Quick Guide:  College Costs

There are five main categories of expenses to think about when figuring out how much your college education is really going to cost: tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, personal expenses, and transportation. You can control some of these costs to some extent. And when you know how much you’ll need to spend on these expenses, it makes it easier to create a college budget.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fees are the price you pay for taking classes at your college. This amount can change based on your academic program, the number of credit hours you take and whether you’re an in- state or out-of-state student. Some colleges charge “comprehensive fees” — the total for tuition, fees, and room and board combined.

Room and BoardPicture80

Colleges usually offer a variety of dorm-room options and meal plans to students who live on campus. The charges vary depending on what plan you choose. If you decide to live at home or off-campus, you’ll have your own rent and meal costs to consider in your college costs.

Books and Supplies

You’ll need books and other course materials. The yearly books-and-supplies estimate for the average student at a four-year public college is about $1,200. You may be able to lower these costs by buying used textbooks or renting them.

Personal Expenses

These include laundry, cell phone bills, eating out and anything else you normally spend money on. Figure out what you spend and add that amount to your budget.


Whether you commute to campus or take the occasional trip home, you’ll have transportation costs. Of course, these will vary depending on how you travel and how often. You may be able to find student discounts on travel costs. Don’t forget to factor in the cost of gas if you own a car.

Source:  College Board

Message From The Dean – Bob Fulcomer

The National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS) is a large survey of college students to gather data on how they paid for school. It is conducted every 3-4 years by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) at the US Department of Education.

Statistics from the NPSAS Study indicates the following regarding private sector scholarships from “outside” sources (excluding government, employer and institutional aid):

The average scholarship amount received by a U.S. undergraduate student is $2,523 and the percentage receiving scholarships is 5.5%.

In contrast, the average amount scholarship received by a HIFE student enrolled in the College Planning Program is $29,686 and approximately 35.7% of the students have received scholarships & grants through the HIFE CPP.

This means that approximately 1 out of 20 students are getting scholarships in the United States.

HIFE’s results are 1 out of 3 students getting scholarships! Also, the HIFE directed scholarship is, on the average, more than 11 times greater!

The Most Expensive Colleges In America

When it comes to higher education, tuition isn’t the only price to pay. When all costs are taken into account, these are the 20 priciest schools in the nation.

The analysis by Business Insider ranks the all-in cost of attending college — not just tuition, but also books, room and board, fees, and late night pizzas.

An earlier analysis, by the Department of Education, ranked NYU 64th among private four- year colleges, but that listing counted just tuition.

Apparently pizza and beer are pricey in New York. Who knew?

College education costs have been rising steadily for years, outpacing inflation.

Between 1982-1983 and 2012-2013, tuition and fees for a private four-year college education rose 167%, and the price tag for a public four-year education climbed 257%, according to the College Board.

NYU is followed closely by Harvey Mudd College, part of California’s Claremont Colleges, and Bard College in upstate New York.

The top 20, in descending order of cost for one year, are:

1.New York University, $61,977

2.Harvey Mudd College, $61,760

3.Bard College, $61,446

4.Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, $60,779

5.Sarah Lawrence College, $60,656

6.Wesleyan University, $60,214

7.Dartmouth College, $60,201

8.University of Chicago, $60,039

9.Bard College at Simon’s Rock, $60,003

10.Trinity College, $59,860

11.Johns Hopkins University, $59,802

12.ordham University, $59,802

13.Carnegie Mellon University, $59,632

14.University of Southern California, $59,615

15.ccidental College, $59,592

16.cripps College, $59,570

17.berlin College, $59,474

18.averford College, $59,446

19.itzer College, $59,416

20.Northwestern University, $54,389

Not surprisingly, student loan debt is also a growing problem, particularly now that Congress has allowed interest rates on student loans to double.

Source:  Kelley Holland, CNBC

Featured University Kent State University

Kent State University is a public institution that was founded in 1910. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 22,260, its setting is suburban, and the campus size is 824 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Kent State University’s ranking in the 2013 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, Tier 2. Its in-state tuition and fees are $9,672 (2012-13); out-of-state tuition and fees are $17,632 (2012- 13).

Kent State University is located in northeast Ohio, about 40 miles south of Cleveland, with seven regional campuses situated across the state. Students at

Kent State can choose from nearly 300 academic programs, including graduate degrees from the Graduate School of Management, the College and Graduate School of Education, Health and Human Services, and the highly ranked School of Speech Pathology and Audiology. Undergraduates at Kent State have a unique opportunity to earn a degree in peace and conflict studies, which is offered through the Center for Applied Conflict Management. This center was created shortly after the headline-making 1970 incident in which Ohio National Guardsmen killed four Kent State students who were protesting the Vietnam War.

Kent State University is a world-class public research university, ranked in the top tier of best national  universities by U.S. News and World Report and as one of the top 200 universities in the world by Times Higher Education of London.

Outside the classroom, Kent State students can get involved in more than 200 campus organizations, including Greek life, leadership programs for underclassmen, and community service clubs.

Source:  US News & World Report

Federal Student Aid Loan Programs

Will you need a loan to attend college? If so, think federal aid first. Federal student loans usually offer borrowers lower interest rates and have more flexible repayment terms and options than private student loans.

  1. What is a federal student loan?

Federal loans are borrowed funds that you must repay with interest. A federal student loan allows students and their parents to borrow money to help pay for college through loan programs supported by the federal government.  They have low interest rates and offer flexible repayment terms, benefits, and options.

  1. What is a private student loan?

A private student loan is a nonfederal loan issued by a lender such as a bank or credit union. If you’re not sure whether you’re being offered a private loan or a federal loan, check with the financial aid office at your school.

  1. Why are federal student loans a better option for paying for college?

Federal student loans offer borrowers many benefits not typically found in private loans. These include low fixed interest rates, income-based repayment plans, cancellations for certain employment, and deferment (postponement) options, including deferment of loan payments when a student returns to school. Also, private loans usually require a credit check. For these reasons, students and parents should always exhaust federal student loan options before considering a private loan.4. What kinds of federal student loans are available

Federal Perkins Loan

  • For graduate & undergraduate students
  • Funds depend on student’s financial need and availability of funds at the college
  • Interest is 5%
  • College is the lender; payment is owed to the college that made the loan
  • $5,500 award limit for undergraduate students
  • $8,000 award limit for graduate & professional degree

Direct Subsidized Loan

  • For undergraduate students who are enrolled at least half-time & demonstrate financial need
  • Interest is 3.4% of loans made between July 1, 2012 & June 30, 2013
  • Student is not charged interest on the loan while in school & during deferment periods
  • The US Dept. of Education (ED) is the lender; payment is owed to ED
  • Award limit is between $3,500 & $5,500 depending on year in school

Direct Unsubsidized Loan

  • For undergraduate & graduate students who are enrolled at least half-time
  • Interest is 6.8%
  • Student is responsible for interest during all periods
  • ED is the lender; payment is owed to ED
  • Between $5,500 to $20,500 (minus any subsidized amount received for the same period) depending on year in school and dependency status

Direct Plus Loans For Parents

  • For parents of dependent students
  • Dependent students must be enrolled at least half- time
  • Interest is 7.9%
  • Parent must not have negative credit history
  • Parent is responsible for interest during all periods
  • ED is the lender; payment is owed to ED

Direct Plus Loans For Graduate or Professional Students

  • For graduate or professional students who are enrolled at least half-time
  • If the student has not requested the annual maximum Unsubsidized Stafford Loan amount they are eligible for, the school must notify the student of this eligibility and give the the opportunity to request it
  • Student must not have negative credit history
  • Interest is 7.9%
  • Student is responsible for interest during all periods
  • ED is the lender; payment is owed to ED
  • Maximum amount is cost of attendance minus any other financial aid the student receives

529 Plans – Pros & Cons

Dave Bromeier, CFEd®, ChFC®, Investment Advisor

A 529 Plan is an education savings plan operated by a state or educational institution designed to help families set aside funds for future college costs.

Contribution to these qualified tuition programs grows tax-deferred and distributions are tax-free when used for qualified post- secondary education costs.

Some of the other benefits include:

  • Can be funded up front as high as $28,000 to avoid gift tax & to a maximum of $300,000 in the account.
  • Can be given to any family member of the original beneficiary.


  • Non-qualified distributions are subject to ordinary income tax on earnings plus a 10% penalty.  (Penalty does not apply if the child receives scholarship).
  • Investment flexibility is limited.
  • May disqualify for scholarships, grants & financial aid.

Preparing For College As A High School Freshmen

Most colleges take into consideration both your GPA and the amount of effort required for you to earn it.

You should consider taking advanced classes if you can qualify for it.  This will allow you to gain extra credit or improve your GPA.

If you were not automatically placed in advanced classes, ask your guidance counselor  if you can be placed in them. Many high schools will allow you to be placed in an accelerated class if you are successful at the current one. Other high schools  will want you to pass a test if you would like to enroll in the advanced classes. It doesn’t hurt for you to try.

Try to get involved in outside extra-curricular activities. This will make your application stand out amongst your peers. It could be a part-time job, joining a school club, or volunteering at local organizations in the community, or becoming a part of something that will demonstrate your ability to handle more than just your school work.

Colleges are often interested in someone who is unique and who will contribute to their school. Whichever activity you choose, stick with it and try to take up a position within the organization.

The ability to commit to high school activities shows that you will likely commit to those activities when you reach college.

Your HIFE Coach can first assist you in determining what type of classes or activities you need to take or pursue based on your interest upon the completion of your HIFE Kuder Assessment.

Your HIFE Coach can also help you determine which college or university you should consider based on the major you would like to pursue and the requirements needed to apply for the specific colleges or universities.

Contact your local HIFE CPP College Consultant to inquire more about this.

HIFE CPP Will No Longer Offer Any Refunds On Enrollments

Beginning July 1, 2013, HIFE will no longer include any information in our pledge regarding refunds for our program.  Only greater effort by the students, combined with improved coaching support are going to increase the percentage of scholarships (or other financial support) that students receive for college.

We will continue to emphasize the “planning” part of our program and its importance.  The real intrinsic value of the College Planning Program is difficult to measure and yet, we must focus on those areas, along with the financial implications.

Coachs Corner

What needs to be impressed upon our students is the importance of applying for scholarships.

Aside from impressive academic achievements, this is the one area of college funding that they have the most control over. Encouraging them to set a goal for themselves of applying for a certain number every week can make a huge difference. Scholarship applications have varying deadlines and that provides them with the opportunity to apply year round. In addition, having our students realize that applying for all of the scholarships that their coach provides them with is paramount. The process of navigating scholarship websites and locating applications is not always an easy task, but dedication and perseverance is the key to the best chance of success.

Education is the reward of what we have learned, and most of what makes up “learned” is “earned”.

Coach Paul

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