Calculating Your Cost of Room and Board in College

College savingsThe cost of college is a much discussed topic these days. Soaring tuition costs, stagnant wages, and the cost of living all contribute to how much you’ll be able to pay and the amount of debt – if any – you’ll be saddled with after attending college.

While tuition is certainly a large factor in determining your college’s final price tag, calculating your room and board expenses in advance will help you understand the true cost of attending college. Depending on a number of factors such as location and the cost of living, room and board costs can easily double the cost of your education.

Room and Board Expenses: Location, Location, Location

The costs of living while in college depend largely on the same factors as the costs of living after college. Just as in post-college life, the final amount you will pay over the years you attend college depends on your location more than anything else. Living in a private apartment in or near a big city will cost far more than living in a shared dorm room on campus.

As in post-college life, your room and board expenses will depend on your location more than any other single factor. Your expenses will vary widely based on whether you live in an urban or a rural area. Urban areas are usually more expensive because of rent and bills, of course, but you might end up spending more money socially as well. The closer you are to a city, the closer you will be to all the things cities offer. When it comes to entertainment options like concerts and restaurants, cities offer you more choices, which might mean you wind up going out more than you can afford to.

Most schools will give you an estimate of what room and board cost. Duke University puts its room and board estimate at $14,690 for the 2015-16 school year.

Since the cost of room and board in college can clearly be substantial, it’s important that students seek out scholarships and loans to help make their college experience financially feasible.

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