College fees: Not just for books and athletics
Fees aren’t just for books, student clubs and athletics anymore. Schools keep coming up with different ways to squeeze money out of their students.
My colleague Daniel de Vise wrote in this Washington Post story about the large and sometimes hidden cost of athletic fees in Virginia and Maryland.
But anybody paying for a child to go to college should know about other fees that can each cost hundreds of dollars: technology, late library books, parking (some schools hold up diplomas until fines are paid), registration, late registration, dropping a class, dropping a class too late, freshman orientation, special equipment (camera for a photography class, for example).
You can pay $75 to replace a dorm room key at Johns Hopkins University, or up to $30 at different schools to replace a lost student identification card.
Fees have been going up everywhere across the country. A state audit in Colorado, for example, found that fees at state colleges and universities jumped 142 percent from 2006 to 2010, though tuition increased 69 percent.
The audit also discovered that schools often failed to completely explain to families why fees were being charged, an omission not specific to Colorado.
Does your child want to study abroad? First you have to pay a fee. The University of Illinois charges a $200 advance fee plus a possible $300 Second Advance Fee, and then, if tuition isn’t paid on time, there’s a late fee of 1.5 percent added each month to any unpaid balance until paid in full.
Want to get a master's or a doctorate? When you write your thesis, make sure the margins are exactly as the rules specify. Even an eighth of an inch off could cost a late fee. Or, at the extreme, you may have to stay -- and pay for -- another semester to do it again.
Its not just American students who complain about fees. In Vietnam, students of many public universities pay fees for enrollment, assessment, library use, military training uniforms, health care and health insurance.
And one university requires each new student to pay a fee for a new pair of shoes. Even if they don't need them.
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| October 25, 2010; 10:50 AM ET
Categories: College Costs | Tags: college costs, college fees, freshman orientation, health center, health insurance, late fees, late registration, library fees, parking fees, registration fees
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