Don't Waste Your Money: The cost of high school's senior year - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Don't Waste Your Money: The cost of high school's senior year

(Toledo News Now) -

Now that the kids are back in school, those summer camp and travel expenses are all done. You think you can start saving for the holidays? Not so fast. High school is more expensive than ever.

If you have a son or daughter in high school, you're probably saving up for college, and getting nervous about those big bills on the way. You may not realize those big bills start the year before college, when your child is a high school senior.

The $5,000 Senior Year 

College bound high school student? 

You could shell out $5,000 to $10,000 during senior year, according to a new study by the Newark New Jersey Star Ledger

-Yearbooks: For starters, the traditional high school yearbook now costs $30 to $150. 

-Photos: Senior pictures for that yearbook and mom's bookshelf cost from $40 to as much as $500. 

-Test Prep: SAT and ACT test prep classes or online courses can cost between $300 to $1,000. 

-Standard Tests: Testing fees range from $35 to $400. Just the SAT? You're lucky. If your child takes AP tests, it will be closer to the $400 mark. 

-Applications: Then expect to pay $200 to $600 for college applications at $75 per school, since the average senior applies to four colleges. Some private schools cost well over $100 just for applying. 

-Road Trips: Visits to those colleges? As much $1,500. This does not include fun road trips (see Spring Break below). 

Doesn't That Stink? 

From the "doesn't that stink" file comes the rising costs of all those senior year social activities. 

-Senior Events: $50 to $100. This is for just the little get-togethers, not prom. 

-School Ring: $150 to $500. Sorry mom and dad, rings are no longer $50, as they were when you were in school. 

-Prom: We can't forget prom! Essential to many students, costs range from $500 to $3,000. It depends how much that dress is, along with the shoes, hair appointments, mani/pedi and more. It depends how much you're willing to spend. Your costs could probably be a bit lower. 

But we haven't even touched on Spring Break. If your little baby insists on a Spring Break trip to Cancun, all bets are off. Add another $1,000 or more.

Parents with kids in sports know the cost of all the travel to games. That factor, at least, is not a surprise by senior year. 

One way to avoid senior year surprises is to talk with your child about costs in advance. Let them know that if they want certain things, like class rings, they may have to contribute. 

That way you don't waste your money and you - and your child - can enjoy senior year.

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