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College is no cheap endeavor — saving a few bucks here and there can add up! Pay attention to a few simple suggestions and you’ll thank us four (-ish) years from now.
College isn’t all about spending. Many companies offer great student discounts. Pair these tips and discounts with some smart financial savvy and you’re well on your way to lowering those college costs!
Tip #1: Make the most of your meal plan
If you have access to food, jump on it! Wasted meals are just a waste of money. Stock up on the allotted fruits and vegetables (or chocolate milk, not judging!) and take them with you.
Extra cereal? A granola bar? Add it to your tray! Figure out how to max out your meal plan so you don’t get caught in a hangry meltdown mid study session.
Tip #2: Skip the college bookstore
It’s bright and shiny and it will lure you in with those gorgeous hoodies with the logo of your soon-to-be alma mater, but just keep walking.
Instead, check out Barnes and Noble, which has an amazing selection of new textbooks at up to 30 percent off their sticker price plus free express shipping (offer expires 1/31). Saving nearly a third on your books each semester can add up to some serious coin. Plus skipping the long line at the bookstore gives you more time to study (or whatever).
Tip #3: Apply for scholarships like it’s your job
There is money out there for you, but you have to be willing to look for it! Your future self will be so thankful (and trust those who are on the other side telling you that paying off those loans is no joke).
Get started by applying for the Coupons.com Scholarship Fund, which offers three opportunities each year for students with the best short essay question answers to earn $5,000 toward school!
Tip #4: Your books don’t have to be brand new
They just have to be the right books for the courses you’re enrolled in. Buying used can save hundreds of dollars per semester, which over the course of — oh, say 12 semesters — becomes huge savings!
At Barnes and Noble, gently used textbooks are available at 90 percent off their sticker price (offer expires 1/31). For short term projects, consider their textbook rental service: For 60 to 130 days you can choose from thousands of books you might need — and return shipping is free!
Tip #5: Drink ALL THE COFFEE, but don’t pay for it
If you’re a My Starbucks Rewards member, purchase a cup of coffee or tea and get free refills during your visit. Skip the lattes and frappuccinos and keep that money around for when you really need it.
Don’t forget to check for the latest Starbucks offers, too. BOGO Starbucks K-cups are a cram night essential!
Tip #6: Your wardrobe doesn’t have to suffer while you’re gettin’ your learn on
Find the best vintage or thrift stores in town and keep up with their inventory. Before you drop $80 on a new pair of jeans, get your thrift on. You may just benefit from someone else’s closet purge.