7 Ways to Save Money at College
Keeping your college budget under control.
College costs can seem nearly impossible to control, but if you cut a little here and there, while using your money wisely, you can afford college and not be socked with a huge debt obligation when graduating. Read on for some valuable and timely tips on how to save money at college.
1. Apply for financial aid — Regardless of your family income, you may qualify for a financial aid when attending college. Always fills out a “Free Application for Student Aid” or FAFSA when starting or continuing with your college education. Know what deadlines apply to ensure that you qualify.
2. Seek college scholarships — Billions of dollars of college scholarships are awarded annually. Many awards are private, having nothing to do with where you go to school. Find out what those scholarships are, read the requirements and submit your application on time. Review our college scholarship page for more information.
3. Sign up for classes you intend to take — Dropping classes will cost you money and time. Before you fill out your schedule for the coming academic semester, know what courses you can handle and set aside the time to attend class, to study and to do your research.
4. Investigate CLEP — You may be able to avoid taking some classes if you have work experience already. The College Level Examination Program is conducted by the College Board, offering 33 exams in five subject areas. By completing CLEP requirements you may be able to reduce your college costs or at least finish school sooner so that you can start work earlier.
5. Do without a car — Maintaining a car and attending school can get expensive. Consider doing without a car or at least leaving your car at home if you attend school away from home. Parking fees, insurance costs, gasoline and maintenance, as well as licenses and registration fees can be cost to hard for college students to bear. Sell your car if you absolutely have no need for one.
6. Never buy new books — Quite easily, you can fork over hundreds of dollars per semester on new textbooks. Likely, you don’ t need to buy new books as either used books would do or renting textbooks would be sufficient. Check the college and local public library too as the book you need could be available to you for free.
7. Control your entertainment costs — These days, college students are wired like never before. That means you’re spending money on things that can consume your budget such as iTunes, cell phone service, cable television, books, CDs and more. Find ways to not buy new or at least to borrow what you can. Use freeware software instead of costly software programs too.
Today’s college grads are leaving school with lower expectations of finding the job that they want, at least initially. Many students are deeply in debt, which is all the more reason why you need to save money now to avoid being hammered by debt later on.