Specific majors cost thousands of extra dollars in supplies


Graphics by Karen Holcomb

Alyssa Morlacci

Katherine Wallace is creating an eveningwear clothing line made entirely of silk for her Fashion Studio III class. Wallace, a senior fashion design major, has spent $120 on 10 yards of silk, and she’s only halfway done.

“They want you to use nice fabric,” she said. “I have a friend who’s doing a bridal line and she has lace that is $100 a yard.”

Senior collections like Wallace’s can cost $75 to more than $1,000 on fabrics and accessories, said Vincent Quevedo, a fashion design and merchandising associate professor who teaches one of the Fashion Studio III sections.

Fashion design isn’t the only costly program.

Junior architecture major Belana Antar said she spent more than $1,000 during her first semester in Kent State’s architecture program.

“In previous years … you would go to studio the first day of class freshman year and they would say, ‘All right everybody, this is what we’re doing: We’re going to the bookstore.’ And then we would drop — I think it was — $300 [there],” she said. “All the architecture kids were freaking out in line. I remember that being my first experience.”

Sophomore nursing major Mandy Greenrod said she spent $100 a week driving to her required clinical last semester. She said students should receive more help paying for additional fees.

“It’s just ridiculous how much they expect you to pay,” she said.

But Summer Ruckh, junior early childhood education major, said she thinks the extra expenses will be worth the price tag post-graduation, even though she pays $50 a week toward gas to drive to a student teaching position.

“At the end of the day, I want to be a teacher so bad, and I’ll be changing lives and making a difference — so I don’t care that I have to pay the money,” she said. “It’s a pain, it’s a burden, but it’s what I want to do, so no amount of money would keep me from it.”

Students who have additional educational expenses can apply for loans by picking up a Cost of Attendance Increase Form from the Student Financial Aid Office in the Michael Schwartz Center. This is an option that is popular with aeronautic majors because additional flight fees can cost thousands of dollars per course, according to the financial aid office.

Sophomore aeronautics major Dan Schiff said he spent more than $8,000 in flight expenses this semester, in addition to tuition.

“Make sure you have a plan in advance to afford it all the way through,” Schiff said about the program. “[If you take some time off] you’ll forget some things you learned or how to fly, and to catch up it will cost you more money in over-flight fees.”

Students in majors that require extra spending have to learn how to prioritize their money, said Barbara Rhodes, a fashion design and merchandising lecturer.

“Often, when a student’s excuse for incomplete work is a lack of supplies or money, I notice that they have the latest in an expensive phone and phone program,” Rhodes said. “So it’s learning to see supplies as a priority which affects the quality of the work.”

Major Breakdown

Fashion Design

According to Katie Wallace, senior fashion design major:

Estimated spending per semester: $200 to $500

One-time purchases: fabric scissors, needles, Adobe Photoshop for technical design majors

Per-semester purchases: thread, fabric, sketchbooks, markers, tracing paper, elastics, buttons, zippers and other project supplies

Biggest account drain: fabric — $5 to $20 a yard, and a student buys about 20 yards of fabric in one semester


According to Amanda Greenrod, sophomore nursing major:

Estimated spending per semester: $400

One-time purchases: scrubs, stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, nursing shoes, pen light, SkyScape phone application and nursing program acceptance fee

Per-semester purchases: gas for a 20-minute to one-hour drive to clinical once or twice a week

Biggest account drain: scrubs at $150, SkyScape phone application that serves as a drug reference at $200 and the program acceptance fee at $500


According to Belana Antar, junior architecture major:

Estimated spending per semester: $500 to $700

One-time purchases: X-Acto knives, pens

Per-semester purchases: model building supplies,

prints, copies and presentation boards

Biggest account drain: model building supplies,

presentation boards at $60

Visual Communication Design

According to Gina LaRocca, junior visual

communication design major:

Estimated spending per semester: $200

One-time purchases: Apple Macbook and computer software, “base supplies” like rulers, cutting board and t-square

Per-semester purchases: water color paper, palettes, brushes, drawing supplies, pens, prints

Biggest account drain: Apple Macbook at about $2,000 and design programs at about $450


According to Summer Ruckh, junior education major:

Estimated spending per semester: $450

One-time purchases: Praxis test

Per-semester purchases: background check (yearly), gas to drive to student teaching jobs

Biggest account drain: gas at about $50 a week, Praxis test at $200 and annual background check at $80


According to Dan Schiff, sophomore aeronautics major:

Estimated spending per semester: about $8,000 for 50 hours of flight

One-time purchases: headset at $300, flight bag at $50

Per-semester purchases: medical certificate at $100 (yearly), aviation maps at $20

Biggest account drain: flight course fees

Contact Alyssa Morlacci at [email protected].