How to Go to College Cheaper
- Take CLEP Tests - @ $80 vs. over $250 per credit hour in tuition
- Take non-major related courses at a community college
- Take courses via Independent Study (often don’t charge out-of-state tuition)
- Don’t over-enroll, flunk or drop classes
- Establish in-state residency (if applicable)
- Get out of school as soon as possible – no 12 hour semesters, use summer school, etc.
1 more year of school costs (tuition figures from 4-year, public university in Oklahoma):
in-state tuition, room, board, books, expenses = $21,810
out-of-state tuition, etc. = $33,020
(housing and food alone costs $8,500+)
lost wages (from the job you would have had if you’d graduated) - $35,000 +
TOTAL = $56,000 – 68,000 – That’s an expensive year!
- Comparison shop – not just the lowest total price, but the lowest for each book
- Shop online if you have enough time to wait for shipping
- Buy used books – if you prefer new books, shop early and buy nearly new books (barely used, used books)
- Ask professors before buying “optional” texts
- Find someone in your major, but a semester or year ahead of you. Make sure the books will be the same next semester, and if so, offer to buy their books from them.
- Consider an older edition of a book, but ask your professor first.
- Shop where prices are lowest, not where it’s most convenient to shop
- Use coupons. The Sunday newspaper has coupons you can use
- Buy store brands when you won’t notice the difference – salt, sugar, cake mix
- Check out all the free samples available at grocery stores
- Buy in bulk, but check prices first
- Don’t! Cooking and eating at home is cheaper.
- Eat where you don’t have to tip or get takeout
- You shouldn’t feel the obligation to be a big tipper. Wait until after college when you have a job!
- Eat where they give student discounts
- Sign up for e-mail lists and “Like” favorite establishments on Facebook
- Share the appetizer sampler or split dinner for two with a friend
- Receipts! Keep EVERY receipt for EVERYTHING you buy for an entire month. At the end, go back and see what you spent money on – you’ll be surprised how much goes to some things…
- Know that late night pizza is adding an extra meal to your budget (and your waistline). This 1/3 increase in spending can be significant.
- Become a MOOCH!
- Let others pay for things if they want to
- Get free samples (grocery stores, on campus, anywhere…)
- Attend events with free food
- Test market products
- For those of you with a drinking problem…
- buy a coffee machine and reusable, washable insulated cup
- buy a water filter and cool looking water bottle
- buy cokes by the case and a refillable plastic cup, refill the ice for a few cents and carry a coke to campus with you…