Oftentimes it’s hard to fight a stereotype, and a well known one is that of the poor college student. Of course, the expense of receiving a college education is skyrocketing with inflation barely able to keep up (in fact, inflation has been outpaced for decades) thereby fueling the stereotype’s legitimacy. But if you’re interested in taking a swing and KO’ing this image for good, take a look at a few ways college students can save money below.
Room and board is a big expense you’ll have to deal with besides tuition. According to the College Board, on average for the 2014-2015 school year it was $9,804 at public schools and $11,188 at private universities. One way you can save a ton is by taking up the Resident Advisor position in your dorm. One huge perk for this position includes either free or discounted living expenses. That would help you redirect any extra cash toward chipping away at any student loans you may have. Some responsibilities as an RA include helping new students get acclimated to the college, articulating and enforcing policy and organizing community events.
Another option for affordable housing would be to snag an apartment with a few friends and divvying up the rent. Of course, you’d need to make sure your roommates can keep up with their payments so as to avoid any stressful living arrangements. But if everyone were reliable then this would save a ton.
Consider Summer Classes
Since it seems to be taking longer and longer to finish college (thereby increasing the amount you spend), why not consider taking summer classes to speed up the process? When you take extra courses during the summer, you’ll be able to graduate before your peers. When it comes to saving money, you’ll find that summer courses are often discounted so instead of paying the normal rate during the fall and spring semester, you could save much needed cash by taking those courses during summer break.
Apply Aggressively to Scholarships
Make it a point to spare some time each week applying for scholarships. If you can reduce the amount you take out in loans and instead pay for school through these ubiquitous funds, that’ll not only boost your financial situation but also your self-esteem! Keep in mind that it’ll take some extra work as there will be essays and application forms to fill out, but it’ll be worth it. To minimize competition it’s a good idea to apply for local scholarships only open to those in your community. However, don’t forsake national awards as they can be lucrative. And if you lose a few just remember that persistence pays off!