Getting your college tuition bill for yourself or your teen can be quite a shock. Not only does it often cost more than you expect,  but there can be a lot of hidden fees you weren’t originally aware of. College tuition covers dozens of things that go beyond classes, books, and room and board. Lab fees, student activities, and utilizing technology on campus are all included in the tuition price. Because of these hidden college fees, it’s important to keep in mind what you’re paying for and make sure your teen is utilizing these benefits since they’re being covered in the tuition price.

Technology Fee

Most colleges will have some sort of a learning center or computer lab and they include the cost of using their equipment in the college tuition. On average, you can expect about $100 of your tuition bill going to technology fees, including using the college’s wireless network and getting Internet support as well.

Student Activities

The various student activities your teen will be involved in can make college more enjoyable, but they’re also not free. Activities such as social occasions, yearbook, publications, clubs and organizations will tackle on a student activities fee of $100 or more to the tuition price.

Library Fee

The school library is also not free and will include a hidden charge on your tuition bill. To use the library resources including study rooms, books, technology and workspace can cost you around $30 or $40 a semester.

Transit Fee

You can also expect a transit fee as a hidden fee which includes on-campus transportation like shuttles, as well as local transit options for students. This is usually a small fee; around $15 or $20 per semester.

Laboratory Fee

And of course another common fee is the lab fee. Lab fees will cover the use of the college campus lab facilities which will be mandatory for any science class. They will be using equipment in the lab which can add on  a hundred or so per semester, and sometimes per class.

Athletic Fee

The athletic fees on your tuition bill help to support the school’s sports and athletics programs. It may not be included in the tuition for every college, but many tackle on about $50 each semester for athletic programs.

Health Care

The biggest hidden fees on your college tuition tend to be for health care. It’s true that most colleges offer insurance plans with high premiums, but on-site health care such as visiting the school nurse or for more serious conditions that need emergency assistance, will cost you.


If your college offers on-campus parking, expect to pay for it. If you find a hidden fee of around $400 on your tuition bill, it is most likely going toward parking fees. Many times, if your teen doesn’t drive, you can waive this fee but it is often mandatory as it also helps to pay for parking staff and security.


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