The Hidden Costs of Uni Life

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has shown what we already know – most uni students are working while studying. In 2012 about 90% of younger students and 42% of older students were studying full time, saying nothing of casual and part time work. Sadly, a lot of that money is going straight back into surviving uni. Studying is expensive and it often hits us with unexpected costs.

Here are some of the costs you might not have seen coming:


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1. Course Requirements

Courses aren’t just the academic fees and student contribution fees. Textbooks are usually the biggest hit, sometimes costing over $100 a book. Some courses have plenty of other extras to add to the bill: art supplies, equipment, additional qualifications (e.g. first aid course). Make sure to check out secondhand textbooks for sale and copies in the library to cut costs. All our tips on where to buy cheap textbooks are here. It’s also a good idea to wait until the first lecture or tutorial to see what texts you will actually use.

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2. Printing

Printing is a big one around exam time. All those trees! You can find rates for printing, copying, binding and laminating here. At least assignments are submitted electronically nowadays.


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3. Clubs, Sports and Societies

Joining a club, society or association can be the best thing about your uni experience. They’re not usually expensive, but there are sometimes hidden costs. Pub crawl shirts, tickets to events, sports games fee, court hire…

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4. Technology

Who is studying without a laptop or computer? Not many people, we would bet. Make sure you check which retailers offer student discounts on tech, and check whether you can claim any purchases back on tax.

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5. Time

The more time contact hours, studying and placements take up, the less time you can spend working. Time is money. This is a big problem when it comes to large blocks of placements, with many students working around the equivalent of full time work for as long as necessary.

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5. Graduation

Well done, you’ve finished your degree! Guess what – now you have to pay for the hire of the academic dress (gown, hood, mortar board/bonnet) and any copies of your official transcript after your one free copy. Then once you get out, you may be asked to donate to the uni.


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