When it comes to comparing the costs of various colleges, remember that on the broadest level, costs are divided into billable and non-billable costs. To save money, follow these tips from the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA).
Billable costs are what you have to pay to start college. At a minimum, these costs include tuition and fees. If you’re going to live in school-provided housing, billable costs will also include room and board. These costs are called billable because the school will bill you for them.
Non-billable costs include everything else — textbooks; supplies, such as pens and notebooks; transportation; and personal items, such as shampoo, clothes, entertainment, laundry, and other expenses.
It’s in the room and board and the non-billable costs where you can save money, sometimes lots of money, by smart shopping.
Textbooks are expensive, but students can save money by buying used books whenever possible. You can buy many textbooks online. Renting textbooks is now an option at many schools. Buying notebooks, pens and other supplies in bulk can also help you save money.
If you’re attending a school nearby, you can save room and board by commuting from home. It’s also possible to cut down on room and board costs by sharing an apartment with friends. However, some colleges require freshmen to live on campus their first year, or possibly even for the first two years.
Unless you don’t have to worry about how to pay for college, it’s a good idea to compare schools’ billable and non-billable costs when you’re checking out colleges. Once you’ve done that, you and your parents can discuss ways to save.
KHEAA is the state agency that administers Kentucky’s student aid programs, including the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES).
To find links to other useful education websites, go to www.gotocollege.ky.gov. For more information about Kentucky scholarships and grants, visit www.kheaa.com; write KHEAA, P.O. Box 798, Frankfort, KY 40602; or call (800) 928-8926, ext. 6-7372.