When a young person has gotten the acceptance letter that they are accepted into the college of their choice, not only does it mark a new season for them, but it also can be one of the most exciting times in their entire life. There are so many new people to meet, classes to take and experiences to have. And to tell you the truth, perhaps the only real downside that they have to consider is just how much a college education costs.
If you are preparing your own child for school, one of the best ways to do that is to get them ready for the financial responsibilities that they are going to have (or at least share with you). That’s why we wanted to provide you with a list of a few of the common “money issues” that most college students encounter. That way, you can help them to put a plan in place in order to handle each one.
Tuition. There’s no doubt about it. The most prevalent financial issue that a college student has is looking for ways to pay off their tuition. Although an overwhelming majority of young people take out college loans, encourage your child to also looking into apply for scholarships, grants and work study programs so that they can graduate as debt-free as possible.
Books. OK, unless you’ve been a college student before, you might not think that purchasing books is that big of a deal, but the reality is that it can be one of the biggest “bills” that a young person faces each semester. That’s because many books can cost as much as $100-200 a piece and based on your child’s class load, that can really start to add up. There are websites that will allow your son or daughter to trade textbooks rather than buy them. Some of the sites include Text Swap, Book Gator and Book Mooch.
Credit cards. Credit card companies enjoy “wooing” college students. After all, they’re young, they usually don’t have much credit and they tend to be quite impressionable. Although there may be credit card company recruiters standing in line in the campus student center waiting to sign your child up, try and deter your son or daughter from doing so (especially if they don’t have a steady job). There are a lot of adults in deep financial debt now all because the treated a little piece of plastic like free money rather than a loan (that comes with interest).
Fees. Something else that can creep up on a student is college fees. There are freshman orientation fees, access to technology lab fees, student activity fees, intramural sports fees, fraternity and sorority fees, parking fees and if you happen to sign your child up for a college health care plan (more than half of all schools offer them), there are also health care fees.
Car. If your child does decide to attend a school like the University of Cincinnati, Drexel University or the University of Tennessee (Knoxville), based on how far the school is from home, you may be thinking about providing them with a car of their own. And as we bring this list to a close, just make sure to remember that cars need gas along with consistent maintenance. Therefore, you will definitely need to set aside a couple of hundred dollars a month aside for whatever the vehicle’s needs may be. So, if money is tight, you might want to wait on giving your son or daughter a car of their own; at least until they can financially contribute to it. The best of luck to you.