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Most College Students Work While in School, Survey Shows

College students are facing more expenses than they anticipated, but most are stepping up by working and covering some of the expense, according to a recent national survey.

Nearly 80 percent of college students are working while attending school—putting in an average of 19 hours per week during the academic year,
The 2013 College Student Pulse released by Citi and Seventeen magazine found.

The online survey of 1,008 high school seniors and college students conducted in mid-July reveals that 61 percent thought college was more expensive than they thought it would be. Students in other surveys say they don't fully understand the loan process and find figuring out college costs confusing.

The majority of students (62 percent) have set a budget to keep track of their expenses, and 77 percent say they pay their own credit-card bills, the new survey finds.

What about other expenses?

Nearly 80 percent of students surveyed say they are responsible for their own spending money, 71 percent cover the cost of their clothes, and about half pay for their own books. Cellphone expenses are one area where parents are more likely to pick up the tab. About 60 percent of students say their parents pay their monthly cellphone bills.

Just how much will students returning to campus this fall spend? The average student shells out $513 on back-to-school shopping.

The major expenses of tuition and housing are covered by a combination of parent and student contributions, along with scholarships and financial aid, according to the Citi/Seventeen poll.

The survey found college choice is largely driven by finances, which is in line with other recent surveys. More than three-quarters of respondents say money played an important role in where they decided to apply to/attend college, and one-third said that money was the most important factor in determining where they enrolled.

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