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New Year, New Savings: College Edition

As college students start the new year and go back to college, they’re met with a variety of financing responsibilities for the new semester. To help you navigate this financial landscape and save money, I want to provide you with 5 tips and tricks.



  1. Consider becoming a resident advisor (RA). Colleges and universities employ RAs to live in the residence halls and assist other students as needed. By becoming an RA, you can not only benefit from discounted or even free on-campus housing but also gain valuable experience to enhance your resume. Additionally, being an RA means you won't have a roommate, which can provide you with more privacy and personal space. Moreover, being an RA is a wonderful opportunity to give back to the college community and make a positive impact.



2. Another important step to consider is filing for FASFA, which stands for Federal Student Financial Aid. By applying for FASFA grants, you can receive financial assistance to help cover the costs of books, fees, room and board, tuition, and other educational expenses. This can alleviate some of the financial burden and allow you to retain more of your own money.



3. Furthermore, maximizing your college meal plan is another effective way to save money. Instead of viewing it as just a meal ticket, think of it as a comprehensive dining solution. Take advantage of the breakfast, lunch, and dinner options, as well as snacks, to get the most value out of your meal plan. Even if you're not using your college meal plan, consider eating in the dining halls, as they often offer reasonably priced food. Packing snacks, such as an apple or banana, in your bag can also help you avoid spending excessive amounts of money on food from other sources like coffee carts.



4. Textbooks can be a significant expense each semester, especially specialized ones for scientific and math courses that can cost over $200 when bought new. However, there are several ways to save money in this area. Instead of purchasing brand-new textbooks, consider buying used ones from various websites and vendors. This can result in substantial savings without compromising your ability to succeed academically.



5. Lastly, take advantage of printing services on campus. Many students already pay student fees that include access to printing facilities. Make the most of this resource, especially when it comes to printing large documents. By utilizing campus printing, you can save hundreds of dollars on printing costs each year. Even better, if your instructors allow it, consider going paperless and submitting assignments electronically. This not only saves money but also contributes to a more sustainable environment.


By implementing these additional tips, you will be well-equipped to save money and manage your finances effectively throughout the semester. Good luck!

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