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3 Hidden College Fees That Can Cost You


College is inherently expensive, but more and more schools are adding in hidden fees that can add up to big bucks. Luckily, you can curb the fees with a little bit of advanced planning and persistence. Read on to discover some fees you can skip paying.

Application Fee

Many colleges charge an application fee that is due at the time of the entrance application. Instead of writing out a check for $100 or more, why not call the school and ask them to waive it? Most colleges will require a reason, but a simple, “I can’t afford it right now” will probably suffice.

If your son or daughter applies to 10 schools with $100 application fees at each, that’s a savings of $1000. Don’t you think $1000 is worth a few moments of your time?

Lab Fees Or Supply Fees

A common fee is the lab fee or supply fee. With the amount of money you’re paying for classes and labs, you shouldn’t have to shell out extra to cover the cost of supplies. If you see either of these red flags appear on your tuition statement, it may be time to call the school and ask for a waiver.

This is an especially dirty trick if your son or daughter isn’t taking any labs or classes that require special supplies. If your child is bringing in their own books, paper, pencils and other materials, there is no reason to pay a supply fee. Often, the fees are automatically added to tuition, making it difficult to even know if they’re there.

Student Meal Plan Fees

Some colleges require students to participate in a meal plan regardless of whether they live on campus or off. If your son or daughter is in a situation where they will not be eating on campus, it’s advantageous to inquire about a reduced plan or waiving the meal plan entirely.

Usually, schools with compulsory meal plans offer a reduced plan with less meals and a lower cost. If your student isn’t eating on campus anyway, bank the difference and enjoy the savings.

Education is big business and most schools are either too large or too financially shrewd to overhaul their imposed fees. Many small fees add up to a big expense, so carefully go over your tuition bill and don’t be afraid to question anything that looks suspicious. Your wallet will thank you.

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