8 Money Tips for College
It's no secret that college can be expensive. Use our tips and tricks to help lessen the stress and avoid paying for things you don’t need to.
Don’t borrow more than you need
Student loans and credit cards are not “free money”. Paying them back on time (and not racking up a lot of extra debt while in school) will be important to build your credit score for your future. The better your score, the better rates you can get on everything from credit cards, to car loans, to personal loans.
Consider living at home
This is a more relevant option than ever before. With classes from major universities being offered online, you can save on housing, parking, and dining by living at home or further off campus in less expensive housing.
Take a gap year
Why pay for something you aren’t 100% certain is right for you? A gap year can be used to save money, confirm your area of study, or provide a mental break before diving back into academia.
Apply for external scholarships
Consider applying for scholarships, like the Members First scholarship, to offset school costs. Often employers, financial institutions, and local organizations offer opportunities that could help fill in the gaps when paying for tuition or school related expenses.
Ask your school for more money
It never hurts to ask nicely. If you are worried that your financial aid and scholarships won’t be enough to cover your tuition. Consider reaching out to the university to see what other financial opportunities they have for students.
Have “spending money” for school set aside
Grants, financial aid and scholarships are great for covering school-specific costs like tuition and books, but it’s important to have a plan on how you are going to pay for everything else. Plan to save up enough money for things like groceries, gas, and other living expenses while attending school. This will be especially important if you are unable to work or must work reduced hours while attending school.
Take pictures of your living space/rented books at beginning and end of term
When you get your rental (apartment, dorm, books, etc.), be sure to photograph any existing damage. When you move out or return the rental, if they challenge giving you your deposit back because of damage, you have proof that the damage wasn’t done by you.
Consider community college
Community colleges offer many great degrees at a lower cost than state universities or private institutions. Many community colleges also have agreements with larger in-state colleges and universities that allow students to take general education classes at a CC before transferring to another school for degree specific classes.
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