And it’s hard to see these extra costs coming. When I was in college, most of the university’s scholarship programs were pegged to the value of full-time tuition but didn’t account for fees or supplies. So even with my full ride, I’d shell out a few hundred per semester for technology, athletic, etc… fees and materials. Instead of my part time income just going towards living expenses, you had to account for these added costs. Later, my graduate school was in downtown Atlanta so there were additional parking or public transportation costs.

Rising tuition is a real problem, but the nickel and diming going on around the periphery is what’s hard to anticipate and plan for. It’s hard to know the text for a class or digital access you’ll need to buy when you’re registering a semester before. You could drop the class, but there may not be another professor teaching the class or any openings left by the time you drop. Do you risk delaying graduation? It’s a sticky wicket.

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