10 Ways to Save in College

Aug 11, 2017 Paying For College

There are plenty of ways to cut costs and save in college. Keep more money in your wallet by trying these ten ways to save.

three young adults walking outside, they are smiling and laughing.

College is quite the expense and tuition is only one part of that. You also need to consider room and board, books, food, and more. To prospective and current students I say, don’t be alarmed. There are plenty of ways to cut costs and save, so take advantage. Keep more money in your wallet by trying these ten ways to save in college.

10 Ways to Save in College

Apply for financial aid.

Filling out the FAFSA ensures you are being considered for all types of financial aid including grants, scholarships, and loans. Apply regardless of whether you feel you are eligible or not; you may get offers that would otherwise be unavailable to you. In the end, everything helps.

Test out.

Often times, you can test out of certain courses. Talk to your advisor about opportunities to test out of college classes. Be sure to ask if there are any fees associated with receiving credit. Keep in mind a small fee beats a hefty tuition bill any day.

Student discounts.

There are a number of businesses that offer student discounts. Students usually have access to discounted software and technology through their university. You can also save on insurance, cell phone plans, movie tickets, retail shops, restaurants, event tickets, and more.

Have a budget and stick to it.

Budgeting allows you to take control of your money. Use a personal financial management tool like myFinance to track expenses and see where you’re currently spending your money in order to identify areas you can improve on.

Become a resident assistant.

Resident assistants often get free housing as compensation for their time and involvement. Be sure to look at your school’s program. Remember that resident assistants must go through training, host periodic meetings, and regularly participate in community events. If you can handle the commitment, you can save a great deal.

Public transportation.

Cities and universities often partner up to offer students access to free, public transportation. Gas prices may be plunging, but you can save even more by cutting back. Consider taking the bus to school and only using your vehicle or taking a taxi half the time.

Student housing.

Housing is one of the largest expenses for people of all ages. Be sure to shop around and compare. Most student apartment complexes offer competitive rates and include paid utilities. They also tend to be on the school’s bus route. Look into student housing in your area.

Rent books.

Books are not cheap. You may spend upwards of $200 on a single book just to use it for one semester. Renting books can be a cost-effective option; use sites like Chegg, Bookrenter, and Amazon to check book availability and compare rental prices.


Use coupons whenever possible. They’re not difficult to find. Clip coupons from the Sunday newspaper or visit the coupon section at your local grocery store. When shopping online, visit sites like Groupon or RetailMeNot.

Get a side job.

Some students have internships or part-time jobs. Others focus solely on school. Regardless of your situation, consider doing something on the side. You can offer tutoring, music lessons, or resume help from time to time to earn extra money.

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