You’re a student who has to pay for tuition, books and parking and that’s why you’re here perhaps thinking. “Why do they have to make everything so expensive? I’m only a student, I work a part-time job and can’t pay for all this.” You may be working and going to school full-time which is only tougher. So how can you save money? There’s plenty of ways you’ll be finding out right now.
After high school, you decide to go straight to a university. There’s nothing wrong with that. BUT. There’s also nothing wrong with going to community college for the first 2 years. Tuition costs at a community college are more than 50% cheaper than a university. You could transfer to a university after the 2 years and finish your last 2 years in a university. Not only is it cheaper but also easier. I myself went to a community college before going to a university and achieving my associates was as easy as 1 2 3.
When you’re paying for tuition I advise you refrain from getting loans. There are so many graduates drowning in student loans. What’s next? Working a job after college just to pay for your loans? You may be eligible to receive financial aid. You can go to the FAFSA website and sign up. You have nothing to lose and can be eligible for up to around $5,000 a year. On top of the federal grant, you could also be eligible for a state grant. This isn’t where it ends. There are other grant you could be eligible for. For instance, if you are a transfer student, you could be eligible for a transfer grant based on your GPA. Any left over tuition can be paid if you have money saved up. If not, then you should work a part-time job and save as much money as you can. Once you finish your school, you will feel the greatest relief knowing you have no loans to pay for.
There are also plenty of scholarship opportunities as well. The best scholarships are through your school. There are other scholarship websites such as Unigo, Niche, or ScholarshipPoints. Getting a scholarship will not be easy, but the more you apply for, the higher chance you could receive some.
Let’s shift to the books now. Before you decide to buy a book for your course, first make sure if it is optional or required. Books are not cheap, so you want to make sure you only spend money on a book is you have no other choice. You’d be surprised how many books for your courses you can find in Google. 85% of the time I was able to find the textbook I needed for my class as a PDF file on google. To search only for PDF file type in Google, all you need to do is put the book name you would like to search followed by filetype:pdf. Your search will then only show you PDF file type results. Go ahead and give it a try.
Finally parking. If your school has free street parking I highly recommend you do that. If not, then either try to carpool or find the cheapest parking pass they have. For example, at my university (GMU), they have a general parking permit, west campus, lot M&P, as well as other parking permits. The general parking permit is the most expensive since you’re able to park anywhere at anytime. West campus parking permit on the other hand is more than half the price. Since the university has shuttle buses, I am able to use it to navigate from the West campus to the general campus area.
SO make sure you do some research and see what exactly works best for you. If you have the opportunity to park elsewhere that is free of charge, that will save you the most money. Even if you feel that it is not convenient, you should suck it up and think to yourself, “this isn’t going to last for very long.”
There are other little things that causes you to spend more money such as eating out. Prepare food to take to campus with you. Also prepare drinks. If you’re a coffee person, purchase a nice coffee thermostat mug to keep your coffee hot. One other thing is doing good in your courses. If you fail a course, it only means you have to spend more money repeating the course. Why would you want to do that? If you can afford it, then maybe you should send me some money to pay for my school! No really. Pass your classes and you’ll never look back at them.
I hope I was in some help with this post and I do wish each and every one of you as well as myself the best of luck!