Tag Archives: College

4 Campus Services You Should Not Pay For

Filed under: College Life, Money/Budget, Tips - Angelina
Tags: , , ,

By Guest Blogger, Kevin Foor

College is expensive. One year of school at an in-state public institution currently averages $18,391, according to the College Board. If you go out of state, that number bumps up to $31,701. Because of the high costs of tuition and room and board, it’s essential that you cut costs wherever you can. In addition to saving money on textbooks by using a service like BookRenter, there are plenty more ways to conserve cash in college – and they come mainly from avoiding costly campus services. Here are four that you should avoid.

1. College Debit Card

You might think that getting a college debit card is a great idea, especially since many schools can load your financial aid directly onto it. However, these cards are typically chock-full of fees, including swipe fees, usage fees, and inactivity fees. Plus, having all that student loan money on a piece of plastic is only going to tempt you to spend it unnecessarily. Your best bet is to get in on the latest checking account promotions or to open an account at a local bank that offers a fee-free debit card.

Campus Credit Debit Card

Photo © Heartland Payment Options

2. Errand Services

These services run the gamut. You might see signs in your dorm lobby for laundry pick-up, grocery shopping, or meal preparation and delivery. Don’t take the bait. College is tough, there’s no denying it, but if you don’t think you have enough time in the day to take care of these responsibilities yourself, try instituting some time management practices to free up the necessary time. When you’re studying, go to the library or another quiet area so you’re not interrupted. If you’re doing online research for a school project, stick to the matter at hand and avoid surfing the Internet or checking your social media accounts. Free up more time in your day and you can complete these errands on your own and save a bundle.

College Laundry Services

Photo © Gopher Laundry

3. University Health Coverage

Because of the Affordable Care Act you can now stay on your parents’ health insurance plan until you reach the age of 26. Take advantage of that and opt out of campus-based health insurance. This is another unneeded expense and even if your parents ask you to pay for your portion of the coverage, it’s likely to be less than what you would pay through your school plan since many institutions have significantly raised premiums.

College Health Services

Photo © HVCC

4. Dining Meal Plan

I was recently reading a college education website and one student commented that his food plan cost $1,325 for 100 meals. That’s $13.25 per meal. Be sure to run the numbers of a university meal plan before signing on the dotted line. You could save yourself hundreds by eating in your dorm room. Take advantage of cooking facilities and clip coupons to save money on your grocery trips.

College Dining Hall Plan

Photo © Austin College

You may believe some of these services are worth the cost, but don’t lose sight of how important it is to keep your expenses down while in school. Once you graduate and hopefully find work, you’re going to be responsible for personal budgeting. Save money any way you can during school and start paying your loans back as quickly as possible.

What campus services can you eliminate that are unnecessary?

Add a Comment



3 Things To Know About Going Greek

Filed under: College Life, Tips - Angelina
Tags: , , ,

Cameron Tranchemontagne Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

Going Greek was certainly one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. It helped with my grades (which needed severe improving), it got me more involved on campus (something every freshman should do right away), and it taught me life lessons that I likely wouldn’t have got anywhere else. On top of that, we have a LOT of fun whether we are doing community service or having a social. So if you’re considering joining a fraternity or a sorority, I strongly encourage you to do it. Just make sure you are well informed before you make a decision.

1. Don’t Tolerate Hazing

Hazing is defined as anything that one is forced to do, especially if it makes him/her uncomfortable or puts them in harm’s way. Unfortunately, a good amount of Greek organizations still haze – so be on the lookout. If at any point someone pressures you into doing something you would not normally do, that is hazing. Hazing does nothing to build true brother/sisterhood and usually only serves to amuse older members. What usually starts off as something lighthearted and funny can spiral out of control fast. Don’t let this scare you though! There are plenty of Greek organizations that do not haze and will be more than willing to work around a problem if anything about joining makes you uncomfortable. These are generally the most respected fraternities and sororities on campus and the ones that know how to stay out of trouble, meaning – you won’t join and then be kicked off campus before your four years are up. If at any point you notice or feel the effects of hazing, there are campus hotlines you can call to report it.

Go Greek

Photo © Greek Life at UNH

2. Paying Dues

For those of you who don’t know, joining Greek life is not exactly inexpensive. Everyone has to pay a set amount of money per semester, usually a few hundred bucks, so that your fraternity or sorority has money to operate. This pays for things like philanthropies, socials with other Greek orgs, composite photo-shoots, the ever important house supplies, and gas for any brotherhood/sisterhood events you need to drive to. Some people see it as paying for having a social group, but this is a rather misguided concept. The best way to explain it is that the more you put into Greek life, the more you get out of it. Which is why the organizations that do a lot more events end up having higher dues. I suggest looking for a fraternity that is involved in campus life, but not so much that dues are unreasonably high for your budget. The great thing about dues is that every year the members have to vote on the approved budget, meaning if you think it’s too expensive you have some power to reduce the cost.

Piggy Bank Greek Life Sorority Dues

Photo © Etsy

3. Join For The Right Reasons

Did you watch a lot of college movies and TV shows when you were younger? Is your conception of Greek life simply a way to get to the best parties on campus and drink the night away? Well then I’m sorry to tell you this, but that’s not what Greek life is really about. Anyone can get into a party if they know the right people. Greek life is about so much more than solo cups and togas – it’s about forming an unbreakable bond with each other; it’s about making yourself a better person; it’s about giving back to the community; it’s about applying yourself in school, work, and all other aspects of your life. If that doesn’t sound like something you’d be interested in, then that is okay, Greek life is not for everyone.

Fraternity College Boys

Photo © TEAM

Hopefully you will consider Greek life and try it out for yourself!

Add a Comment



Roommate Advice

Filed under: College Life, Social Life/Relationships, Tips - Angelina
Tags: , ,

Serena Piper Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

Throughout my four years of college, I had my fair share of roommates. From a bank teller who moonlighted as a stripper, to someone I had known since high school and considered a best friend. I learned some very valuable lessons. If you find yourself in the market for a room to rent or a roommate to move in with you, take this advice to heart. It could save you some trouble and even some money!

1. Best Friends as Roommates

I’m not going to say don’t do it, because it does work out for some people to move in with their best friend. However, there are a handful of us who it doesn’t work out for, ending in broken friendships. If you are interested in rooming with your best friend, be very clear about things up front. How will this affect your friendship if things don’t work out? Be sure it’s a risk you’re willing to take.

Best Friends As Roommates

Photo © mynewplace.com

2. How to Find a Roommate

Craigslist seems to be the most popular method of finding a roommate, but be cautious. Try letting friends know you’re looking and ask them to pass on the word. Or if your university has Facebook groups set up (i.e. UO Class of 2016), post an ad in as many as are relevant. Also, let co-workers know what’s up – you never know what connections will come of it!

Roommate Search

Photo © Melissa Martin-Simmons

3. Interviewing Potential Roommates

When you do find someone compatible, meet up for coffee and talk about what you’re both looking for in a roommate. Be sure to bring up each other’s schedules (no one wants a roommate who is home all the time), whether or not you have pets (damage, allergies, etc.), boyfriends/girlfriends who might be over often, frequency of recreational drinking, and even references. Try not to make it a formal interview, but more of a getting-to-know-you meet up.

Roommate Interview Coffee Date

Photo © Glamour

4. Roommate Agreements

A Google search on living with roommates will come up with various roommate agreements detailing who does what chores, who writes the rent check, how often overnight guests are welcome, and when the noise level of TVs/stereos should be kept low, among other things. It might be a good idea to draft up something like this for your own peace of mind.

Dishes Chores Roommates

Photo © Apartments.com

5. Have A Back-Up Plan

Just in case things don’t work out with your new roommate, have a plan on who will move out, if that person will be in charge of finding a replacement, and how much notice will have to be given. It’s not the fun stuff, but it could be important later on.

Own Box Roommates

Photo © Spark Notes

Above all, have fun with it! Not all roommates are bad. You might end up with a great friend you can cook meals with and catch a movie with on weekends. Keep an open mind, be careful, and good luck!

Add a Comment



3 Inexpensive Recipes for the Starving College Student

Filed under: College Life, Food, Fun Ideas, Money/Budget, Tips - Angelina
Tags: , , , ,

Darlene Megino Blogger Biography

College is one of the best experiences of our lives. However, college food can sometimes be one of the worst. Being on a budget and starving can sometimes be a struggle. Here are three easy recipes that will satisfy your taste buds and save you money!

1. Mexican Hotdogs

Mexican Hot Dog Recipe

Photo © sndimg

Take a flour tortilla and spread a spoonful of beans onto it. Sprinkle on some of your favorite cheese, place a hot dog in the middle, and roll it up. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes. Afterwards top it off with salsa!

2. Potato Soup

Potato Soup Recipe

Photo © sndimg

Add peeled and cubed potatoes to a saucepan. Add chopped celery and onions to the mix. Add water to bring the items to a boil, but make sure not to cover the veggies and potatoes fully with the water. Bring to a boil for about 25 minutes and then roughly mash up the potatoes. You want to coarsely mash up the potatoes so that you have chunks of it in the soup. Add 1/4 cup of milk to thicken up the sauce and flavor it with salt/pepper.

3. Peanut Butter Fudge with Vanilla Frosting

Peanut Butter Fudge and Vanilla Frosting

Photo © shockinglydelicious

Empty a full jar of peanut butter and a whole can of vanilla frosting into a microwave safe bowl. Mix well and microwave for 30 second to 1 minute, watch carefully not to over cook it! Afterwards, pour the mix out onto the bowl and let it set. After letting it cool, cut into squares and enjoy!

What is your go-to meal when you are on a budget?

Add a Comment



Online Scholarship Search

Filed under: College Life, Money/Budget, Tips - Angelina
Tags: , , ,

Serena Piper Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

Finding and applying for college scholarships and grants can be a lengthy and tiring process. Filling out applications, tracking down personal information, and writing essays can really take up a lot of time.

When I was a college student and looking to receive free aid, I would look for the easiest and quickest ways to do it. One of the best perks to using online applications is that unlike the resources your university usually gives out, they save a lot of time. Through a bit of searching, I found quite a few websites that ended up being some of my favorites:

1. Fastweb

On Fastweb, make an account with all your school info. The more blanks you fill in, the more scholarship applications you’ll be notified about. Most applications I found were a quick five or six question form and most did not require an essay!

Fastweb Scholarship Website Logo

Photo © Fastweb

2. Scholarships.com

This is another website you can make an account with and they will find the scholarships most fitted for you based on the information you supply. Then you can pick and choose what to apply for!

Scholarships.com Logo Find Money For College

Photo © scholarships.com

3. Scholarship Experts

As with the two above, the scholarships found are tailored to meet your qualifications. It is really easy to set up and to find quick and easy scholarships!

Scholarship Experts Logo

Photo © Scholarship Experts

4. College Board

College Board publishes a book of scholarships and now has information available online. Their scholarship database has more than 2,300 scholarship opportunities so this is a great website to definitely look into.

College Board Logo Scholarship

Photo © College Board

5. CollegeNET

With CollegeNET, the winner of a scholarship is determined through voters. Also, students can participate in online communities where the student who is ‘most interesting’ in conversation by the end of the voting cycle every Wednesday, can win $3,000-$5,000 in scholarship money!

CollegeNet Logo Scholarships

Photo © CollegeNet

Scholarships are not easy to get, but at least you can make it easy on yourself to apply!

How do you find your scholarships?

 

Add a Comment