4 Ways To Save On College Costs

By: Bryan Lee, UHEAA

Money plays a huge role when you’re in college. There are a lot of ways you can save money that you probably haven’t though of. You can borrow less money if you make smart cost cutting decisions. Here are 4 ways to save on college expenses.


1. Buy used text books

When I was a freshman, I was a fan of buying brand new textbooks. Why? Because I loved the shiny covers and the smell of newly printed pages more than anything else.

After spending over $1,000 on just textbooks I realized I could save a lot of money if I stop obsessing over the look and smell of my books.

Besides, the content is the same whether or not the textbook is brand new or used.

I figured out that used books were significantly cheaper than brand new textbooks. Then I started price matching my textbooks; I also bought and sold textbooks via social media. By the time I graduated I was a master at finding great book deals.


2. Public Transportation

Public transportation


Many universities and colleges include free public transportation through your student ID.

If a public transportation system doesn’t exist or isn’t safe try to work out class schedules with friends so you can carpool.

You can save gas money and parking pass money for something else—such as for tuition or textbooks or even to treat yourself to dinner out.


3. Find the right cell phone plan


Most college and university students use cell phones to communicate with family, friends, and academic purposes.

When I was a student I used my student ID for everything. Even to get a cheaper student cell phone package.

If you can’t get a discount on your cell phone talk to your friends and family about joining their family plan. By signing up with them you can probably save a bit of money.

You may also get student deals right before school starts, so make sure to keep an eye out.


4. Living 


A lot of students prefer living on campus because it’s easier to get around campus. I loved living on campus because I was able to make lots of new friends and get new experiences opportunities. However, it looked liked living on-campus after my freshmen year was not as worth as when I was a freshman.

When I lived off-campus, I was able spilt my expense like rent, utilities, groceries, and home Internet with my roomies.

Make sure when looking for apartments that the landlord provides refrigerator, washer and dryer, and microwave—this is a money saver too.

When I lived off campus I didn’t have to buy a meal plan because I was able to cook my own food everyday. When you’re in college, cooking your own food can save you a lot of money.


There you go. Four tips for saving some money while you’re in college. They might not save a lot on their own but a little bit can add up. What are some other ways you’ve been able to save money while you’re in college?