Between tuition, room, board and books, college can be an expensive proposition.
But there are steps every student can take to help cut costs and still have fun without breaking the bank.
A few money saving tips for budding freshmen – and their older counterparts – include:
(1) Do not sign up for any credit cards, no matter how fancy the baseball cap that comes with it is. Begin establishing credit when you are on firmer, financial ground and equipped to make the money right decisions.
(2) Flash your student ID as much as possible. In Philadelphia, movie theaters, museums, and even a few restaurants and retailers will give you a discount just for being enrolled in college!
(3) Skip the campus bookstore. Web sites such as TextBookX.com and CampusBookRental.com offer cheaper alternatives to students facing a hefty courseload. Also consider doing book swaps with other students.
(4) Get an on-campus job to supplement tuition
(5) Save on electronics. Many big-name electronic corporations, such as Apple and Dell, extend discounts on their products to students, all you have to do is ask.
(6) Get a part time job that has tuition reimbursement.
(7) If you live in a suite, forego the meal plan and purchase your own groceries. Cost effective, and you are able to get the variety of food that you want.
(8) Visit mom and dad on the cheap. Travel companies know how to appeal to students without a lot of money, and companies like StudentUniverse.com, offer discounted plane tickets just for being a student. If you are within 2-3 hours of home, hop on Megabus or Boltbus for as cheap as $1 when booked far in advance.
(9) Meet with your school’s financial officer at least twice a semester to keep track of your account.
(10) The search for money doesn’t stop once you’ve gotten in. Apply for money through grants, as often – and as many – as possible. Grants, unlike loans, don’t need to be paid back. Despite the economy, there is still a great amount of money out there for college students. Research, research, research.