Sunday, September 13, 2009
College Costs Add Up — Before You’re Even Accepted
By Melissa Korn
Posted by Albert Tirado
Shopping for college gear is expensive, but shopping for a college itself can cost nearly as much.
Guide books, application fees, charges for taking standardized tests, charges for sending said test scores to schools and actually visiting the schools in question can easily cost the families of college-bound students a few thousand dollars. While some of those costs are unavoidable, there are ways to trim expenses without hurting Junior’s chances of getting into Favorite State University. Here’s how:
One inevitable expense families incur when on the college hunt comes from exams, as most colleges require a score from at least one standardized test. Registration for the SAT and ACT costs $45 and $32, respectively. Students are allowed to send SAT scores to up to four schools for free but must shell out an additional $9.50 for each school after that (plus $27 for rush reporting); the ACT charges $9-$13.
Students with extraordinary need (those who receive free or reduced-cost lunches at school) can contact their college counselors about obtaining fee waivers. John Boshoven, counselor for continuing education at Community High School in Ann Arbor, Mich., recommends other needy students ask their schools to forward test scores to colleges along with official transcripts. High schools get the scores automatically, and some universities will accept those scores as “official.”
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