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Simple Ways to Save on Back-to-College Costs

Everyone knows…College is expensive. Tuition, books, dorms, food…it all adds up. According to a College Board report, tuition costs have increased 3-5% each year over the last decade, meaning some public universities have seen tuition costs increase as much as 55% in the last 10 years.

It’s not just tuition costs that have increased. The other costs associated with college life have increased as well. Room, board, fees and supplies have also increased.

However, there are some small ways to begin saving that can add up to big returns.

Go .edu. There are products and services that are often offered to students at reduced rates. Verify your student status by using your college-issued email address, then let the savings begin! Amazon Prime Student offers 6 months free membership, after which your membership is half-price.

Follow Me. Deloitte, a financial consulting firm, estimates that college students spend over $1300 on supplies (this does not include tuition food or books). By utilizing social media, you can keep up with sales to help stretch your college dollars further. You can Like, Share and Comment for deals (even freebies) on social media accounts of places like Target, Ulta, Under Armour and Ibotta.

Transportation. Leave your car at home to save on parking fees, gas costs, etc… Most things that you will do as a college student are located on or near campus.  You can walk to most places, rideshare, Uber, or bike.

Books. Books are expensive, and you will need a lot of them.  Consider buying used or even renting books for the semester.  Sites such as Amazon Prime Student and Chegg can save you significantly on book costs.

Live at home. It may not be the “fun” way to experience college life, but if you are local, consider living at home.  The average dorm rate per semester is $3300. By living at home, this dorm fee is eliminated, you do not have to purchase more furniture…and you may event get a home-cooked meal (more savings)!

Work the Dorm. One way to get a break on dorm expenses is to work as a Resident Assistant (RA).  An RA can assist students on their assigned floor/area, coordinate some activities and enforce housing guidelines. As an RA you may be eligible for reduced housing cost. Make sure to get your application in early, as these positions fill up fast!

Going to college can be expensive…and the costs are more than just tuition. However by utilizing some of these tips, you can stretch your college dollars and make your college years truly memorable.

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