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5 Financial Surprises that College Parents are Not Prepared For – Part 1

5 Financial Surprises that College Parents are Not Prepared For – Part 1

While attending high school, both students and their parents learn many aspects about what it takes to pay for college. What they learn can range from simple topics like tuition costs to more complicated aspects of college funding, like acquiring scholarship and such. However, no matter how much they learn and how prepared they feel they are, they actually are set for some surprises (financially speaking) when the time to actually pay the bills comes.

Let’s take a look at some of the most relevant aspects that might shock parents when it comes to paying for their children’s college.

1. Unexpected Textbook Expenses:

One of the most surprising costs that some parents have to face upfront before their children can even start college can be textbooks. As an example, while some families might estimate to spend no more than just a couple of hundred dollars in all the textbooks required for a single semester, depending on the courses taken and on the university to be attended, the cost for a first semester set of textbooks can total up to an impressive $1,000 and more.

Some parents, when faced with this kind of unexpected expenses, are almost forced into acquiring personal loans or student loans, thus compromising their financial future in the mid-term.

Thankfully, other option are available instead of just personal loans to counter these scenarios though, namely: going to online retailers such as Amazon or Barnes and Noble to find deals on textbook packages and on second hand learning materials. Renting books is also another important alternative to consider. It might not be the best and fanciest solution out there, but it definitely beats acquiring a personal loan.

And obviously, all parents should avoid at all cost purchasing packaged bundles of new books at the campus bookstores, since they tend to overcharge quite substantially.

2. “Parenting” Expenses:

While there is no doubt that parents aren’t the ones enrolling in college, sometimes they can also have expenses by themselves. For example, several parents tend to have additional expenses due to them trying to share part of the college experience with their sons and daughters. One of the most common examples of this is undertaking college orientation courses with their children.

While parents might think at first that it might only be a matter of assuming the course fees, there are other additional expenses, especially if their children attend a college out of town. Some of these can include an hotel room expenses, daily meals, transport and more. Of course, while it definitely is an expense worth making, some parents might need to acquire a personal loan in order to be able to cover for it. Add to that the already substantial bills that they have to face due to their children attending college and you have a recipe for a small, family financial crisis.

In order to combat this and thus, avoid even considering things like acquiring a personal loan, parents should consider the real value of expenses like this. Sometimes it might be worth it, but in many cases it might not, especially in times of recession like these.

So that’s it for now. Check back tomorrow for the remaining 3 financial surprises that parents might face when seeing their children to college. See you there!