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The Real Cost of Setting Up a Dorm Room

By Bloomberg Rankings - 2012-08-10T20:14:18Z

Photograph by James Woodson/Getty Images

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Dorm Room Drama

Unadorned college dorm rooms can bear a remarkable resemblance to prison cells. For parents, the horror isn't only aesthetic. After paying gruesome tuition bills, they now face the cost and process of helping create a room that doesn't evoke visions of "The Shawshank Redemption." Spending on everything from mini-fridges to laptop locks to wall decals may reach an average of $907, up $100 from 2011, according to the National Retail Federation. Some parents will pay much, much more. Here's where some of that money goes.