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How Much Is College Per Month

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Types Of Materials And Where Theyre Buying

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College students are frugal when considering where theyll buy course materials and what types of course materials they purchase. Some options, like renting or buying digital books, save a lot but come with their own drawbacks. Read on to see how college students differ when deciding what materials to get and where to buy them.

Average Cost Of Lost Income

Many students dont consider the potential lost income or opportunity cost of working rather than attending school. However, school is costly, and therefore, students should understand the risk and rewards to both sides.

  • For high school graduates, the average weekly income is $763, and the annual income is $39,676.
  • Almost 50% of college students cant afford to buy balanced meals.
  • Four years after students receive their high school diploma, they earn roughly $158,704 or $108649 annually after taxes.
  • 56% of students nationwide experience housing insecurity, and 45% of students have food insecurity.
  • 44% of students attending 4-year institutions worry about running out of food, and 50% of students have the same worry from 2-year institutions.

How Much Does College Really Cost

When it comes to paying for college, theres a lot more to consider than just the tuition bill. College students should also think about how much everything from an apartment to flying back home for break to late-night munchies will cost them. And while these costs add up, theres no need to panic: Weve got ways you can save big.

To help you figure out how much college will cost you each year, weve made a list of the major expenses and the price tag for each. The quick gist of it is this: The bulk of your college expenses come from your tuition, fees, room and board, which altogether typically cost anywhere from about $17,000 to $29,600 to $38,500 per year , according to a study by the College Board.; Add in personal expenses, books, supplies and transportation, and the total annual tab balloons to about $21,500 for an in-state public university to $34,000 for an out-of-state student at a public school to over $42,000 for a private college.*

Of course, its a little more complicated than that.; So, heres a detailed look at what youll pay for college each yearand how you can save on each expense.

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Course Material And Supply Costs

College textbooks vary in price, but can cost a small fortune depending on the degree. Some students go to extreme lengths to afford their textbooks including skipping meals and skipping trips home. Below are the different costs college students face when purchasing course materials and other supplies.

  • For the 2019-2020 academic school year, college students spent $413 on average on required course materials and supplies.
  • The $413 average spent on course materials for the 2019-2020 school year indicates a 41 percent decrease since 2007, when the average was $701.
  • For the 2019-2020 academic school year, college students spent around $47 per class on required course materials.
  • The amount college students spent on required course materials for the 2019-2020 academic school year decreased by 6 percent since the 2018-2019 school year.
  • Of all the different categories of spend that college students planned to budget for in 2020, 89 percent reported school supplies as the top category.
  • Students acquired an average of 7.7 required materials for the 2019-2020 academic school year.
  • 30 percent of students said they spent more money on textbooks in 2019 as compared to what they spent in 2018, while 28 percent said they spent about the same.
  • 40 percent of students chose not to purchase at least one of their assigned textbooks due to its high cost.

Even Those Living On Campus Still Need A Budget

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  • M.Ed., Higher Education Administration, Harvard University
  • B.A., English and Comparative Literary Studies, Occidental College

Living in the residence halls during your time in college often means you can avoid the hassle of having to pay rent every month, deal with a landlord, and budget for utilities. There are still, however, lots of costs that come with living in the dorms.

Keep in mind that, as a student living in on-campus housing, there are actually a lot of expenses you have control over. Sure, you may be required to purchase a meal plan, but you can purchase the smallest one possible and keep some snacks in your room for when you’re hungry. Additionally, if you take care of your room during the year, you won’t face unexpected charges for cleaning or damage repairs when you check out. Lastly, taking good care of yourself e.g., finding time to exercise, getting enough sleep, and eating well can help eliminate unexpected costs on things like doctor’s appointments or medications.

Below is a sample budget for a student living on-campus during their time in school. Your costs may be higher or lower depending on where you live, your personal choices, and your lifestyle. Consider the budget below a sample that you can revise as needed for your own individual situation.

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Benchmarking Progress To College Savings Goal

You can benchmark your progress in saving for a childs college education by multiplying the childs age by $3,000 for an in-state 4-year public college, $5,000 for an out-of-state 4-year public college and $7,000 for a 4-year private college. The difference between these figures and the actual college savings amount is the amount you should contribute as a lump sum now to catch up.

See also:How to Save More Money for College?

What Influences The Cost

A better education isnt necessarily more expensive. Lots of factors affect that sticker price, many of which have nothing to do with the quality of the classes, professors, or overall experience.

  • Location: Since the general cost of living is often more expensive in big cities like New York City compared to small towns, going to college there can cost you more. Of course, this isnt a hard-and-fast rulethere are plenty of expensive schools in more rural areasbut its something to consider if your dream is to go to college in a big metropolis. Different regions of the country also have differently priced schools, with the Northeast generally being most expensive and the South the least.
  • Public vs. private: Private schools almost always have higher sticker prices than public ones. However, some private universities and colleges have big endowments and more generous scholarship programs and aid packages. So although public is usually the cheaper option, in some cases, private schools may end up being the less expensive choice for certain students.
  • In-state vs. out-of-state: While private schools dont generally charge more to students coming from out of state, when it comes to public colleges and universities, staying within your home state can make a big difference. The College Board reports that the average price for in-state tuition at a public school is $16,460 less than the average price for out-of-state students.

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Next Steps To Consider

how much i spend in a month as a college student | uiuc college vlog

Trends in College Pricing and Student Aid 2020Trends in College Pricing and Student Aid 2020Trends in College Pricing and Student Aid 2020Note on Methodology

Investing involves risk, including risk of loss.

Please carefully consider the plan’s investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses before investing. For this and other information on any 529 college savings plan managed by Fidelity, contact Fidelity for a free Fact Kit, or view one online. Read it carefully before you invest or send money.

Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Member NYSE, SIPC, 900 Salem Street, Smithfield, RI 02917

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Bottom Line: Save As Much As You Can

When it comes down to it, you’ll need to reconcile your numbers with what you can truly afford. Saving for college is important, but it needs to work with your other priorities, like saving for retirement or building an emergency fund.

Be sure you’re doing all you can, though. Cutting expenses to save an additional $25 a week could have a huge impact in the long runand make it less likely that you’ll struggle financially when it’s time for college.

How Much You Really Need To Save In A 529 Plan

Part 2 of that “scary” number that you need to save each month for your child’s college is that number is based on saving 100% of their college costs.;As a parent, you don’t need to pay for 100% of their school. Or, maybe you’ll pay for 100% of their public in-state tuition, and the rest is up to them. Or maybe you’ll just have a target savings number, and the rest is up to them.

It’s simply important to remember that you don’t have to save and pay for all their college. It’s THEIR college – not yours. Plus, there are tons of ways for them to find help paying for school, from finding scholarships, to getting student loans.;

So, instead of stressing out about saving $500 per month, I’m going to make the following assumptions and save based on that:

  • I’m going to save for an in-state college that currently costs $10,200 per year
  • I will contribute to all 4 years of college
  • I will pay 50% of the projected college costs
  • I’m done contributing to the 529 plan when my child is 18
  • I expect college costs to continue to increase by 4% per year
  • I expect to get 6% per year return on my investments in my 529 plan

With these assumptions, you should be saving about $96 per month for your child’s college, or $1,151 per year. Let’s see how that breaks down.

However, if you’re on the high end, and want to contribute to pay 100% of your child’s education expenses at a 4 year private college, I included that in the chart below too .

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How Much Of The Bill Do Parents Plan To Pay

Findings from Fidelity Investments’ 2020 College Savings Indicator Study5 also reveal that although many parents plan to pay the total cost of college and are increasingly on track, they need to start saving earlier: Fewer parents are starting to save before their child reaches the age of 233%, down from 37% in 2018but are on track to meet 33% of their college funding goals. The good news: This important college savings indicator is up from 28% in 2018.

Weve seen the percentage of costs parents intend to cover grow over the past several years, even as college costs continue to climb. Parents want to help minimize the burden of potential student loans, explains Rita Assaf, vice president, Retirement and College Leadership at Fidelity Investments. Despite these good intentions, fewer families today can realistically reach these lofty savings goals.

Any way you look at it, parents are on the hook to pay the lions share of college expenses. To keep things simple, our 2K rule of thumb methodology assumes that parents, on average, are expecting to cover 50% of college costs from savings. Thats the starting point for our college savings calculator. Your own situation might vary, so weve added the flexibility to let you input the percentage of college expenses that you expect to pay from savings.

How Do College Payment Plans Work

How Much Does a College Student Need Per Month

Many schools also offer flexible payment plans to make it easier to afford the cost of tuition. In fact, there are several different creative financing plans at most academic institutions.

These financing plans could include prepaying all four years of tuition at the beginning of your education to lock in a lower rate, or making monthly payments so you can spread out your tuition cost and not have to pay the entire amount all at once.

Making monthly payments for college can make it much easier if you are trying to work your way through school since you can pay a smaller amount at a time. Although you are not typically attending school for the full 12 months of the year, the repayment plan could still allow you to stretch your payment out over 12 months.

However, some schools charge for monthly payment plans or other extended payment arrangements. If your school charges fees, youll need to factor in this added cost when deciding if you should make monthly payments for college.

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More Tips To Help Pay For College

Even $100 a month can make a big impact when saving for your child’s future education. Here are a couple ideas to get you started.

Earn Extra CashConsider a side gig. If you brought in an extra $25 to $50 dollars each week, you’d be surprised how far that money could go.

Here are some options to consider:

  • Drive for a rideshare app like Uber or Lyft
  • Pet sit in your home
  • Complete simple administrative tasks as a virtual assistant
  • Rent a room using Airbnb

Find Ways to Cut BackHere are some ideas to save $100 a month simply by reducing common expenses:

  • Cut the cord

How Much Do College Students Spend On Transportation

College student spending statistics reveal that transportation is an important expense for college students. The amount spent on this varies depending upon many factors. Many go to college outside their native states. For them, recurring travel expenditure is usually made to travel between their native state and their place of education during college breaks. But the most important factor determining the extent of travel expenditure is the distance from the students place of lodging to the campus.;

Many students might be tempted to rent a place that is a bit far off from campus due to lower rents. But this can very well backfire if transportation becomes cumbersome or transportation bills become large.;

15. Students spend $2,800 on transportation.

During a 4-year college degree, the average college student spending on expenses related to transportation is $2,806. This is also an area where students can cut down on expenditure by opting for greener and healthier transportation options.;

16. Students with dependents pay a lot more.

Students with dependents spent $1,296 during a nine-month cycle towards transportation costs. According to the same estimates, this was almost twice the amount spent by students living with their parents and thrice the amount spent by students without dependents living on/off-campus.

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Cost Of Books And School Supplies

The average price of books and school supplies for students at both public and private colleges in 2020-2021 is $1,240.

Textbook prices have risen 812 percent since 1978, according to a 2019 report by Follet, an educational products company. Borrowing books from the library or purchasing digital or used textbooks can reduce your costs, but students still find budgeting for textbooks to be a major source of stress, according to a survey of current and former college students by textbook publisher Cengage. Thirty-one percent of the students surveyed said they took fewer classes to save on textbook costs, and 43 percent said they skipped meals or took out loans to pay for course materials.

Figure Out The Real Price Of Attending A School And Pick The Best One For You

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Even knowing that college is expensive, the actual numbers can come as quite a shock. According to The College Board, for the 2020-2021 school year the average in-state four-year public college costs $22,180 per year for tuition, fees and room and board. The average out-of-state four-year public school costs $36,640 per year, and the average cost of a private not-for-profit four-year school is $50,770 yearly. Those big numbers can sometimes be quite surprising.

But comparing the true prices of different schools requires a little bit of investigation. Thats because the sticker pricethe number the school publishesmay actually vary quite a bit from what you end up paying, depending on aid like scholarships, grants, and loans. And since financial aid awards can differ from one school to the next, a college with a higher advertised sticker price may end up costing you less than one that technically has a lower price tag. Heres how to figure it all out.

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How Much Do College Students Spend On Clothing And Personal Care

College students spent a combined $9.5 billion on clothing and accessories in 2019. The rising trend of natural, eco-friendly products is one factor that is possibly driving purchases up in this sector. Take a look at the stats below to learn how much money college students sacrifice for clothing and personal care.

  • College students anticipated spending a combined $67.7 billion for the 2020 school year on clothing and accessories, food, electronics, personal care items, and furniture.
  • Individual college students anticipated spending around $148.37 on clothing and accessories for the 2020 school year.
  • Individual college students anticipated spending around $64.91 on collegiate branded clothing and accessories for the 2020 school year.
  • 59 percent of millennial college students who received spending money from their parents said they would primarily spend it on clothes in 2019.

Take a look at what individual college students planned to spend during the 2019-2020 back-to-school shopping season:

  • Electronics: $234.69
  • Collegiate Branded Gear: $64.91

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