It seems like just about everyone is going to college now. Whether you are a parent who is looking to help pay for your child’s tuition or a student (like me) who has to foot the bill yourself, I have some college expense saving tips for you.
Buy your Books Online:
College books are very very expensive. I have paid almost $200 for just one book before. Most cost anywhere from $70-$150. The trick to saving money on your books is to buy them online. I recommend half.com and amazon.com. I use both of these when buying and selling my books. I don’t always buy the cheapest one since they often have tears, highlighting etc. For just a few bucks more, you can usually get one in pristine condition. This means if you take care of your books throughout the semester (like I do), you can usually get most (sometimes more) than you paid for it. But if you plan on keeping your books or regularly highlight in them, you may want to buy the cheapest ones you can find.
Potential savings: $250/semester
Go to community college:
Here is an interesting statistic: according to the Department of Education figures for 2000 through 2006, thirty percent leave in the first year, and an astonishing fifty percent never graduate.
College isn’t right for everyone. This is probably why so many people drop out. If you or your child is unsure if they want to go to college, have them try community college first. Most of the coursework will transfer to a four year college if they are still interested by the time they are done with their first two years at community college. Besides, the number one reason students drop out is because of the financial burden. If you can’t afford it, you won’t be able to go to that fancy four year college anyhow. Plus I have read that you are equally likely to get a job if you started at community college as opposed to going to a four year college from the get go.
Live at home:
I know this isn’t possible for everyone because of geographical reasons but, if you are going to school near where your parents live, living at home can save a lot of money. I am actually going to be doing this for my remaining two years in college. Yes living on campus was fun and I will miss it, but it was just getting too expensive for me to stay.
I figure I will save about $7,000 a year by living at home.
Build you own computer:
The prices at the campus bookstore for computers is outrageous. Tony from Moolah money showed me how you can actually save a good deal by making your computer yourself. This would be a great project for anyone who is going to a computer related field. It would probably look good on a resume to say that you have experience building computers.