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Families Pay to Deck Out Dorms - KOAM TV 7

Families Pay to Deck Out Dorms

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

Between tuition and textbooks, families tend to forget about the costs associated with furnishing a dorm room. 

But it can, and does, add up to hundreds of dollars. 

Shannon Rice tried not to overspend on dorm décor for her daughter Brittany, a freshman at Missouri Southern. Most of what you'll find in her room is pre-owned.  

"She had a lot of it," Shannon said. "We bought her the printer and the bedding. But a lot of it's just from her room."

It's a far cry from Erin Kelley's mother, who says she spent roughly $600 on getting her daughter's room college ready. 

"I had to buy a lot more than I thought," Erin said. "We went to Target and it was like two shopping carts full."

According to the National Retail Federation, the average family only expects to spend about $130 to furnish a college dorm room. But when it comes time to actually spend, the numbers tend to rise. 

Back to school spending as a whole has grown 42% over the last 10 years. 

"It's higher end appliances," Dir. of Residence Life at Missouri Southern Josh Doak said. "They'll bring multiple devices like iPads. Because nowadays most of the colleges have microwaves or refrigerators included. 

Some of the biggest expenses have nothing to do with the room. A lot of it is getting ready for day-to-day expenses that students never had to cover before.

"[I] just wanted to make sure I had everything to take care of myself because usually [my parents] buy it for me," Brittany said.

Though once students learn to live in their means, back to school doesn't have to mean back to the check out line.

"Seniors are more well prepared and know exactly how much they need," Doak said. "And they quickly learn within the first day what they do and do not need."

While it costs more to live in a dorm than an apartment, according to the NRF, it's cheaper to furnish a dorm.

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