15 things we wish we knew about money when we were applying to college

By now, everyone knows that college is expensive. For the school year starting in 2015, the most expensive college in the US charged over $US67,000 for tuition, fees, and room and board.

But not all college costs are clearly outlined.

Below, members of the Business Insider and Tech Insider staff share what they wish they’d known about money when it came time to get their finances in order and apply to college, from taking late-night pizza orders into account to remembering that grad school could be on the horizon.

You aren't obligated to take student loans.

'I wish I'd known that just because you're being offered student loans as part of a financial aid package, it doesn't mean you have to take them.'

-- Bryan Logan

Anyone can apply for scholarships.

'I wish I'd applied for more scholarships.'

-- Bryan Logan

However, any scholarships may affect your financial aid.

'I wish I knew my university would decrease my financial aid every time I got a scholarship. Their financial aid covered 'full need,' but getting a scholarship meant my 'need' was reduced.'

-- Christine Nguyen

Ask your parents for help learning to manage your money before you leave home.

'Learning to keep a budget, and actually sticking to it, is something important that many people initially deal with most heavily when they enter college -- and is something that will be useful for the rest of their life.

'It's something that doesn't take too much time or keep-up if you stay on it, but if you don't do it at all than it can really end up hurting you (and potentially keep you from having money to spend where/when you want!).'

-- Jack Sommer

Textbooks may cost more than you think.

'A semester's worth of textbooks could equate a month of rent (well, in the Midwest).'

-- Louisa Alter

If you don't have to live on campus your first year, it might be cheaper to move off-site.

'I wish I had looked at the prices of off-campus apartments before choosing to live on campus.'

-- Jacob Shamsian

In many cases, you don't have to spend four years getting your degree.

'I wish I'd known that time is money. If I had planned properly, I could have graduated in three years instead of four, saved myself thousands of dollars, and had an extra year of on-the-job experience.'

-- Jenna Goudreau

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