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Why is there a "Room & Board" fee if I am commuting to school?

BriiannaBanannaBriiannaBananna Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
Hello all, so I am an incoming freshman at CSULB. I am trying to finalize my financial aid but I was looking at the overall cost of attendance for an undergraduate and even though I am commuting, there is a listed Room and Board fee of $4770.
http://web.csulb.edu/depts/enrollment/financial_aid/costs.html The estimated total cost for an undergraduate is about $15.5k a year.

What is this? I, fortunately, received some grants a few small scholarships that will cover about $12k for this year. This is enough to cover both semesters of tuition AND textbooks. The financial aid office offered me a $3000 loan to cover the rest for the full $15.5k but I don't know if I should take it for this "Room and Board" fee. My parents, luckily, are allowing me to live at home for free because they want me to save as much money as I can. Is this Room and Board fee absolutely necessary and should I take the loan out?

I am looking for a job and I hope to work full time this summer and part time when the semester starts.

Also, besides the Room and Board fee, I was thinking of taking the loan out anyway because the car that I am going to be using is in the auto shop and I'm not sure how much it will cost. If I were to take out the loan, would I be able to use it to fix my car? It is technically going to be used for my education as it is the manner that I will be commuting to school.

Thank you for your advice, I'm still pretty confused about this all.

Replies to: Why is there a "Room & Board" fee if I am commuting to school?

  • arc918arc918 Registered User Posts: 696 Member
    That figure appears to be an estimate of food costs. It may actually be the price of a meal plan in the dining halls. So probably not applicable to you if you are living at home and commuting.
  • arc918arc918 Registered User Posts: 696 Member
    I'm not sure I stated that clearly. The are simply telling you costs to budget for, not what you will be charged by CSULB.

    There is an estimate of books & travel costs as well. Those of course will vary by student.
  • BriiannaBanannaBriiannaBananna Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    Oh, so its not an actual fee that CSULB will be charging me. Okay thank you so much that actually clarified a lot!
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 69,172 Senior Member
    edited June 2015
    The "room and board" estimated cost for commuter students is the estimated cost to your parents or other members of your household to support you living there (e.g. food and utilities). If they are letting you live there at no charge, they are effectively helping you pay for college by whatever that amount it is. Of course, the actual amount can vary considerably across households and may be significantly higher or lower than the estimated cost.
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