How To Calculate The Cost Of College

How To Calculate The Cost Of College

Thinking about college costs is never an easy thing. We seem to put it off until last minute, or we forget to add things in that become a nasty surprise down the track. Sometimes we just don’t have the time to really sit down and go over all of the calculations. Fact is, if you want your athlete to have the opportunity of a free ride through college, and the opportunity to leave college debt free, you must think about these things, and you should start as soon as possible. Begin a college budget now. Avoid those nasty hidden gems that are sure to break your bank, and allow your athlete to blossom debt free. I have created this post to give you some ideas on how to calculate the cost of college, so you and your athlete can enjoy your amazing journey without the financial fears.

Estimate Your Household Income Minus Expenses

Before you can begin to calculate the cost of college, it’s best to calculate your household income minus expenses. Work out your total household income after taxes. From there, begin calculating your total household expenses including house payments, utilities, car expenses, living costs, educational fees, rates, sporting fees, entertainment, and so on. When you have calculated your total income after expenses, you will have an idea of what income you will start with, and how much financial aid, scholarships and grants you will need to find after calculating the cost of college. You can get your hands on my free college budget template by following this link

Find The Price Of Each College On Your List

Look at the website of each college you have on your list. You can find the sporting program if you already have a fair idea of which one your athlete will be taking part in. You can also find the pricing for certain degrees if you know which degree they will likely choose. If you don’t know these things yet, that’s fine, you can still use a general estimate. Hint: if you look at the more expensive programs for an estimate, you won’t be shocked when you do have an idea of which direction your athlete would like to take. Please note, it is not advised to calculate your budget on the published price alone. You should try to find the net price, which will include administration fees, equipment fees, academic and tuition fees, and other contribution amounts. Find as many hidden costs as humanly possible as there are more than you may think.

Think About Room and Board

The cost of room and board can be somewhat deceiving. You need to calculate the cost over a four year period, and up to six years. Take into consideration the prices increase of housing and board every year. At present, accommodation expenses for a standard 4-year degree at an in-state public college is minimum $10 800. And $12 210 in a 4-year private college in the USA. Living expenses in Australia are costing students a minimum of $20 290. Other things to consider are the cost of utilities, food, toiletries, and personal items, Living expenses can get away from you quickly, so it’s important that you get your budget in order now.

‘Tuition’ Only Covers Academic Fees

Tuition is the amount of money required for teaching. They are small fees added here and there, and need to be paid before your athlete can enrol and attend college. Look for combined pricing as the published price. When you subtract loans, grants, and scholarships from the published price, you will be left with the net price. If you follow my tips and strategies, your athletes net price could very well be zero.

Your budget should take into account, that ‘tuition’ fees only cover academic fees. You will need to pay for textbooks, art supplies, lab gear, sporting equipment, tournament and travel fees, printing, field trips, and technology such as a laptop and phone. There are many hidden extra costs that are not in the published price, so you must take all the small things into account. The more you add into your budget, the less nasty surprises will be waiting around the corner.

For a full run down of what tuition fees cover, join in the conversation over in my private Facebook group, Promoting Elevating Athletes, where we talk about college fees, and so much more. You can join in the fun by following this link I will help you calculate the cost of college so your athlete can begin college without the thought of student loan programs.

Commuting Fees

You will need to determine first, if your athlete will be staying on-campus, or off campus. Will they live at home, or board with room mates? When you have a fair idea of the answer to these questions, you can start to calculate commuting fees. You will have to consider fuel, public transport, car registration and insurance, car maintenance, and campus parking. You can grab a free copy of my ‘College Budget Template’ to help you calculate college costs, and keep on track with a college budget here

There Are Different Prices For Different Degrees

In the instance that you know what educational and career path your athlete would like to take, jump onto each college website on your list, and find the pricing for each possible degree. I would recommend taking an estimate of the most expensive degree your athlete could pursuit. This way, you wont have any surprises, and you could save a wad of cash in the meantime. There are different prices for different degrees. Please be mindful of this when you are calculating the cost of college.

How Long Will Your Athlete take to graduate?

It’s becoming more common now, for an athlete to take an extra two years to graduate. Personally, I think it’s a fantastic idea so our athletes can take the extra time to focus and concentrate on finishing with a distinction or higher. If your athlete decides to take this option, they are looking at 50% more than the first anticipated price. This will be two years of added fees, and two years of lost wages that could have potentially been earning. Calculate your athletes college costs with the added two years. This will again save any surprises down the track, and you could save another wad of cash when the extra is not needed. If you take a look at each college’s graduation rate, you will be able to get a good indication as to whether most students finish within four or six years. If you would like help in researching college graduation rates, and much more, join me at

A Final Breakdown Of What To Consider When Calculating The Cost Of College

This is a final breakdown of what you need to take into consideration when calculating the cost of college for your athlete.

  • Tuition fees
  • Rent/board
  • Books/supplies
  • Travel
  • Food
  • Toiletries
  • Parking fees
  • Sports fees
  • Tournament fees
  • Car maintenance
  • Gas/fuel
  • Student services/ammenities fees
  • Electricity
  • Phone and internet
  • Electrical devices
  • Public transport
  • Entertainment
  • Student visa
  • Overseas health care cover
  • Medical expenses

As you can see, there are many things to consider when calculating the cost of college. Most college and university sites offer an online calculator tool that can help you to calculate your expected cost. There are also a lot of tools out there that help you to find and compare the prices of thousands of schools and colleges.

Calculate the Cost and Begin Your Budget NOW!

In most cases, even after countless loans, there are too many funding gaps with students eventually needing to source extra loans and funding, just to accomodate these gaps. This extra funding could be anywhere between $10 000 and $20 000 per year. Student loan debt is increasing by at least 2.6% every year. Our students are well into their thirties before they even come close to paying their debt off. It is so important that you research each college thoroughly. Start to calculate the cost, and begin your budget now. This is the only way you will successfully calculate the cost of college, and know how many scholarships and grants your athlete will need.

If you would like help to get your athletes college budget going now, you can come and join in the conversation over in my private Facebook group at Alternatively, you can always jump on one of my free consultation calls, where we can create an action plan for you to start implementing right away. You can schedule a call by following this link If you would like your free copy of my college budget template, you can grab it here

Why pay billion dollar colleges hundreds of thousands of dollars? You can potentially help your athlete achieve a free ride from beginning to end? It takes time, research, and hard work, but it’s all worth it when you watch your baby absolutely crushing it in life. Good luck. Yours in sport, Brooke Hamilton.


I give parents the tools and strategies required to help their elite athletes achieve their dream of a college sports scholarship. I teach everything from maintaining balanced sports, sleep, and school lifestyle, build visually pleasing sports portfolios, college and scholarship choices, creating exposure through social media, and the application process from start to finish. All this, and more. Your athlete's success is my #1 priority.

Do you want Brooke to build your athletes entire 4-year plan and give them access to expert consulting and world-leading coaches, scouts and educators?

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