As an experienced college student I can tell you have tried everything to make or save a buck or two. Here are a few of my top choices that have worked well for me.
1.) If you aren’t sure what you want to do try community college. It is much cheaper and you can usually live with your parents, that saves TONS of money and it turns out your parents are cooler than you thought.
If you do know what you want to do look at the required classes and find out if you can do a year at community college. Usually the first two years of college are general education classes and can be taken anywhere. I took accounting, English, psyc, math, marketing and yoga at community college and saved myself thousands of dollars.
2.) Never buy a book new at the book store. There are hundreds of websites set up to sell you used books at a huge discount. E-mail your teachers a few weeks before class to find out the ISBN number of the book you need and go to places like amazon.com to find them. While you are at it ask the teacher if you can use an older edition, this is a HUGE savings. I once paid .25 for an economics book that was almost $100 new.
3.) Learn to say no. Sure it seems like staying home and eating ramen is social suicide when everyone else is out eating at Chilis or Applebees but you will have plenty of time for that, take a few days off in between to eat a little cheaper.
4.) Look around the internet. There are plenty of websites that will pay you to fill out surveys, complete free offers or give your opinion on things. I used treasure trooper and made over $200 and e-rewards and got tons of free stuff. It all adds up in the end.
5.) Use your resources. Share books with friends who you have class with. Carpool home with people who live in your area. Walk to class. There are plenty of ways to save a few bucks and when you do them all you can save thousands.
6.) Find the free stuff! College is FULL of free stuff. Many clubs will have free pizza if you go to a meeting. At my school they have free pancakes with the president. I’m sure if you really tried you could eat for free every meal.
7.) Find out what you are really paying for. In my tuition they include a fee for an extra rec center off campus and use of the health center. Anyone who doesn’t use either of those can be refunded the fee. That is almost $50 that you can save and use for what you really need.