Tips for Saving Money While in College

by Allegra Condon

Spoon holding potato on one end and money in the other while balanced on a calculator

As you already know, being a college student is both time-consuming and costly. However, if the stereotypical ramen noodle lifestyle is not for you, there are several ways to lessen the financial burden. In some cases, you can even receive some benefits for being a college student! Read on to learn how.

Look for Student Discounts

You know that little ID card you get after registering for the first time? It’s good for more than just taking out library books and using the printers. Showing your student ID can often save you money at various restaurants, stores, entertainment venues, and more. Check for policies in person and when shopping online to save some money with your student status. Don’t be afraid to ask about student discounts if one isn’t listed, especially if you’re making a major purchase (like for tech).

Focus on Class

Paying attention in class and getting good grades can be great for many reasons, as people probably tell you constantly. But financially, performing well in college and finishing classes can be the difference between whether you complete your degree or not. Passing classes efficiently means you don’t have to retake classes and add more semesters before graduating, which saves you money now and down the road. Federal financial aid often stops coming in after you’ve failed too many classes at Ulster. Passing classes is necessary for keeping your aid, and getting good grades is an added bonus that can earn you additional scholarships and aid. Attend class, pay attention, and do your work!

Take Advantage of Campus Opportunities

Save some money and get more out of your college experience by utilizing the fitness, social, and entertainment opportunities already available for free on campus. Want to see a concert or theatrical production? Check our events calendar. Want a good fiction book or movie? Check out our library catalog, we have many and can order more through interlibrary loan. If you want to start a regular workout regimen, try our gym (yes, we have gym equipment in that building!). All these things are free to our students.

Apply for Scholarships

Whatever your GPA, you should apply for Ulster’s scholarships when they become available. Even if you don’t have a 4.0, many times scholarships are available based on criteria like your major or the school you graduated from. You should always fill out the General Application, and look for other scholarships in the community as well. Check out our post all about earning scholarships to learn more.

Use a Finance Tracker

It’s a Fitbit for your money! See how your expenses add up by using a finance tracker. A student budget calculator is available online to see how you’re doing overall, and popular finance tracker apps to use for longterm budgeting include Mint and Wally.

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