Tuition just the beginning for freshmen at Harvard U. College: Education, room and board run $31,395 for an average school year. But the bare necessities could push Clintons' bill to $50,000.

February 18, 1997|By Tom Pelton | Tom Pelton,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- The first lady may have made a killing on the commodities market a few years back, but she and President Clinton might have to start playing Lotto if daughter Chelsea accepts an invitation to attend Harvard University.

The annual price tag for tuition, room and board and other fees is breathtaking enough at an estimated $31,395.

But that doesn't begin to cover the real cost of joining the Harvard Class of 2001. A freshman woman might be run out of Cambridge, for example, without a proper navel piercing ($53) and Phish T-shirt ($16.50).

Sorry, Bill and Hillary, but our math puts the first-year damage at closer to 50 grand. Here's the bad news, compiled from the university and the merchants of Harvard Square:

Just the basics: Tuition, $20,758; student services, $1,551; health services, $687; room, $3,842; board (dorm food only): $3,503; toiletries and basic supplies, $1,050.

Stuff for classes: Books (required reading includes Bem's "The Lenses of Gender," Foucault's "Discipline and Punishment," Achebe's "Things Fall Apart" and "Calculus and Analytic Geometry"), $1,000; computer (Dell Optiplex PC with 33.6 modem), $2,255; bicycle (Raleigh M20 21-speed mountain bike with Kryptonite lock), $255.

Dorm stuff: Stereo (Sony PMC-M2 stereo/CD player with surround-sound speakers), $1,000; portable CD player (Aiwa "Walkman"-style player); phone (cordless Panasonic KX-TC 900B), $170; TV/VCR (Panasonic), $449; cable connection (for CNN to see Dad, MTV to watch "Rodman World Tour"), $333; mini-fridge, $130.

Clothes and stuff: Clothing/accessories (one year's worth for a fiscally conservative but not masochistic co-ed, including Phish T-shirt, boot-cut hipster pants, leather backpack -- and normal outfits for when Mom's in town), $4,000; footwear (chunky, black loafers and platform boots), $285; haircut (plus tip, at Gino's on Harvard Square), $90; belly-button ring (for piercing and hoop), $53.

Stuff for R & R: Tunes: (16 CDs -- including Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, Cake -- to play in boring poli sci class), $224; exercise (membership at Wellbridge Health and Fitness; Stairmaster lines too long at Malkin gym), $1,300; ballet lessons (one year at Green Street Studios), $960.

Entertainment and stuff: Munchies (includes reasonable quantities of Snapple, veggie subs at Pinocchio's, garlic-tomato-broccoli pizzas at Tommy's, hazelnut lattes at Au Bon Pan, "Bob Dole" burgers and gravy fries at Mr. Bartley's, and occasional beers and peppers for Secret Service agents at the Crimson Sports Grille), $1,120; partying (cover charges at Man-Ray dance club, "Scorpion Bowl" cocktails at "no-card" Hong Kong restaurant, case of beer at Louie's Superette, tickets to Leonardo DiCaprio films at Sony Harvard Square), $640.

Stuff for staying in touch: Calls to White House (1 hour a week, collect through AT&T), $899; plane tickets home (four USAir round-trip coach tickets), $816.

Grand total: $47,920

Hmmmm. Suddenly American University is looking awfully attractive.

Pub Date: 2/18/97

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