The small print

    The first week of every quarter is one of our wallets’ thinnest. Even after we’ve paid tuition, the hidden costs of required software, textbooks, equipment and supplies perennially surprise students.

    The university is aware of syllabus shock. The Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid factored a $1,737 estimated cost of books and supplies into the 2010-2011 assessment of holistic school cost. Setting that cost as a constant over four years and distributing it between a full schedule of 48 classes brings the Office of Financial Aid’s hidden cost estimate to $144.75 per course.

    North by Northwestern analyzed course descriptions and syllabi of required courses in five programs of study to see how the miscellany stacks up. We found significant variation between degrees. Journalism students pay the most per class, while Radio, Television and Film students are charged the least for their measly three required courses.


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