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How to calculate costs for scholarships?


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Here's a question for those more experienced than I am. . . .


As we're filling out scholarship applications, many outside scholarships ask for a $$ amount for books and then for "travel". So - who can help with these questions?


1) Our college of choice doesn't have a published estimate for books; they recommended I call the bookstore. What have you found for costs? I know it can vary widely, I just have NO idea.


2) As far as "travel" - if she's living at home - the college is 18 miles round trip. The IRS allowance is .50 per mile - but that seems high. Any suggestions for what figure to put in for this?


Thanks for the help. . .

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I would estimate at least $500 per semester for books. This may be high for some students, but if your daughter is taking a science class, the text and lab manual can run over $200! Granted, this is occasionally amortized over two semesters, but there is no guarantee.


My son spent $440 this semester on his books--despite using the same books as last semester in a sequential class.


Another thing: will your daughter take a math class? Some schools require that students buy a particular calculator.


Can't help you with the transportation estimate, but do you need to include a parking pass? One of my son's friends said that she was paying several hundred dollars a year for permission to park on the outer perimeter of campus!

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Don't forget about the ubiquitous fees! There are fees for just about everything - labs, gym access, all kinds of things. These can add up to several hundred dollars per semester! My freshman son was blessed with a $1000 per semester scholarship which he can use for books and fees, since his tuition is covered by a different scholarship. DS spent around $700 or so on books first semester (expensive science and math books, some of which are used for 2 semesters) and around $400 this semester. The rest of his scholarship money was spent on those pesky fees! Good job thinking about parking expenses - those things add up quick!



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