Category Archives: saving ON college

Chowing Down on the Cheap

Chowing Down on the Cheap

Unhealthy fat man trying to eat one more pizza part

 

I save the least important subject of the site for last. You will always have a food budget, and eating right costs good money. In terms of its toll on health and wellness, cheap food is rarely worth the price. That said, you can eat well and save money as a student if you forego the more common options presented to you. Let’s dive into some of the food options and plans distinct to the college experience. Continue reading Chowing Down on the Cheap

Housing

Housing

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Housing

Ah, the college life. Fond, fond memories of those two a.m. prank runs, the late night bull sessions, the sort of crazy antics that come anytime you put six teenage guys in a small space with no direct supervision.

One way or another, college housing dynamics make or break a college experience. It probably goes without saying, but you will spend more time with your roommates than your profs and more time around your living space than in any classroom. Getting this right matters quite a bit to the college experience. You will have a lot more considerations to the situation than purely financial ones. Roommate selection, amenities, décor, proximities and so forth impact everything you do in college. Continue reading Housing

Addressing Textbook Pain (3 of 3)

Addressing Textbook Pain (3 of 3)

Vector concept of investment in education with coins books and scales

Note: This is the third installment of a 3-part series of tips on how to mitigate the ever-rising costs of college textbooks. See also posts 1 and 2 on this topic. 

Let’s address three strategies for your textbook woes that don’t actually require you to buy any textbooks to get the job done. These may not come into play as often, but if they do you’ll be glad you tried. Continue reading Addressing Textbook Pain (3 of 3)

Addressing Textbook Pain (1 of 3)

Addressing Textbook Pain (1 of 3)

artwork in retro style, girl in the library, sleeping

How to address the ever rising costs of textbooks? Getting your textbook purchases wrong can severely punish your bottom line, but how do we get it right in this era of multi-digit prices? Today let’s look at three of the more typical sources of textbook procurement. In the next two posts we will then explore some more creative ways to get it done.

On Campus Bookstore

So you got your syllabus. On it are a list of books your professor wants you to read. The tempting thing to do would be to stroll over to your campus bookstore where you can be assured said textbooks can be found. However, while convenient, I would highly encourage you to not simply grab your book lists and stroll over to the campus bookstore to pay whatever the price tag says.

In fact, if at all possible, I’d recommend avoiding the campus bookstore altogether. Treat it not as your first resort but your last. There, with rare exception, you will find the best chances for finding the books you need but at the highest prices going. Fortunately, this is a feat more and more possible as other avenues become available through the Internet. Let’s explore a few of these options available to you before you put even more money into your college’s coffers. Continue reading Addressing Textbook Pain (1 of 3)

Chart: The Costs of Excess Credits

Chart: The Costs of Excess Credits

Cost of Extra School

cost of extra school II

(Click on either chart above to go to its source article)

These charts come to us courtesy of articles by Danielle Douglas-Gabriel of the Washington Post and Melissa Korn of the Wall Street Journal. Both provide us some detail on the costs associated with taking more courses than necessary for the completion of a degree. We get two today because this has been a public policy hot topic of late with states looking to trim their higher education budgets. After all, it costs money to offer classes, and when a student at a state school continues to rack up credit hours beyond graduation requirements it affects the bottom line of both. Continue reading Chart: The Costs of Excess Credits

Audits

Audits

Science Teacher Standing At Whiteboard With Digital Tablet

Another Test Drive

Lastly, colleges often offer free or highly discounted classes via the academic audit*. In an audit arrangement students must get permission from the registrar to sit in on a class. The student can then attend the class and have access to all the related materials but will not take part in testing nor receive a formal grade. Continue reading Audits

Go Against the Flow

Go Against the Flow

Andere Wege gehen, Zweifeln, Abspaltung

In a previous post I encouraged summer school attendance as a key way to save both time and money in college. But any time the topic of summer school comes up so do objections such as, “But I need to work in the summer,” and, “But by the time summer comes I’m ready for a break.” However, both these concerns can be addressed if students can think about attendance in an even more contrarian fashion. Continue reading Go Against the Flow

Credit Hours and Cost

Credit Hours and Cost

Speedometer with neon backlight isolated on black

 

It not only matters in college which classes you take, but also how you schedule said classes. As such, let’s take a look at credit hour enrollment in light of affordability. But first it helps to know how your college charges for tuition, with the two basic flavors being per-hour and block rate. Figure out the specifics of your particular school’s billing metrics and you can save some serious coin. Continue reading Credit Hours and Cost