According to The College Board, the average public university charges in-state students an average of $7,020 annually, and out-of-state students an average of $11,528 for four-year programs. But colleges also charge other fees which you may not have budgeted for, beyond tuition. Here are eight common fees that you might not expect, with averages costs from Smart Money.
1. Freshman Orientation: $100
During freshman orientation, colleges need to maintain dorm facilities, pay speakers and security, plus host events and parties. They pass these costs along to students. Boston University charges $215 per student, and siblings who wish to attend must pay an additional $50. Iowa State University charges $190 for freshman orientation.
2. Health Care: $30 to $2,400
Many colleges require students to have some form of health coverage. If they are covered by their parents’ plans, then they will not need to purchase a plan from the college. Health coverage options vary from school to school. At Ohio State, the premium is $2,172 per year, although many schools charge much less.
3. Technology: $130 to $445
To defray the costs of maintaining computer labs and printing stations, many schools are now charging students additional “technology” fees. At Iowa State, most students pay $115 per semester, but students with tech-oriented majors like engineering and computer science pay $223.
4. Study Abroad: $800
Although enrollment at many foreign universities can be less expensive that in the U.S., your home institution may charge you a “maintenance fee” to keep you in the school’s records as a current student. This fee does not apply if you elect to study abroad using a program run by your college. Purdue University charges a fee of $853.35 per semester. Sarah Lawrence College charges $150 per semester.
5. Sports: $200 to $1000
Some sports have obvious high costs that students are asked to partially off-set whereas other sports charge fees to provide additional funding to the sports department. For example, students on the equestrian team at New York University pay about $250 per semester to cover part of the costs of their lessons and other fees. Similarly, participants in intramural sports at Ohio State pay $125 per sport per year, because these sports often aren’t supported by the university’s athletic department. On the other hand, if a college is in the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s top division, all students may have to pay $1,000 or more to support the college’s sports teams.
6. Greek Life: $2,000
At Ohio State, students living in their fraternity’s or sorority’s home pay an average of around $2,140. New inductees at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill can pay average fees of $1,753.
7. Parking: $400 to $600
Parking lot real estate on campuses can be high. Some colleges charge a fee to register a car. At the University of Hawaii, a parking spot costs $426 per year.
8. Student Activities: $270
Social events of all kinds require funding, and these costs are often charged separately from normal tuition fees. University of Maryland and MIT both charge $270 to cover annual student activities. At California State University in Fresno, the recreation center fee is $109 per semester.
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