How to Save Money in College

Published: April 19, 2018
Revised: December 23, 2021

If you’re struggling to make ends meet in college, you’re not alone. Between tuition, textbooks, housing and living expenses, higher education is a pricey undertaking. But you can avoid being a starving student by taking a few conscious steps to save money while having an excellent college experience.

college students studying together

Buy used books

Brand new college textbooks usually come with a steep price tag. But lightly used textbooks are just as effective, and they’re often half the price of the newer versions. Before you buy at your campus bookstore, compare prices from online retailers, and even consider purchasing a digital copy that you can load directly to your phone, tablet or computer.

Find campus freebies

Most colleges have free or heavily discounted offerings for students. Drop your pricey gym membership and opt for the free campus gym to start. Attend free events and seminars—as an added bonus, these often include a free meal—and tap into free tutoring for homework help. Check out books from the library instead of buying them. Many college campuses also offer regular movie screenings, comedy shows and other entertainment offerings that are usually free to students.

Try alternate transportation

Gas is expensive—and have you seen the price of a campus parking pass? Skip the parking premiums and take advantage of campus shuttles and public transit. If you need to go farther, try renting a bike, carpooling with a friend or using a car sharing service.

Financial aid is your friend

Scholarships aren’t just for tuition anymore. You can use the money to cover the cost of textbooks, housing, or even school necessities like a laptop or calculator. Start with the OneAZ Scholarship—we’re offering ten scholarships valued at $2,000 each for the 2018-19 academic year.

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APR = Annual Percentage Rate