College comes with a transition period for many students as they begin to become more independent and rely less on their parents. Managing finances in college can be tough.
Here are some ways students can become more financially responsible, and save money in college:
Apply for scholarships or grants
There are a variety of scholarships available to students throughout the academic year. Some are specific to an area of study, others are open to all students and are relatively easy to apply for. Watch for campus emails when these scholarships become available, or check the online list of available scholarships.
Make a budget…and stick to it
Creating a budget can help limit spending and show how current spending habits can add up. For help with starting a budget, check out our post on essential apps for college students, which includes a finance one!
Find a part-time job
It’s tough working during the academic year, but there are many part-time jobs and employers that will work around class schedules. Even just working 5–10 hours per week can help, it’s still a steady income. Consider becoming a Community Adviser (CA). CAs live on campus, but their room and board is covered.
Cut expensive habits
Evaluate your daily habits, and try to cut out expensive habits or find alternatives. The savings really add up by brewing your own coffee instead of buying it at the café, or even swapping soda for water when dining out.
Use student discounts
Several businesses near campus will give discounts to students when they show their student ID. Check out the list of businesses in the area that have student discounts.
Give your car a break
While some students bring their vehicles to college, having a car during college isn’t necessary. Try walking or biking to class, take the bus or carpool when driving. Who doesn’t love a nice walk during sunny weather? By walking or biking places you are saving gas money, as well as reducing emissions.
It’s sometimes tough to find time to cook a nice meal, but it definitely pays to make dinner at home. Not only is it rewarding, but it’s also cost effective. It’s a simple way to save money by going to the grocery store and purchasing ingredients to make a home-cooked meal versus ordering out pizza every night. Cooking is a great life skill, too.
Find a roommate
Students have the option to move off campus for their junior and senior years—try finding roommates to live with. Most of the time it is cheaper to split rent with multiple roommates rather than living alone. Living with roommates also means sharing many things such as furniture, appliances and glassware. Just be sure that you split up the chores around the house too!
Work hard in class
Doing well in school will help lead to a good job out of college, which will help pay off any student loans. Doing well in class the first time also means not having to spend money re-taking classes.
Take advantage of what’s included in your tuition
There are many things that students have access to at UW Oshkosh, including campus services such as the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, Polk Library and Titan Underground are available to you for free. Students can even attend campus events such as athletic competitions, concerts and more, as well as access many helpful services such as tutoring, the writing center and career services.
Take interim and summer classes
During the fall and spring semesters, a three-week interim course is offered to students. In an interim class, students typically take a three-credit course condensed into this three-week time period. Interim class is included in fall and spring tuition and is a great way to spread out class schedules or gain any credits that you still need. Summer classes can help students graduate faster, with several on-campus and online options available.