College Costs – What are all the fees?

Understanding Costs and Fees

When looking into college options, don’t disqualify a school because of the sticker price. You may be able to go to a more expensive private school for less out-of-pocket money than a state school. But cost is important. You don’t want to graduate saddled with debt so do you’re research.


Private schools are generally more expensive than public schools. However, they also offer more aid programs that can bring the total cost down to par with other schools — especially if you have the profile they are looking for.
Your cost of attendance will include tuition, fees, room and board, books, transportation and personal expenses.

Summary of Costs – Be sure to include all of these fees when comparing colleges

  1. School Tuition and Fees:
    cost to attend class instruction, use libraries and all other related services for each enrolled student
  2. Books and Supplies:
    the estimated amount for books and supplies the student will be required to purchase for classroom instruction — this item may include a computer and other electronic/telecommunication devices
  3. Computer and Other Electronics:
    not necessarily required since colleges offer computer labs and other shared facilities. However, given the electronic push made by colleges, it will be the student’s advantage to have their own personal computer along with a printer and other necessary electronics.
  4. Room and Board:
    the estimated cost for housing and food if you live in a residence hall; if you live off campus, food expenses are not estimated
  5. Transportation:
    the estimated cost for 2-3 round trips from your home to school; if you live with your parents, the estimated commuting costs will be calculated
  6. Personal Living Expenses:
    the estimated cost for clothing, laundry and limited entertainment
  7. Miscellaneous:
    any other expenses that you can identify with your school’s Financial Aid Office
    Call 630-907-9830 for help in comparing college options and for assistance in determining the best way to pay for college.