Money Saving Tips for College Students

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studying-703002_1920It’s no secret that college is expensive. With tuition and fees averaging around $23,000 per year, it has become crucial that students save money wherever they can and try their best to avoid racking up student loans.

College will probably not be the most glamorous time in your life, but just remember that you’re working toward a better future and a sustainable career. You should adopt frugal habits, and seek out ways to get by on less and still have fun.

Here are 5 helpful money saving tips for college students.

1. Apply for Scholarships and Other Aid

The best way to save money on tuition is to apply for financial aid. It’s easy to submit the FAFSA and the grants you receive will help lower your education-related expenses. Even if you don’t think you qualify for Federal or state grants to help fund your education, you should always apply because you never know what the outcome will be.

Also, don’t forget about scholarships. Tens of thousands of dollars are available to help fund your tuition through scholarship money each year. Most students don’t take advantage of this. Visit your school’s scholarship office or go to CollegeBoard.org to search for scholarships that you may be eligible for.

2. Buy Used Textbooks Online

After you register and pay for your classes, you still won’t be done spending money. In most cases, you’ll still have to pay for textbooks for your classes and they don’t come cheap. College textbooks can be a hassle to pay for.

In order to save money in this area, you should avoid purchasing books from your college’s bookstore. The books in the official bookstore will always be more expensive and you won’t receive much when you try to sell your book back that the end of the semester.

Wait to purchase your textbook until school actually starts or email your professor ahead of time to see if you will actually need the book for class. You can purchase textbooks online at a cheaper rate on sites like Chegg, BookRenter, and Textbooks.com.

You can also rent your textbooks as well from other sites for a smaller fee.

3. Get a Roommate

Having someone to split living expenses with can be a huge benefit to help lighten your financial burden. This is why so many college students have a roommate. If you aren’t used to living with others, you’ll need to learn how to compromise and try to room with a very good friend or family member who you know will be reliable and respectful for a pleasant experience.

4. Take Advantage of Freebies on Campus

College campuses have so many free events and offers for students that it would be a waste not to take advantage of them. As a student, your tuition might cover quite a few extra conveniences like admission to sporting events, fitness center memberships, career counseling, workshops, PC repair and other events on campus.

You can take advantage of simply being a student asking around and seeing what your college or university has to offer for free or cheap. Check the calendar for upcoming events so you can save money and get more involved with the rest of the students.

5. Use Public Transportation

Bringing your car to school might become more of an unpleasant expense than a benefit. A car requires maintenance and repairs all the time, not to mention gas prices fluctuate throughout the year.

You may save more money by driving your car less and just using public transportation to get around. If you live on or near campus, you can do a lot of walking or hop on a local bus to get around. At my previous university, buses were free to all college students and about $1 or $2 for non-students. The buses even had routes that took passengers away from the campus and more into town so students could shop, run errands, or get to work.

College is a big step and a huge financial commitment. Finding ways to save money throughout the year can help reduce stress, prevent debt and contribute to a more pleasant college experience overall.

Posted in: Education, Saving Money

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3 Comments

  1. Michelle says:

    Yes, definitely use public transportation! Both of my old colleges would give out free public transportation cards that were good for a full YEAR! Not many took advantage of that either.

    • That was nice of them and I’m sure it was convenient for the students who took advantage of it. I enjoyed having the option to ride the bus from my apartment to campus for free and not deal with expensive parking passes along with traffic and struggling to find a parking space.

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