The College Cost

We have all said it: “I’m not paying $50,000 a year for…” However you choose to finish the sentence, whatever your latest grievance is, we all mean the same thing: college costs a lot. Tuition, student activity fees, class fees, study abroad–it all piles up. The astonishing thing is that once you have taken loans, applied for scholarships and more, there is still money to be spent.

Many students empty their bank accounts every year trying to afford being a college student. Living in New York City gives us so many opportunities, and they almost always come with a price. So what are Manhattan College students spending their money on?

Courtney Otis and Lauren Sorrentino are two best friends that find themselves dishing out cash for food off campus, despite the money they pay toward their meal plans. “The number one thing I spend money on is food from off-campus, because Locke’s closes too early and we want to eat after 10 o’clock,” Otis said.

The reality of college is that most students are still up working into the night and often they get hungry during this time. With no options on campus for late-night dining, many like Otis and Sorrentino head to the local delis or pizza places for food. “Locke’s closes way too early and it’s really inconvenient for the students here, it should be open as long as the library is. You always need that coffee or something to eat,” Sorrientino said. “I probably spend $40 or $50 a week at the delis.” With the Jasper Dollar program unavailable at the moment, there is not even a choice to use a student meal plan toward this off campus dining.

Heading further off campus costs students even more. Besides the obvious cost of metro cards ($2.50 a swipe to ride the 1 train) off-campus events can make a dent in student’s wallets. “A lot of my money goes toward buying music, buying tickets to Broadway musicals and buying tickets to various events through student activities,” George Schlinck, student musician and MC Player, said. The activities fee of $480 that students pay as part of their MC bill funds these tickets they can buy from Student Activities.

It’s not only off-campus that students are spending money, on campus there are costs that student tuition bills do not cover. The most basic necessity to actually be a college student is eating up student’s money every year: books. Though some students choose to buy their books at the campus bookstore, others turn to online companies such as Amzaon or Chegg. Freshman Veronica Zayonc chose this option as well, ordering her textbooks from Chegg. “You get discount books, they were like $25,” Zayonc said. “It was like $50 cheaper to buy a book from Chegg than from the campus bookstore.” Though the bookstore is now accepting Jasper Dollars, Zayonc says she will probably continue to use an outside textbook company, “I will probably still use Chegg, because I want to use [Jasper Dollars] for food,” she said.

Other MC students are finding college costly on campus. Chris Hoey and Josh Kivijarv are members of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity. Their fraternity which is part of a larger national organization, requires its members to dues in order to be a part of the larger organization. “We pay dues to international headquarters in order to be recognized,” Hoey said. They both think its worth it though. “We get connections and networking opportunities out of it that are out of this world,” Hoey said.

The MC website estimates $51,823 as the “Total Direct Billable Costs” for attending Manhattan College. When it comes right down to it being a college student is expensive, and being in New York City doesn’t make this any easier. Whether its textbooks, tickets, metro cards or late night food, there is a cost to college that just isn’t covered in the tuition bill.