Let’s face it: College is expensive! From tuition, meal plans, and everything in between, it is safe to say that college is a very expensive investment. Fortunately for you, knowledge is free. Below is a list of the five most creative ways to save money during college.
A great way to save money during college is to attend a school near your hometown. When you attend a college close to home, you can commute to campus, effectively saving you thousands of dollars by not having to pay for room and board. Commuting sometimes receives a bad wrap but it shouldn’t. Commuters are still able to make friends and still fully able to experience life in college. The best part of being a commuter is your food will likely be better than what is served in the dorm cafeteria and don’t act like that doesn’t make you excited.
If you’re fortunate enough to live near a community college, consider enrolling. These colleges are notoriously cheaper and still provide a world-class education; do not let the stigma of community college scare you away.
Do you know what’s better than paying full tuition for college? Not having to pay full tuition for college; shocker, I know. A creative way to save money for school is to apply for as many scholarships as you possibly can. Scholarships are free money. I repeat: Scholarships are free money; are you as excited as I am? When searching for scholarships, check online as well as locally. You’ll be surprised by how many local people are willing to donate their money for your education. In short, scholarship rock.
3. Can You Say Student Discounts?
Well, can you? In many college towns, local merchants treat students like royalty. Business owners in college towns typically view college students as their target market. Thus in act of business savviness, the student discount was born. Next time you are at the cash register, let’s put your student ID to use. Inquire if your student status can provide you discounts.
4. Max Out Your Credit Hours
A creative way to save money during college is to make the most of your time. Although this route is rather difficult, if you are able to consistently max out your credit hours, you can complete your education quicker while also learning more because you end up taking more classes each term. In high school, if you were able to take the AP classes, you can thank yourself now for your hard work. Your AP scores can be transferred over to college credits thus removing you from the obligation to make certain university required classes.
5. Become A Resident Advisor
The slickest way to save money during college is to become a resident advisor. Not only do resident advisors at certain universities receive a regular paycheck, but all resident advisors also receive free room and board. Becoming an RA does require responsibility, but if you are up for the challenge of keeping a floor of mostly college freshmen in line, then chances are you’ll enjoy the feeling of saving money and becoming a campus leader. The University of San Francisco has a terrific RA program that I encourage you to check out.