Friday, June 06, 2008

10 Tips for College Success

2 out of 5 kids in my family are still in College. My son has 1 year to go, my daughter will be starting year 2 in the fall.

This is for them, and everyone:

Simple to Read, Hard to Execute: 10 Ways to Save Money in College

Posted: 04 Jun 2008 06:04 PM CDT

Written on 6/04/2008 by Soo L. of - practical tips and advice for men.

There are many costs involved with going to college including tuition, books, housing, entertainment, and food. These costs can quickly add up and make life after college a financial nightmare.

To avoid getting into a sticky situation yourself, here are ten practical money tips for you, the college student. Try some of these tips to lower the amount of debt you end up with, and to help clear your head after graduation. If you are the parent of a college student, send them this list.

  1. Be Careful Of Promotions On Campus
    There are certain companies and organizations that make money by preying on naive and unsuspecting college students. Some examples of this are credit card companies, loan companies, and employers looking for dirt cheap labor. Just be aware of the people out there hoping to make an easy buck off of you. Regardless of the endorsements, read the fine print.

  2. Don't Eat Out All The Time
    It may be convenient and tempting to eat out frequently, but it can end up costing you a lot of money. Start keeping track of how many times you eat out every week or month, to see how the costs add up. You might be surprised by how much money you spend on food.

  3. Use Your Credit Card For Emergencies Only
    With all of the expenses associated with going to college, it can be very easy to rack up a lot of credit card debt. So instead of making poor decisions with your credit card, save it for emergencies only. It is easy to overspend and spend without thinking when you're paying with plastic, but when you pay with cash, things are very different.

  4. Commute To School
    Living off campus and commuting to school is an option that can help you save a bundle of money. This is especially true if you go to school on an urban campus, where rent can cost a lot of money. The cost of gas, insurance, parking, and maintenance can be far less than paying for rent in many cases.

  5. Buy Books Online Before The Semester Starts
    Most college students know that buying books on campus can be a big rip off. The profit margins at college and university bookstores can be as high as 50%. The main reason why students buy from these book stores is because of convenience. It's so much easier to get your books on campus and go right to class, but the costs are just too high. If you plan ahead and buy your books online, you can save yourself hundreds of dollars per semester.

  6. Consolidate Loans
    Do the math and find out if consolidating your school loans will make it easier to pay them off in the future. In many cases, loan consolidation can help simplify and reduce your overall debt and interest payments.

  7. Get A Part Time Job
    If you have time outside of your academic and social life, consider taking on a part time job to make extra money. Having a part time job will give you some extra cash to pay for the things you need and help you avoid adding more to your debts. Many schools offer work/study programs that pay students tax free.

  8. Max Out Financial Aid And Scholarships
    Find financial aid and scholarship programs to help pay for your education and other expenses. There is probably a scholarship program for your particular major, ethnicity group, or background. Most of these scholarships require a simple essay and resume and can be well worth the time and effort put into applying for them. The bottom line is, if you're not maxing out the amount of financial aid and scholarships you receive, you're leaving money on the table.

  9. Take Advantage Of Student Discounts
    Ask around to find out about restaurants and entertainment venues that offer discounts to college students. You can get discounts on meals, movie tickets, concert tickets, and clothing just for having a college ID. If you're going to spend money on these things anyway, you might as well try to get a discount.

  10. Study Hard
    The best way to save money in college is to make the most of the money you're spending. If you study hard and do well academically, the thousands and thousands of dollars you spent to go to school will have been that much better spent. So do the best you can and make the most of your tuition dollars.
College is expensive and is getting more expensive each year. Most college students are unprepared to face the financial burdens that are required to earn a degree. With these ten tips, you’ll have a better chance of maintaining your financial health throughout college.


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