by Ana M '14

How Much Does College Really Cost?

Many students face a financial burden applying to college. Not only is the price of attending college really expensive, but the process of applying is too. Students may rack up a huge bill before they even get to college.

Each college charges an application fee. This fee can range from $35 to $80 per application. On top of this, the college board charges you $9.50 to send your SAT scores to each college you apply to. If you need your results rushed, they charge an extra $27 for that. Sending ACT scores is $10 per college you send it to. The fee for taking standardized tests is very high as well. The ACT is $35 per time you take it, and the SAT is $50. If you want to take the subject SATs, the price ranges from $35-$46. Fee waivers are available for both the SAT and ACT for students who are eligible.  SAT prep is also something that, though not technically necessary, is very highly recommended for maximum success on the test. SAT prep starts at $500 and can go into the thousands, depending on where you go and how long your course is. For students who are unable to pay for professional tutoring, books are available for self-studying. The fee for IB tests range from $200-$600. For students who receive free or reduced lunch, the price is a bit less, but it is still quite expensive.

Senior dues can leave a dent in many students’ pockets as well. Senior dues are $235; this includes a graduation cap and gown, senior photos, a yearbook, a senior T-shirt, a diploma cover, and senior breakfast. Important senior year milestones, such as prom and the senior trip, are also expensive. A ticket to prom is $65 per person (and per guest), and can even go up to $85 if the prom is held on a Friday. The senior trip costs $269-$279 per person. Fortunately, these prices can be reduced if the junior/senior councils raise a lot of money. The more money that the grade raises together, the less each individual person will have to pay. Participation in grade councils can assure that senior dues will be as low as possible.

Overall, junior and senior year are not only very stressful, but very expensive. Talk to your parents as soon as possible to make sure that you have a payment plan for those years; if you are unable to pay for something, talk to a teacher or staff member about any possible solutions.


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