Parent Posts

10 ways to save money in college

By Diane Schwemm

Tuition, room and board are just the beginning! Life in college can get expensive, especially if students don’t pay attention to the little things that can really add up.

Here are 10 ideas to share with your student about how to keep costs under control from move-in day through graduation.

Save money in college: create a budget

  1. Stick to a budget. If you commit to a budget, you’re less likely to misuse your credit card or dig too deeply into savings. Plan ahead for long weekends and spring break to avoid last-minute temptations you really can’t afford.
  1. Dorm furnishings – go minimal. Shop after, not before, move-in day. It’s easy to get carried away and buy tons of stuff for a room that will turn out to be half the size you pictured.
  1. Alternatives to buying new textbooks:
  • Rent from the college bookstore
  • Buy used, in stores or online (check with the professor to make sure an older edition is acceptable)
  • Go to the library – Textbooks for every class will be on reserve
  • Swap with fellow students at a campus exchange
  • e-read through a service like the half-price “Amazon Prime” student account.

Save money in college: ride public transportation, walk, or ride a bike.

  1. Ride a bike. Instead of paying for gas, parking and insurance to keep a car on campus, save money by biking, walking, and using mass transit or the campus bus system. Public buses and trains usually have student fares.
  1. Swap and sell. When you have stuff you don’t need any more – books, furnishings, clothes, sports gear – get rid of it.
  1. Scholarships and financial aid. Continue to renew and apply for financial aid and scholarships each year.

Save money in college: make use of your meal plan

  1. Maximize your meal plan. The food is good, and you’ve already paid for it. Decide in advance how many meals out, coffee shop visits, and pizzas to allow yourself each month. Skip the vending machines. Adjust your meal plan if you find you’re paying for meals you’re not eating.
  1. Student discounts and freebies. Local businesses offer plenty of these. Movies and concerts on campus are less expensive than in town. The best entertainment is theatre and improv put on by your own college classmates. Wherever you go, take your ID and ask if there’s a student discount.
  1. Avoid bank fees. Shop around for a bank that doesn’t charge fees to college account holders. Pay bills on time, and don’t carry a balance on your credit card.
  1. Graduate on time, or even early. Make sure you got credit for all the A.P. classes you took in high school. Are there any other introductory requirements you can test out of? Your academic advisor can really help with this — make the most of that relationship!

Did you enjoy reading this article? Sign up for UniversityParent’s weekly eNewsletter and purchase the Guide to Supporting Your Student’s Freshman Year for additional tips, insight, and to help your college student succeed. You may also add to the discussion and get feedback from fellow college parents by joining our Community Forum and College Parents’ Facebook group.

School Information

Housing, hotels,
important dates, and more.

Recent Articles
RSS What’s Trending
First Job Search Tips

Log In

or

Log In to Favorite articles and Post listings

Enter College Name to See Local Results

Log In

Contact Us

Forgot your password?

Your new password has been sent to your email!

Logout Successful!

Find Your School

You just missed it! This listing has been filled.

Post your own housing listing on Uloop and have students reach out to you!

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
OR
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
Please enter First Name Please enter Last Name Please enter Phone
Please enter Email
Please enter Message

By clicking this button,
you agree to the terms of use

Please enter Email

By clicking "Create Alert" I agree to the Uloop Terms of Use.

Image not available.

Success, your registration has been submitted

An email has been sent to you with a link to verify your registration
Image not available.
By clicking Get Started or Sign In you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service

Get our newsletter

Email Submitted

Weekly Tips to Help Your Student Succeed