College Ave Corner

6 Unexpected Costs Students Might Not be Prepared For

Heading off to college comes with a variety of costs. Most of these expenses – tuition, dorm supplies, course materials, etc. – are planned for. However, there’s a chance some unexpected college expenses might come up, and it’s important to be prepared.

Here’s our list of common unexpected costs that students might not be prepared for:

Club/Organization Fees

Getting involved on campus is a great way to make friends and build up your resume, but be aware of any potential fees or dues that come with a membership. Club sports and Greek life (among other organizations) often come with a cost, so be prepared and budget accordingly.


If you’ll be driving to/from campus or between different campuses, expect to pay for parking regularly. If public or university transport is convenient and more affordable, don’t hesitate to take advantage!

At the very least, pay close attention to parking rules so you don’t end up paying even more in ticket fees!


This cost is particularly important for those going to school far away from home. If you plan to travel back and forth several times throughout the year, the cost of plane, train, or bus tickets can really add up. Plan ahead and keep an eye on ticket prices in case you spot a deal.

Replacement Fees

Items like your Student ID (or dorm room key!) are crucial for granting you access to where you need to be on campus. Losing one of these items isn’t just inconvenient, it can cost you money. Avoid this unnecessary college expense altogether, and keep keys, IDs, etc. in a safe place.

Fun Activities

Unless you plan to spend every spare moment in your room, it’s likely you’ll spend at least a few dollars on something fun – whether it’s a trip to the movies, ordering takeout, or attending a nearby concert. Keep an eye out for free – or inexpensive – local activities and keep your spending in check.

Winter/Summer Session

Winter sessions or summer courses are a great way to accumulate credits but – just like regular courses – they come at a cost! Don’t plan on these types of courses fulfilling your credit requirements unless you are sure how you’re going to pay for them.

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