Before you head off to college, you’ve probably gotten pretty familiar with the big, scary number on the school’s website guessing how much your tuition, room and board will come out to be. Once you actually end up on campus, however, you’ll realize that the big, scary number didn’t account for quite a few different expenses.
We’ve got a few heads up expenses to keep in the back of your mind as you go through school so you aren’t caught off guard.
1. Class and test fees
When you sign on to register for classes in the coming semester, you might see that some classes have an asterisk with an added fee. Sometimes this is because it requires added materials (i.e. a DSLR camera in a digital photography class) or even time in the science lab. Be sure to look up the classes you need to register for before your registration slot so you know exactly how much you’ll need to pay.
2. School supplies
Hopefully you know to bring your pencils and notebooks with you for class. What you may not think about having? A backup charger, a good pair of headphones, an external hard drive and probably a few other pieces of tech your school demands. While it can get pricey, it’s worth the investment early on in your college career to make sure you’re set up for success all four years and beyond.
3. Activity fees
College is more than classes and tests. It’s a time to build a life for yourself with all new people, probably away from home for the first time. You’ll want to try a little bit of everything (seriously, you should). But after the first few weeks of the new year, that intramural lacrosse team and your new sorority are going to want their dues for you to join. The dues are necessary to support club activities but you want to be sure it’s something you’re going to stick with before you commit to paying.
4. Parking fees and car costs
Having a car on campus can be extremely liberating. Your car can also rack up some costs you may not have factored into your college budget. Parking spots on campus are not free - they can cost a couple hundred dollars each semester. Not to mention, you’re already paying for gas, maintenance and maybe even insurance on top of that. Before you bring the car, make sure it’s feasible for you.
5. Summer storage
Moving to campus took the whole family, two full cars and three hours running up and down the stairs with all of your new stuff. Moving out can be a beast too if you aren’t careful. If you want to keep your stuff at school, especially if you’re going to school out-of-state, you’ll want to consider putting your stuff in storage for the summer. That could cost you a couple hundred dollars for the summer so make sure to factor it in.
College can be tricky when it comes to your budget. Make sure you’ve got a plan to manage your expenses, both big and small. And if you need a little extra cash to give you a boost, make sure you download the Kora app and you could get up to $2000 of KoraCash in your bank account in as little as two business days.