Tack on Another $70,000 in Expenses for the College Years -- Give or Take

May 22, 2012

Nancy Anderson, a certified financial planner with Financial Finesse, is a Forbes contributor who is interested in the college debt crisis. In a Forbes piece from March, Ms. Anderson references an article from Business Insider which argues that the college sticker estimate $60,000 per year for top-tier private colleges/universities appreciably underestimates true costs. They estimate that extras could total $70,000 over four years depending on the students circumstances.

Some of this total appears to be for expenditures one might have even if one were not at college. However, it is clear that costs can mount up from unexpected directions. One I found interesting was $2,000 per year for fraternity/sorority dues. The list definitely has some extras, but the point is legit.

Anderson writes that todays students face a lifetime of tougher economic times mostly related to the disappearance of pensions and inevitable Social Security reductions.

It is also becoming clear that the drag from college loan debt and underwater mortgages will be considerable for many years. All sorts of purchases will be crowded out: automobiles, furniture, travel, etc.