It's one of those hidden costs you don't think about when you're budgeting for college, but in many ways, it's just as really expensive. Books!Western Michigan's school year starts in about a month, Sept. 6th. You've got tuition. You've got room and board. And you've got big bucks to budget for books.

Back in the 80's, $50 for a textbook seemed outrageous. I just did a random search on the WMU Bookstore website. Wow.

Graphic from bkstr.com

College students today have to pay off student loans seemingly forever, but a big chunk of that is books and classroom materials. Start passing the hat now.