying for meal plans, or off-campus dining, which consists of you making grocery runs and somehow finding ways to cook for yourself. If you choose the on-campus dining route, meal plans can cost upwards of $500-700 a semester!
Another hidden cost of going to college: student organization fees. Some student clubs and organizations typically charge you to be a member, usually called “dues.” Fraternities and sororities often carry pretty hefty fees to join as well.
The final hidden cost that most of us at RedShelf have had experience with is dishing out cash for textbooks. Maybe some of you have even had experience paying for the outrageously priced economics, statistics, or biology books costing close to $200 a book! Let's take a look at an example. Your economics course requires a specific text, "Exploring Economics." You can go to the bookstore and select one of the options available (Buy new, used, rent or see if an eTextbook option is available). What is this textbook listed at on Amazon? A whopping $267.71 to purchase new and $87.98 to rent! But if you're interested in going the eTextbook route, "Exploring Economics" on RedShelf is listed at $72.99 to rent or $169.99 for lifetime access! I don't know about you, but that is money well saved!
With more affordable solutions for college students, though, the cost of textbooks can easily be lowered. As new technology innovations come about, a part of RedShelf’s focus is to provide affordable textbook options to students: eTextbooks at a lower price than the traditional print versions.
There are plenty other costs when it comes to paying your way through college, but measure your options and budget yourself. There are plenty of sites out there to help you learn how to budget your spending, like this one. Do some research about reasonably priced options that may be available for you to utilize!