*Springleaf does not make loans for postsecondary educational expenses as defined by the CFPB's Regulation Z.

For incoming college students, smart budgeting means more than planning for tuition, housing and books. Combined spending for back-to-school and college is expected to reach $74.9 billion this fall.1

Springleaf Financial, a leading consumer finance company, identifies unexpected costs that can turn back-to-school to back-to-the-piggy-bank:

Gearing Up

Whether you need a t-shirt for Greek Week, a jersey for your club sports team or fan gear to showcase school spirit, the cost of college gear is surprisingly high. Nearly half (44.6 percent)2 of students plan to buy college-branded clothing, and with licensed college sports products raking in $4.6 billion in annual sales,3 school spirit adds up.

Counting Coins

It may seem like a small fee at first, but keeping those socks clean can end up costing a pretty penny. Many college campuses charge between $3 and $5 per load (which does not account for the cost of detergent). At just two loads per week, that could add up to more than $300 per semester!

Paying for Projects

School supplies for college students include more than just pens and notepads.  Classes may include special projects that necessitate buying materials, and most math courses require graphing or professional calculators that cost more than $100 a pop.

Managing Meal Plans

While most college campuses offer meal plans, many students fail to prepare for the cost of eating on weekends or holidays. Picking up the tab for just one bucket of chicken each week can go from last-minute nosh to $600 annual budget buster.

Parking for a Price

Nearly $2 out of every $10 (17 percent)4 of a college student's budget goes towards the cost of keeping a car on campus. That cost includes more than just gas - annual campus parking permits and metered street parking at urban universities, can quickly drive up transportation costs.

1 - NRF 2014 Back-to-School Survey

2 - National Association of College Stores

3 - Forbes

4 - College Board

*Springleaf does not make loans for postsecondary educational expenses as defined by the CFPB's Regulation Z.




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