Hidden costs of college: Do you know what to expect?

Tuition isn't the only expense that comes with price tag of higher education

HOUSTON – The topic of university and college tuition increases gets lots of headlines, but as seen in the story above, tuition is just one of the expenses that students and parents need to pay attention to, in order to understand the true cost of higher education.

Many colleges and universities also have mandatory and/or course fees that can add up to as much as a third of the bill. 

When checking into the costs of higher education, ask these key questions:

·         What are the mandatory fees and what do those fees cover?
·         What course fees are required for your chosen field of study?
·         Are there additional fees for other things? Depending on the institution, there may be separate fees for things such as distance learning, freshman orientation and graduation exercises.
·         How much of my tuition goes to pay for set-asides?
·         Will my scholarships, grants and/or other financial aid cover these fees?
·         What fees are optional? 

To help you learn more about the cost of attending college at public institutions, click here to visit the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s breakdown of tuition and fees.

As for what set-asides are, and who they help, visit this page.