Unnecessary Buys for College
There are a lot of unnecessary expenses for college that students must pay for. Serenity Liessmann gives you a small breakdown of a few of the expenses. Photo by Eric Behrens.

The fall semester of college is just around the corner for many of us. Somehow this semester came incredibly quick, but here we are trying to get ourselves prepared by spending money on a lot of unnecessary things. This includes textbooks and services that we have to buy to participate in the class. Here is a small list of unnecessary things we buy for college.


We’re going to start with the biggest one of them all. Textbooks are ridiculously expensive. If you’re on it then you can rent the textbook for a fraction of the price. However, you’re still spending a lot of unnecessary money.

Many of my professors have asked us to get the textbook and only have had us read a few chapters from it over the semester. This is a huge waste of money.

Not only do we have physical textbooks to buy, but the e-books are even pricier. You have to spend around $200 for an access code to access the book online. Sometimes you even have to buy another access code to get the homework attachment. Can someone explain to me why I have to pay extra to do my homework?

So, let’s say you get the book for a low price. You intend on reading it. But how many of us truly follow through reading each chapter? I tend to do most of the readings for the important classes that I’m interested in, but I fall out of that routine quickly. Between five classes I definitely can’t keep up on every reading.

Unless you can buy a book that you’ll use throughout your career, it’s not ever worth the money.


One of my biggest pet peeves is the paid services you have to use for class. One of the biggest ones at my school it TopHat. It annoys the crap out of me that I have to pay to participate in the class that I’m already sitting in.

There have been multiple classes that have used interactive online participation. However, they never seem to land in the same semester. So, I end up spending about $100 on the services because they use different ones.

There are free alternatives for students like Kahoot. What is the point of making your students pay more money to participate in class? I’ve only had a few professors that have cared about our wallets.

Construction Fees

This one is tricky. It pertains to the fees you pay as a student so the university can build more buildings. But most times those students who paid for it don’t get to use the amenity.

I’ll use an example from my school. Many students paid so we can get the amazing gym that we have now. But now they’ve graduated, and as alumni, they don’t get to use the gym because they’re not current students. But they are the ones who paid for it.

This can go for any buildings like libraries, gyms, parking garages, etc. It sucks that alumni can’t take advantage of the services that they paid for.

Overall, there are so many things that students don’t have to pay for but we do. This is the smallest list of what there is. But as we go back to school with empty wallets, all I can say from one student to another is- good luck.