Paying for College

Estimating The True Cost of College

Perhaps the title of this post might be more accurately stated as “UNDERestimating the cost of college.” Many families unfamiliar with the locales in which colleges and universities are located overlook the impact of cost-of-living expenses related to college life. This is an important issue that should be part of estimating the true cost of attendance.

I posted a thread on the College Confidential discussion forum that addresses this issue, mainly through the perspective of a Hechinger Report article by Jill Barshay. The thrust of the article is “Financial aid awards can be compromised by flawed student surveys of cost of living.”

A while back, I wrote about the staggering cost of college, in particular, student budgets. I cited as one example NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. You can see here that the total student budget comes in at around $76,000. What this figure doesn’t include is just how much it costs to live in New York City, especially if you live off campus.

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