Attention, college-bound seniors: You don't have to spend the big bucks to have an enriching college experience. Here are some ways you can save money while in college. Though you are most likely still in the application / college search phase, you'll find these tips useful while considering a college.
College is a time for adventure and exploring new things. Staying in-state does not have to be boring...it can be just as adventurous and you don't even have to travel far for the holidays. Maryland has everything! There are country/rural areas, there's cities, beaches and there's even mountains! There's lot to explore and many historical sites are based here. Tuition is less as well and there's plenty of amazing schools right here in Maryland.
Financial Safety School / Scholarship Friendly Schools
These schools offer big scholarships for high performing students. If your application is awesome, they may offer to pay for most of your tuition. Do your research. Find schools in your state, especially public colleges, whose standards match with your GPA and test scores. You want to have at least 1 or 2 safety schools in your college list. Iffy about applying to a public college? There's plenty of quality public colleges...just sort your school results by the schools with the best graduation rates.
Use Find Your Fit Tool to find your school
The internet has made finding your school so much easier. This online tool will help you to find a school that works with your financial needs.
Fill out the FAFSA
Fill out the FAFSA and stay up to date with financial aid news or visiting their website: https://fafsa.ed.gov/
You may be eligible for FAFSA even if you do not think that you are and it does not hurt to apply. For example, you may be eligible if you have a sibling who is already in college. 2 tuition = super expensive.
Avoid overspending while back to school shopping
Dorm space is limited anyways. Buy what you need and don't overstock on items that you could easily get later on or that may be provided to you.
Use Your Student Discount
Discounts are not just for senior citizens. Student discounts come in handy and make for plenty of savings while shopping. Find which businesses offer them and shop there.
Manage a Full Course Load
Do you really want to be that guy or gal who spends forever in college and never seems to be able to graduate or decide on a major? A great way to end up as that girl or guy is to be unsure of yourself, constantly add and drop classes and never really manage a full class load. If you are unsure of what you want to do, seek academic advising. Stay on task, stay focused and don't worry if you don't have it all figured out. A degree, no matter what it's in, is still better in your hand than having nothing. If you do not manage your work load, you may have to spend even more time in school, racking up tuition costs. Yikes! Seek guidance, stick with your major and go for it! You've got this!
Get a Part-Time Job
Working while in school doesn't have to be a drag. It can be a fun opportunity to get real-life work experience, learn the workforce and make new friends. Find a job that works with your schedule, don't spread yourself too thin. School's the priority and nothing will ruin the money you're saving by working faster than flunking a class or losing an academic scholarship. Another advantage to working while in school is that it teaches you how to balance different things--you'll need that when you graduate! You can also build inter-personal aka people skills or even get a head start in your field. If you work in a store, you'll get a cool discount too.