Chart: The Total Costs of College
This chart comes courtesy of Adam Zoll, assistant site editor of Morningstar.com, who has been on a tear lately with a number of quality articles related to college finances. His informative series is not only packed with quantitative insights into higher education and related savings vehicles but also the sort of good, broad, and level-headed guidance lacking elsewhere. If you’re in the hunt for money saving ideas, and I suspect you are if you’re reading this blog, you can get some pretty compact advice by checking out his recent articles.
In this chart and article, titled And You Thought Just Tuition Was Expensive, Mr. Zoll points to a major problem for the affordologist: the fact that we cannot overlook the high and ever-rising costs in all things college. According to his sources, the additional costs of college- books, room and board, transportation, and incidentals- tack on an additional $14,000 per year per student on average. That’s not insignificant given that in-state public school tuition tends to run about $9,000 per year.
To overlook these costs in our resource and return calculations will cause us much trouble down the road as we try to make ends meet. Granted, housing, food, and transportation costs are not unique to the college student and would have to be met regardless of enrollment. But for some reason the price of dorms and meal plans has risen much, much higher than the prices of apartments and groceries for the general population (a fact which clues us in that the further from campus you can obtain these goods the more you might save). And books, don’t get us started on books.
Hopefully this chart is an eye opener for all of us. If we only focus on whittling away at the tuition problem we’re only halfway there. Stay tuned for more money earning/saving tips for non-tuition expenses as there are many to be had. In the meantime do take into consideration some of the ones dispensed by Mr. Zoll.