Supplies add up to thousands in additional college costs

Students spend around $10 billion on college not including tuition

Many parents start saving up early for college tuition, but when it’s time to send their children off to college, they end up spending a lot of it on school and dorm supplies.

“Everything added up to about $3000,” said Cathy Sobania, who is moving her son, Caleb, into a dorm at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

Sobania and her son aren’t alone. The National Retail Federation estimates that students spend around $10 billion on college not including tuition.

“The tuition, room, and board is just a part of it, they think OK ‘I got tuition room and board, I’m good to go,’ but that’s really not the case,” said Tom Heiar, an adviser at the student financial resource It Makes Cents.

To help curb costs, Heiar recommends resisting the urge to buy new items.

“Whether it’s furniture or the gaming systems, they can all be hand-me-downs, because chances are there is going to be a lot of wear and tear with the college life,” said Heiar.

The average text book cost $57, according to the It Makes Cents website. The best way to save money when it comes to books is to buy used or search for low prices online, according to Heiar.

Tablets and laptops are becoming a necessity in the classroom; by choosing to purchase a middle-of-the road product, you can save money.

“You really just need Microsoft Word to type papers. If computer can do the basic functions, it will be just fine,” said Heiar.