Summer is slowly drawing to a close and universities and colleges are beginning to welcome a new semester’s worth of college students. Parents, especially one of first-time collegiate kids, will no doubt offer their offspring plenty of advise about sleeping, eating, and partying.
But what about money? Next to safety, the topic should be on the top of the priority list.
Here are 5 tips to pass along to your college kids before they leave the homestead.
1. Forget Extravagance
Sure most kids are excited to fill their new dorm with new stuff but it’s important new college kids understand that education in itself is expensive and keeping dorm life simple is the way to go. They may not yet understand the tendencies for college kids to move a lot.
Not everything needs to be brand new. Pick up a refrigerator and a television at a second-hand store or a yard sale.
Keep new purchases to a minimum especially if you aren’t sure what your dorm life or roommate will be like.
Chances are the next time your child comes home for a break there will be some good sales on the things they discover they need the most.
2. Split Costs
Staying in a dorm the first year is a good way to meet other kids and get to know the school grounds. It is less expensive than an off-campus apartment.
Once friendships are established, an off-campus apartment can shared and costs can be divided up to save more money.
3. Don’t Grab Up Textbooks Yet
Students new to college may not get the hang of things right away and feel obligated to rush out and buy every recommended book and supply. However, many times, professors won’t require every book and not all supplies will end up being necessary.
Go to class first and see what exactly is needed before shelling out the cash. When you do understand what is needed, research used books instead of brand new.
4. Go for Extra Classes
Taking an extra class or two each semester can help students who can handle the extra work to graduate a semester or more earlier than expected.
Ultimately, saving a semester or two’s worth of money has some excellent benefits, plus a leg up on applying for job while the other kids are still working towards a degree.
5. Evaluate the School
While many kids have their hearts set on a specific school, it is financially worth it to consider attending a less expensive college or a school closer to home if finances are a concern.
If after the first semester or first year of school, finances become an issue, there is nothing wrong with attending a more affordable school and then transfer to the school of choice at a later time.