College Edition: Top 10 educational expenses

June 12, 2007 at 2:08 pm Leave a comment

Now that summer is here, the last thing you want to do is think about school. But, if you’re heading to college in the fall, here’s a few things you might need to know to start saving that hard earned money from your summer job. If you’re a parent of a child headed to college, this list is a must read.

The Top 10 Educational Expenses
(from 10 Things You Gotta Know about Your First Year of College, Spark Publishing)
Educational expenses include school supplies, computer accessories, and books.

1. Computer
A lot of students already have a computer at home. But, if you don’t, it’s not that big a deal. You’ll be able to use the computer labs at your school for whatever you need. If you’re looking at purchasing a computer, consider a laptop. The cost will run anywhere from $600 to $3000, depending on the type of computer you want. Note: Remember, students are eligible for educational discounts which can save you 25-60%.

2. Printer
This item can easily be marked off if it’s not really needed. There are alternatives for students, such as burning files to CD and printing them in the computer lab. A great alternative to a $70 to $300 printer. Not including the $70 to $150 expense of ink cartridges.

3. Books
This is a biggie and it is not optional. Books can cost anywhere from $500 to $750 a year (for some, a semester). Be sure to look for alternative cost saving options like used books, eBooks, and/or audio books.

4. Writing Supplies
Note taking and highlighting are just part of school. Highlighters, pens, pencils, etc. will cost you up to $50.

5. Paper
What good are pens and pencils if you can’t use them? Be sure to include around $75 for paper.

6. Backpack
You’re gonna need something to haul around your books and stuff. Backpacks (or messenger bags, if you prefer) will run anywhere from $30 to $150. Be sure to look into educational discounts as well.

7. Calculator
Unless you’re a math major, you probable won’t need anything too fancy. Calculators cost anywhere between $5 to $50.

8. PDA
Honestly, PDA’s, or personal digital assistants, aren’t a necessity in college. They’re nice to have, but a laptop and cell phone should suffice. But, if you absolutely have to have one, look at spending $99 to $600.

9. Miscellaneous supplies
You can add another $250 to $400 for things like portfolios, files, folders, binders, computer software, etc.

10. MP3 player
You really don’t need an mp3 player for college, but they sure are nice to have when you want to tune out you obnoxious roommate. They can also be used to record important notes for class or ideas for projects. You can also download audio books and listen to them wherever you go. MP3 players will cost between $200 to $400.

In all, you’ll probably need to save somewhere around $1950 to $5900 to get you geared up for school. But, just like anything else, consider what you really need, and start saving. Keep an eye out for sales, bargains, and purchasing used items (especially books). Auction sites like eBay can be useful too.

Useful links:
Academic Superstore
Adobe – Education
Apple Store for Education
CCV Software
Campus Tech
Dell – Higher Education Solutions


Entry filed under: College Edition Series, College Planning, Money Fun.

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