How am I going to pay for school? Part I
I know many of you are browsing colleges, career schools, and universities; wondering to yourself, “How am I going to pay for this?” Many of you may have already called or emailed these institutions or visited the institutions websites seeking how much is it going to cost. The answer is not simple and it requires more than a simple answer. Sure schools can quote you an estimate on the average cost of an entire program but it goes into more detail than that. There are a few things to consider that differ from one school to the next. Not only do they differ but some schools may not charge you for these things and others may charge you for more. These are the typical things that a student may be responsible to pay for:
Tuition – Tuition can be charged by the credit hour, by the clock hour, or by the program.
Classroom Fees – This assists instructors with materials needed for class.
Lab Fees – This is an additional fee charged when utilizing lab settings.
Online Fees – This is a fee normally charged by schools with ground campuses that offer online courses. Most schools have to pay another company to run the online platform, or environment, like Blackboard. This additional fee for the school is passed on to the students.
Application Fees – This is a fee charged to apply to school.
Books – Some schools charge by the book, other schools have books included in the tuition.
Room and Board – If you live on campus, be prepared to pay for it. Room and board can be quite costly.
Materials – This is additional things you may need for school like certain software programs or computer hardware.
Uniforms – Yes, uniforms…some schools require you to wear a uniform. This is mainly schools that focus on medical degrees.
Graduation Fee – Just like your fee to apply to school, you have to pay to graduate.
Testing Fee – Some schools do not charge a fee for certification tests and others do. This is something I would ask about when first enrolling into a program because certification testing can be expensive.
The list is actually quite endless but it does very from one school to the next.
The total cost of an associate’s degree for the 2012-2013 school year can range from about two thousand dollars ($2,000) to about forty thousand dollars ($40,000). It all depends on if you are an in-state student attending a community college, an out-of-state student attending a university, or a student attending a career school.
I am not writing this to scare you into thinking you cannot afford to attend college and earn a degree. I am writing this to break it down for you and offer a better understanding of how it all works. Schools do not assume a person can afford to pay cash for their education, although some of you can afford to do so. There are many options available to assist you in paying for your education. Check back tomorrow where I will be covering the FAFSA and to complete your application.