College Bound – Don’t Forget the Fees

If you are the parent of a high school senior you are more than likely going to graduations in the next few days or weeks. I am sure if your reading this post-college is on your mind. Here are fees you should know about before your kids go to college. After speaking to parents all over the country who have recently sent their children to college, it was vital for me to write this post. Please understand that not all colleges will have all these fees, but all will have some. Note not all schools will have the same costs, but I don’t want you to get blindsided when you see the semester total.


Must colleges charge an application fee that can vary from $25 up to over a $100? If you call the school first, some have programs to waive that fee, but some don’t.


To move to any campus local or long distance will cost you money. Your kid is going to need personal basics like sheets, pillows, storage bins, lamps, etc.

Create a list and compare the prices to help you get the best deals. Many stores will have sales, so you should use that to your advantage. If your student plans to move out of state, there are gas or plane tickets too. Plan the trip and mapping out the cost will help you save money.


No matter what kind of college your student goes to they will need school supplies. They will need laptops, pencils, notebooks, and pens, etc. Once again create a school supply list and use the sales to your advantage.

Photo by Element 5 Digital


This fee is a requirement if you plan to live on campus. And is not included in your room and board.

There is a fee to pick your dorm. So, if you want to be in the new, remodeled dorm or in a dorm room with a friend, it’s going to cost your student some money.

Summer School Housing

There is a fee to fill out the form to stay on campus for the summer. So, your student housing is paid for by your lodging, but you still have a fee.

Campus Security

There is a fee for campus security. WHY I don’t know. I guess colleges want your student to pay for their staff.

I’m sure if you ask the school they will say something like it’s for cameras, fences and equipment and not for the team, but it’s still a fee you need to be aware of.

First Year Experience

There are workshops and seminars on campus for first-year students. They have Meet and Greets for freshmen and new students. These experiences come with a fee. Even if you don’t attend, you still must pay it.


Yes, you paid the first-year experience fee, but you still must pay the orientation fee. If your student is not a freshman, they still have an orientation fee to pay.

Photo by Juan Ramos

Health Service

There is a clinic on the campus. Your students can receive health services at the clinic throughout the year.

Student Insurance Plan

This is a health insurance plan that you must purchase for students that live on campus. I know you’re saying “But Raeshal my kid already has health insurance.” I know, but that doesn’t matter.  And NO this is not the same as the health service fee.

Payment Plan

There is a one-time fee to break up your monthly payments to the school. If you don’t have enough grants, scholarships, and loans, you will have to pay out of pocket. If you can’t afford to pay a lump sum, you will have to pay this fee to break up your payments.


There is a school fee for picking a school. Let’s say you choose school A over school B and school A has a school fee you will have to pay the fee. The kicker is you won’t know school A has a school fee until after you pay for that school year.


Some colleges have a fee to declare your major. Yes, I said it TO DECLARE YOUR MAJOR. We go to college to declare a major, so we can learn how to do tasks in that major. Then we use what we learned to help us get a job in that field.

Photo by Jeremy Bishop

Shuttle Service

There is a shuttle fee for most campuses. If your student’s college has shuttles, there is a shuttle fee. Even if your child has a car, they still must pay this fee. And having a car means your student will most likely have to pay a parking pass fee as well.


This fee is not for students that play sports this is for every student. The athletics fee is to go to home game sporting events for free. Some school still require students to pick up a physical ticket before the game or pay for a ticket at the game. So, let me get this straight. I pay a fee with my tuition, but if I don’t get my ticket in time, I still have to pay for the game. And if I never go to one game, I still need to pay this fee. WHY!


If you want your student to have internet everywhere on campus like their dorm room, there is a fee for that.

Even with all the fees, I am still PRO COLLEGE. I know now that I must plan to spend more. I didn’t write this post to stop you from going to college. I wrote it so that you are aware of the fees. A lot of these fees I am sharing are hidden fees. Think about this you don’t get your receipt for college tuition until about a week after you paid. Even if a college says the Tuition is $1700 and the room and board are $2000 understand that your total will not be $3700. There will be tons of fees and charges that may blindside you. My point for writing this post is so that that won’t happen.


Special thanks to all my parent contributors.

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