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The Real Cost of Applying to College

By Mary Lowengard - 2011-10-04T21:32:01Z

Photograph by iStockphoto/Getty Images

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Interviews and Essays

Finessing the applications will make a better impression.

$400: Let your child show off her wit and personality -- many schools encourage on-campus interviews and this is a good chance. $100 per visit, average, for gas, tolls, and food

$2,000: Essay coach such as Ivy Consulting Group, to proofread and polish the final application essay

$101: Monogrammed stationery to handwrite thank-you notes for interviews and recommendations. Merrimade Correspondence Cards, 100 cards and envelopes plus shipping and handling

Tally: $30,283