Updated: Jul 11
College can be overwhelming mentally and financially. Stressing over money to pay tuition, books, food, room and board, etc can turn the joy of going to your chosen university into a burden. Here are 5 ways to financially prepare for college and help ease some of your burdens:
Budget your Money
When starting college, there are many changes and challenges that students go through. In addition to college tuition, there are personal expenses and living expenses. Budgeting your money will help you live within your means and keep your expenses down.
There are numerous way to slash the cost of personal expenses. Simply avoiding take-out restaurants and fast food will allow for extra money to spend where needed. Click on the link below for other ways to save on food.
Take Advantage of Your School Resources
Many colleges offer resources that can be a benefit you. For an example, some colleges offer a Food Pantry where you can get snacks, fruits, drinks, quick meals for free. You can also save on books by borrowing your textbook out of the library. During my freshman year , I would check out the necessary textbook that I needed for a course and scan the pages of the book on my phone. This saved me lots of money on books. Some colleges even let you borrow electronics (laptops, tablets, cameras, scanners) from their library. Research and see what resources your university has in place to help curb expenses.
Get a Summer Job
It can be very tempting to relax during the summer before you go to college, but take advantage of that time by getting a job. You are allowed to earn up to $6,600 without your financial aid being affected. Take advantage and earn that extra money; you can use it for unexpected expenses. You may not be able to work during the school year due to class schedules so take advantage of the free time you have during the summer. For me personally, the summer was the only time that I was able to work.
Apply for Scholarships
Scholarships are available throughout the year. Continue to search and apply for scholarships that work for you. During the summer, compile a list of all the scholarships that are available and apply. Search for scholarships through your college website, online search engines, and locally.
Fill up any Expenses with a Private Loan
Sometimes, financial aid, federal loans, and scholarships, may not cover your all of your college costs. Consider taking out a private loan to help cover those additional costs. Make sure to carefully research when applying for a private loan.