You’ve gotten your acceptance letters; you’ve decided where you’re going to school, and you know who you’re rooming with. All the big decisions are made, right? Wrong! There are plenty of more choices to make – most of them costly! But, how do you save money as you prepare to leave the nest? Here are a few tips:
Apply for Scholarships: There’s a ton of scholarships out there! Don’t just look at the ones offered by the state or your future school. Most high schools have a college and career resource center with information on scholarships as well. Guidance counselors are also a frequently untapped resource when it comes to scholarship updates. Don’t just sit around waiting for a scholarship to jump in your lap – seek them out!
Choose Housing Wisely: Living on campus your freshmen year is a great experience, however, if your budget is really tight, it might be wise to live off campus as it is typically much cheaper than living in the dorms. There are also scholarship houses available at many universities. Worried about transportation? Check potential off-campus housing for bus routes to campus. Most major universities are now offering students free bus services to and from popular off-campus housing.
Avoid the Meal Plan: Meal Plans are expensive and unless you use it for every meal that you possibly can, you won’t get your money’s worth. Grocery shopping is a fraction of the price. Trust me, you won’t starve! Half of the time you will probably skip breakfast to finish a last minute homework assignment, anyway. This way you can factor in eating out, rather than feeling guilty about not using your meal plan.
How do you plan on saving in college?