What Are The Typical College Money Traps To Expect?

College Money Traps

After Your Student Shows Up

To get more of your money in the college game, colleges and universities are like mosquitoes
at a backyard barbecue: they’ll nickel-and-dime you to distraction, especially if your child’s a
1st-year student. The following examples say it all:

1. Paper & Parking Copies from an ordinary copy machine can cost 15 cents a page
(U Connecticut) when a typical print shop charges less. My son can purchase $450 worth of
books for his next semester for $190 on the internet, but college bookstores happily charge full
price. Pay a $10 fine for the first time you’re caught without a parking sticker; $30 for the third
time; or, $50 for the fifth time (U Mass/Dartmouth). Parking violations are such a big
business that many colleges relish the thought of having hundreds of 1st-year students with
cars on campus.

2. Lost & Late Pay $25 to replace your lost student ID (Fitchburg State University). A late
book return to the library, after a grace period, can mean a fine of $25 per book per day
(Boston College). Late decisions on course selections can cost $25 (U New Hampshire).
If you’re late in dropping a class after a deadline, it can cost you $600 (Worcester State
University). Or, a private college will still charge you the full semester's tuition - with no
refund - if you drop a course whose pro-rated value is $4,200 (Boston U). Watch $35 fly
out of your wallet when you replace your room key (Clark U).

3. Picky & Petty Your student checks out a computer from the computer lab. Not noticing
that anything is missing, the computer is returned without its canvas case. Your student is
hit quickly with the meaning of a 20-dollar deficit. But there was no canvas case in the first
place. There was no record signed as to the condition of the borrowed item. You lose. Or,
each of the library computers has a small sticker that notifies the user not to use the
computer for email. If caught, you’re fined. Watch those hardly-noticeable installment fees -
could be 1.5% of your total. Or, the extra $1,000 for health insurance you don’t need. Here’s
a nightmare from one stu- dent: “I didn’t realize that if I dropped a class after the 5th
instructional day it would count toward termination of my financial aid.”

Colleges hide behind the firewall that protects them from the most stressed bill-payers -
parents - who do not have to be notified

about what the student forgets, or ignores. Instead, being of legal age, it’s the student’s
responsibility (read: because students pay little or no attention, the parents will pay). If the
student is a freshman, that's when the parent is most vulnerable. Your freshman may have
this mindset: “Rules? What rules?!” Eighteen-year-olds, away from controlling parents for the
first time, are easily tempted to ignore rules. Because this fact is life-sustaining oxygen to
the colleges, they carefully set their profit-center traps and place them all over campus. Sooner
or later, your student will step in one. Ka- ching!

When does it end?
Never. The so-called “real world” started the day your student showed up. To add insult to injury,
colleges don’t wait for your student to graduate: they want contributions from you now. Like death
and taxes, solicitations are guaranteed until death. Actually, even after death.

What to do?
Both parent and student should have a copy of the college’s calendar of deadlines
and campus rule book. They are the gold standards used by the colleges to get your gold. Write
personal letters with documentation to reverse unreasonable fee charges. Read your bills carefully -
mistakes happen. Most of all, with patience, be a real pain.

Don’t bother reminding the college of the most sacred rule in marketing: the customer is always
right. They don't believe it for a second.

Cars On Campus. Oh-Oh!


OUCH! Will Your Child Do The Same?

A study indicates that your child will spend 1/5th of their time in a college class texting and "visiting" social media. And you'll pay for that activity. How?

Villanova University, one of the least generous colleges in the country when it comes to awarding scholarships, charges - ready for this? - $5,880 for one 3-credit course.

The study says your kid will spend $1,470 each semester for EACH class. With a total of 5 courses per semester, that's a total semester cost to you of $5,880.

Want more perspective? Over 5 years, that's $29,400 for your kid to text about last night's party, how boring this class is, or how hot s/he is who is sitting at the next desk.

What are you going to do about it before you send your child off to college?

Copyright Paul Hemphill 2018: The material contained in this course is protected under international and federal copyright laws and treaties and may in no way be reproduced, downloaded, or transmitted without the express written permission of the author. Any unauthorized reprint or duplication in any form is expressly prohibited. Any violation will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.