If you are in high school, you’re probably wondering about saving money for college.
Getting an education past high school isn’t cheap, so it’s no wonder that so many people are looking for ideas on how to save money for college. The bad news is that college is expensive for students not lucky enough to have a scholarship. The good news is that there are plenty of opportunities for incoming first-year students to find ways for saving money for college.
Find a Roommate to Live Off Campus
A significant cost of college relates to living expenses. Living on campus is convenient and fun for college students, but it’s hardly the best financial deal. Whatever the student pays for his or her dorm will be much higher than the prevailing market rate for apartments in the area.
If the school policy allows for it, find a place to live off campus. Depending on where you live, this will save money compared to living in a dorm in that you’ll pay less per month. Also, you can sometimes avoid paying for the mandatory meal plan for additional savings. The best way to amplify these savings is to find a roommate for your off-campus apartment. If you are lucky enough to find multiple roommates, you can save a tremendous amount of money.
Learn How to Cook
Eating out or on campus is almost always more expensive than cooking your own food. As long as you’re not preparing steak and lobster tail for each meal, the cost of your own cooking will almost always be cheaper than buying food from a restaurant.
There are two perceived drawbacks to cooking for yourself. First, it takes time. Most people would rather spend their time partying, sleeping or just hanging out. But the time it takes to cook will save enough money that you might be able to work less at your part-time job and more than make up for the time it takes to cook.
Second, most people think they can’t cook. This lack of confidence in the kitchen means people don’t think they can prepare food they will enjoy. But with a little bit of practice, most people can cook delicious meals. However, once classes start, it can be much harder to learn how to cook. That’s why you need to learn how to cook now before college begins.
Before getting back on campus, you may find yourself needing certain things, like new furniture or school supplies. You can find many of these in good, used condition from yard sales and thrift stores. While it can take a little bit of extra time to find exactly what you need at a yard sale or your local thrift shop, the summer is high season for yard sales and donations to thrift stores.
Negotiate for Scholarships
If you have excellent grades and test scores and are still deciding on which college to attend, you can leverage multiple acceptance letters against each other to obtain more substantial scholarships. Or in some cases, you can turn an acceptance letter with no scholarship into an acceptance letter with a scholarship.
As long as you ask politely, you can contact each accepted school’s admissions or financial aid departments and tell them you really want to attend their school. However, explain that the cost of attendance is very important and ask if the school can sweeten its offer to make it easier for you to attend their school. A simple five-minute phone call or 10-minute email can sometimes result in an extra $10,000 off the cost of your college education each year.
Host a Yard Sale
If you are a full-time college student, you won’t need as much stuff as you currently have. For example, if you live with a roommate, you won’t need two refrigerators, microwaves or televisions. This provides an opportunity to scale down your personal belongings. So during the summer, have a yard sale and sell some of these duplicate items. You won’t get top dollar at a yard sale, but you will enjoy having immediate cash payments and not worrying about shipping the items.
Even if you’re working on how to save money for college, you may need a title pawn to help you in the meantime. Come on into Title Tree, and we can help you get the cash you need.