The Real Cost of Setting Up a Dorm Room

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

Photograph by Jupiterimages/Getty Images

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The Desk

Aside from serving as an armoire, cutting board and guest seating, the desk provides, well, a change of pace from the bed. Unless your child has a unique appreciation for fluorescent lighting, a desk lamp and a standing lamp will be needed. In the why-would-I-buy-this category, you could pay more for a facsimile of a light than a light itself by springing for a designer-made wall decal of a lamppost ($65) or chandelier ($40) from

$16: Desk lamp --

$70: High-back mesh chair --

$22: 12-inch table fan --

$64: Able Planet Traveler's Choice foldable noise-canceling headphones (unless you want to go for the $300 Bose headphones at --

$50: 5-light floor lamp --

$23: Dry-erase talk board, extra set of dry-erase markers ($3) --

$10: WallPops removable dry-erase message dot and marker (set of 3) --

The tally: $1,220.50 (leaves out decals)