What are the best tips to help families to reduce the cost of attending college on room and board? originally appeared on Quora, the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
After careful planning of your college list, paying close attention to tuition costs and merit scholarship awards, that first glimpse of a financial aid offer can still induce sticker shock on even the most prepared students and their families. This is often due to this price tag including the cost of housing and meal plans, a price factor that is rarely considered in the initial pricing discussions. These days, Room and Board costs can add an unexpected ten thousand dollars, or up to fourteen thousand dollars in some cases, to the final bill.
These days, Room and Board costs can add an unexpected ten thousand dollars, or up to fourteen thousand dollars in some cases, to the final bill. A reasonable in-state tuition cost at a state university can turn a $14,000 college into a $30,000 college at the mere mention of a shared room and breakfast buffet.
Thankfully, there are a few things to note that can reduce that initial stress right away. Colleges will base this Room and Board amount on what the “typical first-time student chooses.” This often means this price is reflecting all the most expensive choices for an incoming freshman. Why do they do this? Part of it is marketing. If families become accustomed to this higher amount, they may not question pricing options further and the college easily wins by selling a premium housing package. The other part of the equation is the desire to take care of nonresident and international students. Many students attending college are far from home for the first time, so choosing a premium dorm room and all the extra “flex dollars” in their meal plan is an easy price to pay for a parent looking to reduce homesickness.
In the eyes of the college, it is better to over-deliver and suggest the best options on campus than market only their lowest price options and risk getting in trouble for misrepresenting their costs.
Read how this is good news for you in our article here.