Financial Aid Tip of the Month, May 2014

Make college more affordable by saving money on non-billable expenses

When it comes to comparing the costs of various colleges, remember that on the broadest level, costs are divided into billable and non-billable costs. To save money, follow these tips from the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA).

Billable costs are what you have to pay to start college. At a minimum, these costs include tuition and fees. If you’re going to live in school-provided housing, billable costs will also include room and board. These costs are called billable because the school will bill you for them.

Non-billable costs include textbooks; supplies, such as laptops and tablets; transportation; and personal items, such as shampoo, clothes, entertainment, laundry, and other expenses.

You can save money, sometimes a lot of money, in room and board and non-billable costs.

Textbooks are expensive, but you can save money by buying used books if possible. Renting books is an option. Some schools now include the cost of renting textbooks in tuition and fees.

If you’re attending a school nearby, you can save room and board by commuting from home. You can also cut room and board costs by sharing an apartment with friends. However, some colleges require freshmen to live on campus their first year.

It’s a good idea to compare billable and non-billable costs at the colleges you’re considering. Once you’ve done that, you and your parents can discuss ways to save.

KHEAA is the state agency that administers Kentucky’s student financial aid programs, including the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES).

To find links to other useful education websites, go to For more information about Kentucky scholarships and grants, visit; write KHEAA, P.O. Box 798, Frankfort, KY 40602; or call 800-928-8926, ext. 6-7372.


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