Save Money at School

By: Samantha Lewis

Save money at school by taking advantage of extended payment plans, taking extra courses, or finding a study partner. Earn while you learn, and purchase pre-owned. Following these simple tips may be the smartest thing you do at school.
There have been entire books written on how to save money in college, for the list of tips and tricks is endless. Topics range from housing to entertainment, from food to transportation, and more. But speaking strictly of school, there are a couple of key ways you keep some money in your pocket.

Attend now, pay later. Whether you attend a small technical school or a giant state university, classes can be expensive. It’s possible you might not have the resources upfront to pay for your courses, or you need to wait until your student loan or scholarship comes in. This is quite common and many schools will offer extended payment plans. Make sure to research if this is an option. Even if you have all the money upfront, this may be a good choice for you to have extra cash for other expenses. Just make sure you plan wisely so that you still have money by the time the next payment rolls around. Extra, extra. Another way to save is to take additional courses beyond what is considered "full-time." Many school offer anything taken over the maximum at a discounted price. This means you will have to buckle down and study a little harder, but it is worth it for the cost savings. (An added benefit of this is that if you are busy studying you won't have as much leisure time to fill with entertainment expenses.) Get a study buddy. With all the homework you are doing, you may feel the need for some extra help. Instead of hiring a tutor, consider joining or forming a study group. Not only will you benefit from the cost savings, but so with your friends and classmates. Even just pairing up with a fellow classmate an hour before or after class could make a big difference. Earn while you learn. It’s not always possible to attend school full-time and also hold down a job. A creative way to earn a little extra cash is to offer some assistance to a grad student. Grad students are often in need of a helping hand. If you are going to the library anyway, it may be just as easy to pick up a couple extra books, make some copies, or gather some additional research. If you find yourself being the smartest in your study group, consider offering your services as a tutor for others. Purchase pre-owned. Your school probably has a bookstore on campus that includes used versions in their inventory. When possible, buy these instead of their newer counterparts, and take good care of them—you will likely be able to sell them back when you you done. Also, for most students, there is no need to purchase a brand new computer. The classified section in your school’s newspaper would be great place to start your search. Otherwise your city’s local paper or community websites like Craigslist can be good resources for pre-owned or refurbished computers. If you must purchase new, companies like Apple, Dell, and Hewett-Packard usually offer student discounts. Also look for back-to-school specials and rebate offers (take the time send in for it!). Academic software discounts. Programs like Adobe Photoshop can be extraordinarily expensive if purchase at retail. Fortunately, most brands (like Microsoft, Adobe, Corel, Cisco and many others) offer educational software editions. They are functionally identical to their commercial versions but are offered at a significant discounts to students, educators and academic institutions. JourneyEd is the nations leading academic software reseller to higher education students—they have over 100,000 products at up to 85% savings off retail pricing. As an English major, you may only need your basic Microsoft Office; but majoring in Graphic Arts may require you to have every design program under the sun. Even if you just want to learn Spanish before going abroad, your wallet will appreciate the savings you will accumulate by taking advantage of these student software discounts.
As a student there are many ways to save, but none as immediate as focusing your penny-pinching attention on school itself. Following these simple tips may be the smartest thing you do at school.

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Helen Walker. At students, educators and academic institutions will find savings up to 85% off retail pricing on over 100,000 educational software titles, computer accessories, bags and books.

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