Paying for Hidden College Costs not Covered by Financial Aid

by on March 31, 2017

When you are budgeting for four years to be spent on a college campus, it can be easy and quite tempting to believe that your costs will be limited to only those line item expenses such as tuition, books, fees, and room and board. That just isn’t the case, though.

Many students and parents will come to find that any college experience will also include a variety of quite expensive budget killers that are overlooked most of the time. These costs can include storage fees throughout the summer for your belongings to parking fees, lab fees, and even season tickets to the football games. While all of these will not be necessities exactly, many of them are.

How will you go about paying for these things? You will have enough college debt just for the line item expenses. Let’s take a look at some of the options you might have.


One way to cover some of the hidden costs of college would be to get one of the quick installment loans that are available. You will be able to get up to $1,250 and the requirements are minimal. All you need to have is a job that can be verified, an active checking account, and a valid social security number. Repayment terms are flexible and you can have access to the funds as soon as the day after you have been approved.

529 Plans

If you still have a bit of time before you or your child will be going to college – we are talking at least a few years here – you might want to consider a 529 plan. This type of plan allows for users to choose from various funds that they can invest in that includes things like money market accounts and real estate. Also, in Washington D.C. as well as 34 states, this plan qualifies for either a credit on your tax contributions or an income tax deduction. This is a way to pay for college costs that are often overlooked.

Life Insurance

Did you know that one great way to pay for college and its hidden fees is with life insurance? Many people choose to buy term life insurance, but this type won’t really help you that much. On the other hand, universal life insurance and whole life insurance policies can be of great assistance. This is because they build up a cash value that you can withdraw or borrow against. This is an easy to way get the money you need without having to go into debt to do it.

Work Study Programs

While you are busy filling out your applications for student aid, make sure that you check the box where it asks you if you might have an interest in student employment. There is something called the Federal Work Study Program that offers work study options to the students who are enrolled at one of the 3,400 schools that participate.

This can be an amazing way to fund those extra expenses at college. These jobs are only part time and they have to pay at least what the current minimum wage is. They also do not require you to be enrolled as a full-time student in order to qualify. You might end up working on campus for the school you attend or you might have an off campus employer that will more than likely be related to the field that you are studying. Aside from giving you money for those hidden costs, this will also give you valuable experience to add to your resume.

Consider Alternative Living Arrangements

It might be a great experience to live on campus, but it can also be quite expensive. You can cut down on these costs, leaving more money for the other hidden costs of college life, if you move off campus and get a roommate or two. If that won’t work for you, check into whether or not you can get discounts if you become an RA in a freshman dorm. If you live close enough to home, consider living with your parents to save that money and put it to use on your lab fees or parking fees.

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