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Applications: The Hidden Costs of College and How to Save

Everyone talks about the cost of college itself, from classes to dorms and how to find scholarships and loans, but in reality the cost of college starts long before you even get accepted. At Today on MSNBC, college admissions expert Katherine Cohen, PhD, explains how to budget for the college application process and all of its hidden costs along the way.

Make a budget for applying

Many families only save for college tuition, but forget about the costs involved in applying to college. By using the free Application Budget Calculator, families will see that the average cost of applying to college is $3,500!

That much, seriously? When you take into account the applications themselves at $100 a pop, plus Advanced Placement classes and tests, plus standardized tests like the SAT or ACT, plus the books and prep courses designed to help you ace them, suddenly $3,500 doesn't seem so far-fetched.

Make a testing plan

Know which standardized tests to take and when. If you are spending $45 on an SAT, be prepared for it. In fact, applicants should make a budget for test preparation. It can be as affordable as the cost of a test-prep book up to several hundreds or thousands of dollars for test-prep courses or one-on-one tutoring.

Check out the rest of the article for more tips on surviving the pre-college hurdles so that you can safely make it to the main course.

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