Hidden College Costs to Look Out For


At a dinner party with your parent’s friends, or whatever social engagement you attend with people 25 to 40 years older than you, you have probably heard someone spouting off about how “Back in my day, I worked to pay off my college education!”. Hopefully, you had the backbone to notify them that when they went to college in the mesozoic era, the tuition at Yale was $475 a semester, and now the average tuition at a state school in Idaho is $6,000.

Maybe you didn’t, but hopefully in your heart you know there is no way for you to pay for your college education while also getting a college education. Luckily, there are ways to make your financial life a little easier. Look out for these hidden costs that will make your college life even more expensive.


If you’re still an innocent high school student, you may have laughed out loud upon reading “Textbooks” as a hidden college cost. You’re used to going down to your school library with your history class on the first day of school and having a free book handed out to every member of your class.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that won’t be the case in college. College students spend about $1000 per year on textbooks. So do your best to buy used, or take it a step further, and find the free PDF version of your required text online.


Growing up in your home town, parking is probably never something you have even worried about. You have a spot in your parent’s driveway on lock, and when you go to the grocery store, there are empty parking spots as far as the eye can see. You will have no such luck in your college town.

You will either need to pay an inordinate sum of money for a reserved spot with your school or apartment building, or suffer the wrath of constant parking tickets. It’s probably best not to have a car at school at all, at least for your first couple of years. Chances are, everything is in walking distance anyway.


Feel free to read: partying. It’s an unavoidable part of the college experience, not that you would want to avoid it anyway. It’s really the best part. But it can also be expensive. Somehow, acquiring alcohol through back channels as a minor — not that you would ever dare — is always twice as expensive as buying it legitimately. You will also inevitably end up attending movies, concerts, comedy shows and a variety of other exciting events with your friends. There’s nothing you can do but keep a budget, and don’t be overly generous with your broke friend.


Taxes are a complicated and pesky part of financial life that can never fully be accounted for. Now that you’re an independent human person, you will be expected to contribute to the well-being of the country. Learn all about taxes by using Villanova’s online tax llm.