You may have scrimped and saved for your kid's college costs this fall, but you could still be thousands of dollars short.
Though universities give families a sense of how much they'll pay for their child's schooling, these estimates tend to understate the true cost. That's especially the case for students who live off campus.
Students living off-campus and not with family while attending a public college spent an average of $9,857 on room and board during the 2017-2018 college year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Those at private schools spent an average of $9,940 on room and board. On-campus students can expect a room and board price tag of about $10,000.
Take those estimates with a grain of salt.
As many as a third of colleges and universities understate the local cost of living by at least $3,000, according to researchers.