College is an expensive endeavor for many families. Parents and students expect to a return after four years of higher education. Expenses start before students take their first class. It starts with paying expensive application fees that, in the end, can cost as much as $500. Tuition starts at $2,500 and increases with the number of classes. If you decide to go to an out-of-state college, you can expect to pay more than $10,000 for a semester. Once you get on campus, books and everyday expenses quickly drain your account. Although it costs a lot of money to go to college, you can save money.
One of the first ways to save money is find out if you qualify for fee waivers when you apply for college. Application fees costs as much as $100 dollars just to find out if you get in their college. Some colleges let you apply for free if you are a low-income applicant or if you have received specific scholarships. So, find out if you can get a fee waiver.
Once you get into your university of choice, save money on your books. Books cost hundreds of dollar. One new text book can run up to $200. Websites like Half.com and Amazon.con have textbooks from multiple publishers. Although these websites promise to send your books in two or three days, try ordering your books a week before classes start.
If you prefer getting your books off-line, find used books. Other college students are often willing to sell their books to you. It’s a win-win situation. You get a discount book, and they make a profit. If all else fails, go to the bookstore before the semester starts and get used books. If you wait to get your books after the semester starts, most used books are gone.
Instead of bringing your car and paying for parking, use public transportation. Many college students feel that riding the bus or other forms of public transportation is beneath them, but this is a way to save on gas, car repairs and parking. City transit services offer discounts to students and faculty members. Usually multiple bus lines pass the campus, eliminating the excuse that you will be late. On another note, you don’t have to worry about someone breaking into your vehicle.
Include a meal plan in your tuition. Different meal plans lets you pick an option that fits your projected dining expenses on campus. Adding the money for the semester helps you manage how much you spend on food. The plan works at restaurants and university convenience stores. Find out if off-campus restaurants accept campus meal plans and try to go to them.
Become a patron at places that offer student discounts. These businesses include clothing, food, movies and even concert venues. Don’t be afraid to flash your ID to pay less for something. If your university offers coupon books at the beginning of the semester, pick up one for discounts at local businesses.
College is expensive, whether you go to a state or Ivy League college. Some expenses are unavoidable; however, you can save money by using resources that decrease the amount of money you spend on objects. It may take a little creativity on your part to save money. However, if you save money in college, you get early lessons about the importance of budgeting.