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College Broke? You Need Not Be

written by: Destiny Keller•edited by: Sarah Malburg•updated: 10/20/2010

Worried about being college broke? With this article, you have little to worry about. Here are some great ways to help you save money, earn money and avoid being a broke college student.

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    Worried About Being Broke in College?

    Many students worry about being college broke because of the debt that comes with it. College can cost a pretty penny in the first place, and on top of that, much of the time that could be spent earning revenue is instead spent in class and studying. Luckily, this article should be able to help alleviate some of the financial stress attached to college. Here are ten money-saving ways to help keep you from being a broke college student.

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    10 Ways to Avoid Being A Broke College Student

    1. Stay in your home state.

    This is the biggest savings everyone should take advantage of. Costs of out of state colleges can be four to ten times as much as in state colleges per year! College tuition is reduced for state residents because they want you to stay. The idea being, that the more college educated members a community has in it, the better off it will be. If you can go to college in the same state you currently live in, this is a huge savings for everyone. Even further savings can be made by attending a community college or junior college instead of a university. Many people take classes at these types of school for their first few years, and then transfer to a bigger college offering more classes.

    2. Scholarships.

    Everyone has heard about scholarships until their ears have bled. But how many applications have you actually filled out? Two great scholarship sites are fastweb.com and scholarships.com. These are great sites because they do the scholarship sorting for you, and narrow down to scholarships you might actually qualify for. For the best chances of winning scholarships, apply for local ones in your community or at your institution where there are smaller applicant pools. Be sure to treat each scholarship like a separate job application, and put your time and effort into it.

    3. Grants.

    Grants can be tricky and hard to understand unless you know what you are looking for. The best way to get started on grant searching is to fill out an application at FAFSA.gov (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The most common grants given out are Pell grants, which is commonly given out to low income students. There are also grants available for students going into science and mathematics, as well as grants for minority groups.

    4. Student Jobs.

    On campus jobs are some of the best kinds for students. They are usually low pay, but work around your school schedules. Some student jobs even allow days off before finals, because they know their employees need to study. Another great find are jobs that require little attention, such as a desk worker. These jobs are some of the best kinds, as one can get paid while doing their homework or studying! This freedom allows more hours to be worked, and can help students manage balancing school and work quite well.

    5. Federal Work Study.

    These types of jobs can be offered through FAFSA just like grants. Federal Work Study gives students the opportunity to work student jobs, while the money they earn can go towards their tuition costs.

    6. Sales.

    Although a job in sales may not be the top idea on your money making list, college is a great place to make a profit. Sellers for companies like Mary Kay and Cutco have great opportunities to market to their fellow classmates about deals and promotions to a wide audience. Many of these companies have no or little requirements for sales, so students can work when they have free time on their schedules.

    7. Textbooks.

    If you know how to buy and sell your textbooks right, it can save you a lot of money. The best way to achieve this is to shop around for the best price at your student bookstore, eBay, and other sites. If you do the same for selling back your books, you will often find that you can use textbooks for a relatively cheaper price than renting or buying from the bookstore. Be sure to be on the lookout for students who have taken classes you plan on taking, and ask to borrow their books the semester you need them.

    8. Car Wrapping.

    Although it can be hard to get accepted in these companies, they pay to advertise on your car or lease you a car of their own that is already wrapped. Many people are lining up for companies that offer these types of deals, but if you end up being able to wrap your car, it is an easy way to make some money without doing more than what you do already and taking up more of your study or class time.

    9. Saving.

    It is important to be wise with your money before, during and after college to keep finances in order. Be sure to keep emergency money in an account to avoid going into debt (or further into debt) if a situation arises. Try cutting small financial corners such as splitting plates at restaurants, box coloring your hair, and carpooling. Money you save on these everyday things can go towards college funds and can add up quickly.

    10. Student Loans.

    These two words often make people cringe, but they are not as bad as people think. The important thing is to shop around for the best interest rates, and try to look for loans that will not charge you until you are out of school. Most colleges offer subsidized loans for students, and are a great place to start.

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    Having money while in college is a rare thing to come by these days. Not all of these options will work for you, but by combining a few of them you can avoid being college broke and should be able to live more comfortably and have more money in your pocket.

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