Tips on Paying for College Expenses

College isn’t cheap.

November 27, 2014
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College isn’t cheap. My dream of being in WBB has been made possible with the financial support of my parents, my grandparents, and the generous financial aid offices of USC and WBB. Still, there are lots of additional expenses if you want to take advantage of USC and LA such as eating out, going to the beach, and watching movies. Here are some tips on how to make college more affordable:

1. Apply for local scholarships

Yes, the big $50,000 scholarships may seem tempting to apply for. But your best chance at getting scholarships is through local organizations such as Rotary Clubs and PTSA organizations (for US students). There are many scholarships specific to a certain city/area/state, and fewer applicants for those awards. Plus, the small scholarships really start to add up when you get a few!

2. Work during college

This is one of the things that I have been able to do here at USC. Working during college not only gives you useful job skills and experience, but can also cover all of your extra college expenses. A lot of jobs here at USC pay well (SCallers, Campus Cruiser to name a few). Many of these jobs around campus have flexible hours to work with your schedule, and are also a great way to meet people!

3. Rent online textbooks whenever possible

When the professors tell you which books to get for the class, there is a rush to get your books quickly and be prepared for the class. I recommend evaluating your options in regards to textbooks to save money. I was personally able to save over $300 this semester on textbooks by renting them online. There are many textbook comparison websites online, and this is a great opportunity to save if you look closely enough.

4. Create a budget for college

Sitting down and talking with your family about college expenses can help you manage your money well. It’s easy to get caught up in all of the great opportunities college has to offer, but putting a weekly limit on your expenses will always help you decide whether things are worth the cost.