Academy Incidental Costs, Fees, etc.

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Bundy, Dec 10, 2009.

  1. Bundy

    Bundy Member

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    Just curious to know what kind of actual dollar costs there are to attending the USAFA. Of course, I realize that the Academy is a "full scholarship" institution and that the cadets also receive a monthly stipend, but are there incidental expenses, such as certain fees, that pop up every year that aren't covered? What should be budgeted annually for such costs, if indeed any exist? Thanks.
     
  2. pedro4

    pedro4 Member

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    Not much

    A couple thousand upfront to seed your cadet account. You will end up buying extra clothing to supplement what is issued. Pizza and other take out if you want it. Travel back home is the biggest expense. I have to believe that by your third year you are actually saving money.
     
  3. SALTY007

    SALTY007 Member

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    This is a really good question.
    I'm sure there are many parents / future cadets out there that would appreciate any extra help with info on extra costs.
     
  4. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    I don't know about anyone else but my twins put no money at all up front and have been saving since day 1. Of course, the net pay during 4* year is something just over $125/month, but it does go up each year.

    They have to pay for uniforms, football season tickets (required to buy the ticket and to attend the game), books and laundry.

    My twins will tell you that a ski lift ticket is also necessary! We pay their transportation expenses to/from USAFA which can really add up. Also Bundy, if your child is going to be on the fencing team, s/he must pay his own membership to USFencing ASsoc for USFA tournaments (such as the recent NAC), and they must pay for USFA tournaments. I don't know how it works for other sports.

    So, unlike other schools where one puts up $40,000 for tuition and another $10K for room & board, these items are indeed paid for by USAFA. But, there are indeed other expenses.

    Also, for later, I believe that some parents pick up the cost of the ring, which can be substantial. The fencers family hasn't crossed that particular bridge yet.
     
  5. dohdean

    dohdean Member

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    Incidentals

    We live in Colorado and have seen our 4th class cadet fairly frequently -- so we have spent money for things like meals, Wal-Mart snacks, etc. that other other out of state families may not have spent. An early expense, is goodie boxes mailed after Basic Training and before Recognition -- these don't have to be expensive but are a big lift for your cadet. Another early expense if is travel to and from Parents Weekend (Labor Day weekend) for parents, siblings, etc. if you are able to go to that Academy at that time. This will include airfare, hotel room(s) and meals for which ever members of your family you deem it appropriate to take (a different discussion for another time). Some parents buy their 4th class cadet a computer monitor (allowed in most Squadrons sometime after Parents' Weekend) and some parents also buy their 4th class cadet a printer (also allowed in most squadrons at about the same time) -- these are optional items/expenses and certainly some cadets pay for their own out of their earnings or have one shipped from home. Although we are lucky enough to be able to drive our cadet home for Thanksgiving and Christmas -- those can be (from what I've read on these forum sites) expensive holiday air tickets (if your cadet has to fly home). Spring break is already being discussed at our house and will probably entail a trip with other cadets to a warm location -- like Florida -- each family has to figure out how they will deal with travel of that type (whether you pay for your cadet's trip or whether they pay for it). My point is: our daughter has made enough money that she could pay her required expenses out of her earnings. We are fortunate to be able to supplement her earnings with some trips to the grocery, to Wal Mart, to get her nails done, but those were chances for mom/daughter time -- not things we would have had to pay for. The family trips to the Academy and the cadet's trip(s) home are, I think, the biggest expense for the first year that the cadet may not be able to pay in full on their own.

    Dolly Dean
    C4C Carrigan Dean, CS 40
    Boulder, CO
     
  6. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    Every cadet will be different. Our son is a saver, and he has never had to spend money for anything that his cadet pay didn't cover. All of the fees, cleaning bill, laundry, barber, are deducted from cadet pay before the cadets even get it. He has paid for his own expenses by himself, and had saved about $4000 in the bank by the end of his 3 dig year. He used that to buy our truck that we were getting rid of, and that is what he drives now as a 2 degree. He pays for his own gas and insurance out of his cadet pay. We pay for his flights if he comes home on major breaks. He pays for his flights to see his girlfriend in another state. He is also paying for his own ring, which he just ordered.

    On the other hand, we know cadets who spent every penny earned and had to get money from parents and friends to buy books.

    It is possible to do it with no extra money, but it will depend on your cadet.

    Stealth_81
     
  7. SALTY007

    SALTY007 Member

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    Stealth81
    I think my daughter will prob be like your son...a "saver" and will prob only have to use her pay to cover the academy items....but of course...like everyone else states..the trips to and from home/academy will prob have to be paid by family/parents. I'm sure there must be some kind of paperwork or website info somewhere that informs families/cadets of the extra costs not covered??
     
  8. HNeedle

    HNeedle Member

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    fencersmom: this year's 4 degrees have a different pay system than we did. they no longer got the 8000 dollar advance pay to cover initial uniform costs and laptops; from what i understand, it all comes out of their pay every month. so, instead of getting between $100 and $200 a month, they get paid a heck of a lot more: usually between 300 and 500 from what i've heard my freshmen say. but the caveat is that they dont get a large lump sum payment like we do. we get all the money that we DIDNT use from that 8k advance pay as a lump sum sometime next year, whereas they just get paid more over time.
     
  9. HNeedle

    HNeedle Member

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    other parents: dont worry. the academy pretty much gives you everythin you need, or gives you the money to pay for it. my parents have never spared me a dime, and i've been fine.. paying for my own plane tickets, ski passes, snowboard gear, and other random stuff
     
  10. XCRunnerGirl

    XCRunnerGirl New Member

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    Does AF pay for travel to USAFA for new cadets?

    I have an appointment to the USAFA for the class of 2014. I'm supposed to start BCT on 24 Jun 10. I'm currently in South Korea. Will the AF pay for a one-way ticket from where I live now, to Colorado Springs in the 3rd week of June? In other words, does the AF pay my travel to the USAFA?
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2009
  11. buffalo

    buffalo USAFA 2013

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    We still got the loan to cover the initial (during BCT) uniform issue, but anything we get now comes out of cadet pay and really takes the montly check down. For July and August I received about $400. Then for September that went down to $133 (less than $100 for some) because we got second service coat and a jacket, and flight suit. October was normal and back up to the $400ish level. November was trunk issue, pay went down to about $230. Now for December, we got our $313 parade uniform (plus whatever the cap costs) so I doubt I'll be getting much.

    Point is, the Academy does cover all the costs. It just comes out of cadet pay, so some months you'll receive a nice check, other months you won't.
     
  12. tallbutshort

    tallbutshort Member

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    Yes, but I think it has to be repaid if you drop out during BCT (which I'm sure you won't! :smile:)
     

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