Prevent sticker shock from hidden college costs by planning ahead

Opening a checking account with your child can help you stay connected

InvestigateTV - When budgeting for college, in addition to tuition, books, and housing, experts warned not to forget sometimes overlooked costs like transportation, parking, and personal expenses.

Those personal expenses may have been covered in the past by the general household budget – costs like laundry, personal toiletries, haircuts or dining out.

Cherry Dale, a financial coach with the Virginia Credit Union, said whether students work part-time or rely on savings from summer jobs, parents should plan with their child on how to cover some of these expenses.

“One of the main things I highly encourage you to do is to open up a checking account for your child that you can be connected with or making sure that they have access to it easily on campus,” suggested Dale.

Dale said to find out what financial institution, if any, is tied to the college. She said some financial institutions offer ATM rebates for young adults which could cover up to three to four transactions for free.

Dale also reminded parents to talk to their college student about credit cards and the pros and cons of signing up for one.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) website offers free expert advice across a variety of topics like planning for college costs and budgeting advice for students.

Rachel DePompa

Rachel DePompa

Rachel DePompa is NBC12's On Your Side Investigator. Before joining WWBT in March of 2008 Rachel worked in Roanoke, Bristol and Harrisonburg.