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Unexpected ways to save a little money in college ?


teachermom2834
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My ds is a sophomore at a small private school. We have found a few ways to save some money on campus that some families might not even be aware of:

 

1)cheaper dorm- this one was huge for my ds. The typical "freshman dorm" that is shown on the tours and cost used to calucate COA and FA offers is not the least expensive dorm on campus. There is actually a small, older dorm that is available. If you look carefully through the housing options it is there but if you just requested the standard dorm you saw on the tour you would be paying so much more. The difference is $6000!!! It is the smallest room on campus and has a common hall bathroom instead of suite style but not $6000 worth of smaller. This has been an easy one for ds. None of the dorms are that nice. Definitely not worth that much extra.

 

2)incentives for on time payment- this school offers a bookstore gift card for on time full payment. The earlier you pay the larger the gift card. Ds has gotten $200 gift cards for early payment. He can buy his books cheaper elsewhere but can use the bookstore gift card to buy a VISA gift card.

 

3)used books- of course we all know to shop around on books but at this school the kids sell amongst themselves through the school app. Students sell cheap. There seems to be a spirit of trying to help each other out while making $20 rather than charging market value. Ds is good about getting on the app early before classes start and has scored some good deals. He pays it forward by selling cheap too. (Most of the kids probably had their parents buy the books so aren't thinking of market value)

 

4)sample dorm room- there is a gift card offered (bookstore or maybe campus Starbucks?) for allowing access to your dorm room on tours. The ones we toured were not particularly clean so it didn't look like a hard way to make money for some students. It is a small school so I doubt tours would be constant.

 

Ds also tries to hit any function offering free food. LOL. He has an unlimited meal plan but he grabs a water bottle and snacks at any functions with giveaways and has a stash in his room.

 

My ds has been paying his way with hard earned cash from summer jobs and is definitely on the thrifty side. I suspect there are families that are not even aware of some of these ways to make a little cash. It's not a ton of money (except the dorm) but for my kid and our family the savings really help.

 

Any ways you have found to save a few bucks in college or access a few perks?

 

Oh- one more that isn't widely applicable. My ds is a D3 athlete so he does not have athletic scholarship money but the access to healthcare he has from the team staff has been valuable. He had a pretty hard fall down a flight of stairs resulting in a severe ankle sprain. He's had that managed by the team staff and gets treatment a couple times a day, OTC medications, a boot, crutches, etc. That has been a benefit as well. He gets fed and clothed by the team to some degree too. Not enough to compensate for the hours he dedicates but a few perks even for the non-scholarship athlete.

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If you're a coffee drinker, either buy coffee bags and/or carry a refillable mug. Hot water is free if you have your own mug and tea/coffee bag. I paid $10 for 36 bags. At $1.18 per refill that's a significant savings. Even by bringing the mug and buying coffee, I save nearly a dollar, plus I have a travel size mug and get more coffee. 

 

The activities with free food is a big thing. We take advantage of those. Also watch for other food specials and discounts from local restaurants. Papa Johns always has a weekend special for students. 

 

Our bookstore will do price matching on books now. 

 

Buy toiletries off campus - even things like cough drops or gum is nearly double on campus. 

 

If your campus has a food bank, check into the qualifications. Ours does and any student is allowed to use it. We have in the past, most items were better for those with kitchen, but they did have cereals and snacks and hygiene items. 

 

Use the campus wi-fi for your phone. I have a 1gb data plan that I never exceed (even though I use way more data than that) because I stay logged into the wifi at home or at school. 

 

Invest into a decent backpack that will last the duration of your university time. 

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If you don't have public transit, see if they have a shuttle or try to organize a carpool to get to off-campus stores. We have a shuttle bus that runs to the local supermarkets twice a week and a lot of students still buy stuff on-campus. 

Stay away from Starbucks omg. That adds up so fast. Use it as a treat, not a daily "I need caffeine". If you need to buy fresh coffee, there's almost always a gas station near campus to get it at. Similarly, hoard your own snacks instead of buying them from vending machines/on-campus shops. 

Check with your professors to see if older editions of textbooks are ok. Sometimes they are, sometimes they aren't. If your class requires an online access code, a LOT of times those include access to an online version of the text and so in most cases you won't need a physical textbook. 

Every campus bookstore I've been in has had "optional" laminated review sheets by the math texts. For pete's sake, don't buy those, they're something the bookstore throws in to trick you into spending money, and if you really want them they're a lot cheaper at an off-campus store -- but frankly, you're better off making your own. This is an enormous pet peeve of mine. I mean yeah, they're not THAT expensive, but it's just one more way to nickel and dime people. The same with the calculators by the books -- ask the professor if that specific calculator is required or if they just need a calculator that adheres to the following standards (for example, students can use any non-graphing calculator in my classes, but if it's not a TI I can't help you figure out how to work it). 

 

Amazon student!

 

Make sure you have extras of things like printer cartridges (if you have your own printer), batteries, etc. for anything where you might need them in an emergency so that you don't end up paying through the nose at the campus bookstore. Also, this isn't a money-saving but rather a grade-saving tip -- make sure you know where an on-campus printing option is so that if your printer breaks right before a big paper's due, you can run over and get it printed rather than just hoping the professor will take it late. 

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Mine is a commuter but has a meal plan because he works out there and does martial arts. I told him to really fill up because it's all-you-can eat. And it's made a difference in my overall budget.

 

We got a parking pass because he has a very early class. He takes the commuter bus sometimes and also rides with a friend one day a week, but we figured that we still made out on the parking pass because the daily rate is extremely expensive. He got the least expensive one.

 

We bought his computer at the college. The price was competitive, the warranty was better, and they provide a free or discounted loaner.

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With the all-you-eat plans, check if they allow to-go options.   My University allows you to fill up one to-go container and two drink cups.   The second cup was for soup or ice cream.   I'd get three meals out of one.  Lunch would be the ice cream and the soda.  Then I could get two more meals out of what I could fit in the to-go-container.  

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Become an RA. Most universities offer free room and board to RA's. At the university I work for, SGA members also get a tuition stipend. My university also offers free software downloads. We tell incoming students not to pay extra for Office when they buy their computer because they can download it for free. Also there is free printing on campus including color printing. A lot of students save their work on a thumb drive and then print their stuff in the labs or library.

 

When I was in college I elected not to buy a meal plan after my freshman year. I cooked in my room using my little microwave, and there was a stove down the hall. I saved a ton of money that way, although there was a social trade-off. My friends all went off to the dining hall together and I stayed behind in my room by myself.

 

Maybe this seems obvious, but... stay on track with your degree requirements and take a full load of courses each semester. Graduate in four years or even three.

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Maybe this seems obvious, but... stay on track with your degree requirements and take a full load of courses each semester. Graduate in four years or even three.

 

Oh yeah. 

 

And -- don't let work impact your grades if you can help it. Working can earn you money, but if you need to stay an extra semester/year because you had to drop classes/not pass classes, or if it causes you to miss out on post-graduate opportunities because your GPA is lower, it will cost you more money in the long run. 

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My dd is on a campus where most dorms consist of 2-4 bedroom units plus a shared kitchen.  Her schedule is so busy this year, often over scheduled meal times, that she found it works better for her to just cook her food herself.  (And by cook I don't mean anything fancy!  Just basic.)  I think she saves several thousand/year doing that.

 

It was nice to have the cafeteria option at first when she was just getting to know people, but this seems to work out well for her now.

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Stay away from Starbucks omg. That adds up so fast. Use it as a treat, not a daily "I need caffeine". If you need to buy fresh coffee, there's almost always a gas station near campus to get it at. Similarly, hoard your own snacks instead of buying them from vending machines/on-campus shops. 

Check with your professors to see if older editions of textbooks are ok. Sometimes they are, sometimes they aren't. If your class requires an online access code, a LOT of times those include access to an online version of the text and so in most cases you won't need a physical textbook. 

 

In my finance class, I have students calculate how much money they would have at the end of college if instead of visiting Starbucks everyday they put the money they would spend on a latte in a savings account.  They are amazed to see how much that is costing them.  At some universities, Starbucks is also a great time sinkhole.  I have seen universities have a 30 minute line at Starbucks almost daily.  The faculty joke about how going to Starbucks is a luxury for the faculty--but a daily event for students.   The same students who stand in line for 30 minutes for a Starbucks tell me they don't have time to make coffee in their dorm room--then I realize they don't know how to make a pot of coffee.  

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Find a job or internship related to your major every summer.  While it won't always pay off in the short term, when you graduate you'll be a much more desirable candidate if you have that experience on your resume instead of a generic lifeguard/fast-food/babysitting job.  If that's not feasible economically, find a serious volunteer position you can juggle with your for-the-money job.  And every job paves the way for the next one, so those first few summers may lead to better-paying summer jobs even before graduation.  

NOW is the time to start researching summer internships, putting together a resume, and in some cases even submitting applications.  Aim high, but have a backup plan, just like you did with college apps.

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Check out what your parking options are.  On some campuses you can save a significant amount of money by parking in a remote lot.  For some reason, I had students who thought paying $125 a year was too much for a parking permit; so they would pay $5 (sometimes more) each day for parking thinking they were saving money.  

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Attend free entertainment events on campus.  Check out savings with local merchants.  Often students can get reduced admission to movie theaters and other events through the student center.  Locally, many merchants offer 10% off if you wear the university colors on Friday.  The local grocery store even gives students 5% discount off their grocery bill.

 

Magazine subscriptions often have student rates.  Also, check out the library and read for free.  The library probably even has movies that can be checked out.  

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The activities with free food is a big thing. We take advantage of those. 

 

 

My daughter was at a super-serious math conference a while back, and the math department faculty always introduce her to the visiting mathematicians, who quickly learn she will be applying to their own super-serious Ph.D. programs.  One of these famous (relatively) professional math types pulled her aside to offer her some advice, which was, "Any time your department wants to feed you, let them."    

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My ds is a sophomore at a small private school. We have found a few ways to save some money on campus that some families might not even be aware of:

 

1)cheaper dorm- this one was huge for my ds. The typical "freshman dorm" that is shown on the tours and cost used to calucate COA and FA offers is not the least expensive dorm on campus. There is actually a small, older dorm that is available. If you look carefully through the housing options it is there but if you just requested the standard dorm you saw on the tour you would be paying so much more. The difference is $6000!!! It is the smallest room on campus and has a common hall bathroom instead of suite style but not $6000 worth of smaller. This has been an easy one for ds. None of the dorms are that nice. Definitely not worth that much extra.

 

 

 

Wow!  I wish this were the case at DS's school!  The difference between dorm options is around $1000/year.  

 

However, he may move off campus after his first year, we will see.  He is a 2nd year transfer student right now.

 

We are waiting for his room assignment for January.  We have requested the apartment style on-campus housing, which would mean he has a kitchen, AND doesn't have to get the meal plan.  We will still get him a plan, but it will be a lower amount than if he is assigned the suite style where a full meal plan is required.  That will save about $3K.

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If you're on campus over the summer, consider living in your car! My ds did that one summer--he could shower at work and would occasionally couch surf  at a friend's to do laundry. It wasn't ideal, but he couldn't find housing and he was gone part of the summer for AF commitments. He figured he saved $1000 that summer. And he lived in an absolute HOLE for two years. He cooked at a friend's and showered at the rec center as he only had a toilet down the hall. One dd lived in her car up Boulder Canyon one summer. She fished for her protein and brought other food from home. Yeah, rather radical, but it worked for both of them. 

 

Well, that would require my son to actually have a car I assume!   :lol:

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If you're on campus over the summer, consider living in your car! My ds did that one summer--he could shower at work and would occasionally couch surf  at a friend's to do laundry. It wasn't ideal, but he couldn't find housing and he was gone part of the summer for AF commitments. He figured he saved $1000 that summer. And he lived in an absolute HOLE for two years. He cooked at a friend's and showered at the rec center as he only had a toilet down the hall. One dd lived in her car up Boulder Canyon one summer. She fished for her protein and brought other food from home. Yeah, rather radical, but it worked for both of them. 

You couldn't do that in southern AZ!  :coolgleamA:

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Campus job over the summer- included free room and board plus decent pay & was lots of fun working orientation and events planning. I had a second job at the hospital on my off hours and no expenses since I was working on campus. Raked in a lot of cash.

My parents were overseas the first year and then when they were back in the states I knew no one there and had no urge to “move home†during the summer. Besides my hospital job was a great gig.

Edited by Hilltopmom
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Don't give up the search for scholarships just because you're in college -- many are available to enrolled students. The hard part is finding time to seek them out and apply but it can be worth it.

 

This is so true. I saw a state scholarship advertised on our financial aid office's twitter over the summer. I'd never heard of it because it's administered outside the school. The deadline was less than a week later. I hurried and applied and received a very generous amount, one that lessened my loans to a minimal amount this year.  

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In my finance class, I have students calculate how much money they would have at the end of college if instead of visiting Starbucks everyday they put the money they would spend on a latte in a savings account.  They are amazed to see how much that is costing them.  At some universities, Starbucks is also a great time sinkhole.  I have seen universities have a 30 minute line at Starbucks almost daily.  The faculty joke about how going to Starbucks is a luxury for the faculty--but a daily event for students.   The same students who stand in line for 30 minutes for a Starbucks tell me they don't have time to make coffee in their dorm room--then I realize they don't know how to make a pot of coffee.  

 

This is when you get a Keurig and some Chinet "Comfort Cups"! lol Idiot proof coffee to go--for much less than Starbucks! Assuming there are no rules against having a coffee maker in a dorm room.

 

 My 2 kids in college aren't coffee drinkers thankfully. 

 

Our biggest savings has been that --having twins in college-- plus a third starting in 2019--then a 4th dd down the road-- our biggest savings has been the decision to live off campus. We bought a modestly priced condo. It's 30 + years old but renovated. Buying a condo is not for everyone, but we're managing so far.  We did a cash out refi on our primary residence and paid for the condo in full. The difference in our newly refinanced mortgage payment plus COA fees plus insurance plus taxes is still considerably less than we would be paying for them both to live on campus in a dorm. As is true with any investment, there is some risk involved--and maintenance expenses (we just had to replace the heat pump. ouch). Once our twins graduate, we'll have 1 bedroom that we can earn rental income from. Eventually we can sell and help pay off any debt our kids accrue while they are in school. 

Edited by stephensgirls
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Know how your university charges for tuition.  Some charge a flat rate for full-time and others charge a per hour rate.  That can greatly impact the decision of how many classes to take each semester and whether the attend summer school.  Also, consider any fees.  If your school charges a flat rate from 12-18 hours, it doesn't make financial sense to take only 12 hours so that you can work and then go to summer school and pay additional tuition and fees.  You would be better off financially taking 18 hours during the semester and concentrate on working during the summer.  

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This is when you get a Keurig and some Chinet "Comfort Cups"! lol Idiot proof coffee to go--for much less than Starbucks! Assuming there are no rules against having a coffee maker in a dorm room.

 

 My 2 kids in college aren't coffee drinkers thankfully. 

 

Our biggest savings has been that --having twins in college-- plus a third starting in 2019--then a 4th dd down the road-- our biggest savings has been the decision to live off campus. We bought a modestly priced condo. It's 30 + years old but renovated. Buying a condo is not for everyone, but we're managing so far.  We did a cash out refi on our primary residence and paid for the condo in full. The difference in our newly refinanced mortgage payment plus COA fees plus insurance plus taxes is still considerably less than we would be paying for them both to live on campus in a dorm. As is true with any investment, there is some risk involved--and maintenance expenses (we just had to replace the heat pump. ouch). Once our twins graduate, we'll have 1 bedroom that we can earn rental income from. Eventually we can sell and help pay off any debt our kids accrue while they are in school. 

 

 

We actually looked into this for our local 4 year school (still 35 miles from our home), and may still consider it for younger two, but oldest can't go there as they don't have what he wants, and the other two won't go to his school as it doesn't have what they need.

 

Dh even mentioned buying a townhouse where oldest is going to school, but ultimately it doesn't make sense since the other two aren't going there.

 

We are hoping oldest makes some friends to move off campus next year, but he doesn't drive, and doesn't have good access to get to the grocery store and get what he needs, and has some special needs, so we will pay for now.

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Check out what your parking options are.  On some campuses you can save a significant amount of money by parking in a remote lot.  For some reason, I had students who thought paying $125 a year was too much for a parking permit; so they would pay $5 (sometimes more) each day for parking thinking they were saving money.  

 

I was SHOCKED when my friend said that our local 4 year college had parking fees of $450 per semester.  It is known as a commuter college, so I get why they are doing it, but WOW!  I have been reading about the parking issues at the school online.  

 

However, I do see on their site that there are carpooling options, reduced bus and train fares, and a few other options besides parking on campus.

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I donated plasma some in college!  I wouldn't necessarily recommend it, but I did it.  

 

And we would also hit church pot luck dinners in the summer.  We did eat in the dining hall some for the summer session, and I don't remember the details now, but they must not have offered a full meal plan because I remember eating a lot of oatmeal and going out to get cheap food off campus and trying to find the pot luck dinners on the weekends.

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Check with your professors to see if older editions of textbooks are ok. Sometimes they are, sometimes they aren't. 

 

This. And sometimes the older edition is ok even when the instructor insists you need the new edition.  DD had one instructor insist that she needed the newest edition and we chose to disregard this recommendation since she already had the previous edition.  They haven't used the book . . .at all.

 

I also recommend students have a nice reusable water bottle.  It is much more appealing, IMHO, to drink water from a glass bottle, and reduces the need to purchase drinks.

 

Another tip, if your child is away at school without a car, check with your car insurance agent if this will reduce the coverage costs. While you are at it, find out if your student is eligible for a good student discount.

Edited by Pegasus
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My son had to pay a lot to dry his laundry. The dryer wasn't that good, and towels took forever. He decided to start using a clean tee shirt to dry off after showers. They dry super quick! At roughly 3 bucks a load to dry, and needing at least two times thru, he just couldn't afford to dry towels. I did recommend an indoor clothesline but he liked the softness of items tumble dried.

Edited by Chris in VA
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  • 1 year later...

Just saw this NPR article on tips for cutting costs while paying for college, and it reminded me of THIS thread, so I'm giving it a bump. 😉


This thread, plus a lot of great threads on alternatives for paying for college, are all linked on PAGE 3 of the "College Motherlode", the big pinned thread at the top of the College Board

 

ETA:
I just went looking and found a giant, online, open access document for DS#1's school that is based on the "Being Not Rich" document mentioned in that above NPR article. It is filled with tips on saving money, places that offer student discounts -- or free stuff -- where to find helps for free, etc., that is all local to his school/our town. Strongly recommend trying a google search for "Being Not Rich at ___(name of student's school)___" to see if you find a document with ideas for your student's school/town! 😀

Edited by Lori D.
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Mine are commuter students and live with me.

They take a commuter bus run by the college from a local mall and park for free. Then they study on the bus instead of waiting in traffic.  It also saves gas.

My older actually buys a meal plan because he eats so much and can't carry enough food. He gets three plates of food for lunch and pays $6.50 per meal. It saves us both money.

They email the professors before class to see if they need the book. If they have to buy one, they carefully shop around. They often rent from Amazon.

Their college charges a flat rate for 12 or more credit hours, so they take more if it's a semester where that is reasonable.

My older one is in the National Guard, so most of his tuition and expenses are covered by that and a part-time job.

Also mine plan to take a semester off of school and co-op. In our area, those are paid, and they can live at home and bank the money.  

Edited by G5052
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Food pantries for students are becoming more common, and most go out of their way to assure students they don't need to be destitute to use them. When items near expiry, they'll send out an email calling for anyone to come get them as long as they will use them. 

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I recently found out that many of the rural Fire/EMS departments in my state offer benefits for interested students. Each has their own individual criteria, benefits, and application process. One student I know received free room and board (at the fire station) and some tuition scholarship $ for his four year degree plus completely paid for paramedic and firefighter training in exchange for staffing many shifts, especially on the weekends. While some require the college major(s) to be fire or EMS related, his did not. It’s not your typical college experience and requires transportation to get to and from campus, but for the right student it can be a great fit.

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I wanted to add a couple:

Dd had a meal plan that allowed her to exchange any uneaten meals at the end of the week for food she could take out. For example, one uneaten meal was something like 15 bucks--she could take 15 dollars worth of fruit and or snacks (chips, etc) or even by flowers (they had a little store that sold a small selection of goods). 

She didn't bring a printer. All of her papers were submitted online. She did need to print out music, but that was very reasonable at the campus library. I think her dorm had a printer for student use, also, but I'm unsure. 

Buy a fridge from a former student at the end of the semester before your first semester. Dirt cheap. 

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Look for funded opportunities. REUs pretty well-known options for STEM fields. 

This summer our Dd wanted to study abroad in Russia. The cost was going to be way above our budget. She is now at a fully funded Startalk Russian program in CA. It's not abroad, but the goal is increased speaking fluency and being immersed in daily speaking all summer will accomplish that goal for our cost of a plane ticket. And she has never been to that part of the country before, so it is still exciting for her in that regard. 

She also received research grant funding for the school yr to work with a professor who is researching language development under oppression. She is super excited about this bc this sort of topic is definitely an area of interest for her.

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My daughter participated in a number of psychology/linguistics studies on her campus. Many would provide a small cash reward (perhaps fifteen or twenty dollars) or a gift card to participants.

Her senior year, my daughter (a Latin major) tutored a local homeschooled who was studying Latin.

Regards,

Kareni

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Become a TA.

Take more classes at a time, single major, test out of whatever you can so you can graduate early.

If you find yourself in a financial bind, speak up!  Talk to the registrar, your adviser, your department head, your favorite professor.  Sometimes they have access to money to help students out.  Sometimes a rich alum is just looking for a student who needs a hand.  

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I was reading a thread elsewhere about college for students with disabilities.  Folks were discussing accommodations that involved having a note taker in class.  Evidently students can sign up with the college to be a person who provides notes to those who need them.  Some colleges pay outright, others used gift cards or free coffees.  These were for classes the student was also enrolled in, so there wasn't an extra course to attend.

 

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There are also some crowd sourced guides for "Being Not Rich at <college>" that are getting press right now.  Students at University of Michigan wrote the first one and there are several more.  The guides have really solid info about work study, where to buy business attire, food, housing, etc.  The one for UMich has links to guides for other schools.

The guide is linked in this article under "affordability guide."  https://www.michigandaily.com/section/campus-life/students-reflect-navigating-living-costs-campus-after-csg-affordability-guide

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44 minutes ago, Sebastian (a lady) said:

... having a note taker in class.  Evidently students can sign up with the college to be a person who provides notes to those who need them....


That was one of my jobs for a semester or two, lo these many years back in MY college days. For the times, the pay was better than entry level work, and I was already on campus so it was handy. However, it did mean having to show up every single class meeting time for a class that was sometimes pretty boring (to me), lol.

Coincidentally, DS#1 (who has VERY sloppy handwriting, although it is nice and big), also did this for one semester -- his second semester of dual enrollment Spanish at the CC, the teacher (same one as first semester, so she knew he was a good worker) asked if he would like to be a note taker for a visually impared student. I think he earned something like $25-50 for taking notes for a class he was already taking, and as the only high school student in a class of college students/adults, he felt very proud, and did a great job.

Edited by Lori D.
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When I was in college, I worked at a pizza place. Employees got a free small pizza each day that we worked, so I pretty much lived on pizza. So.much.pizza. Lol. That was back when I had a speedy metabolism - I'd hate to see the effect an all-pizza diet would have on me now.😛

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11 hours ago, Sebastian (a lady) said:

I was reading a thread elsewhere about college for students with disabilities.  Folks were discussing accommodations that involved having a note taker in class.  Evidently students can sign up with the college to be a person who provides notes to those who need them.  Some colleges pay outright, others used gift cards or free coffees.  These were for classes the student was also enrolled in, so there wasn't an extra course to attend.

 

One of my older kids got gift cards for checking attendance on student athletes who were in class with him. It was anonymous, but since there were 2-3 in his major, it was worthwhile since he was going to class already.

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6 hours ago, MamaSprout said:

One of my older kids got gift cards for checking attendance on student athletes who were in class with him. It was anonymous, but since there were 2-3 in his major, it was worthwhile since he was going to class already.

That's one I hadn't heard of.  Interesting.

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18 hours ago, Selkie said:

When I was in college, I worked at a pizza place. Employees got a free small pizza each day that we worked, so I pretty much lived on pizza. So.much.pizza. Lol. That was back when I had a speedy metabolism - I'd hate to see the effect an all-pizza diet would have on me now.😛

Similar for me.  I waitressed in an Italian Restaurant.  Spaghetti with Marinara and french bread 6 days a week.   If they were pleased with me, I got my choice of meatballs or sausage.   If the chef was really pleased, he'd make Fett. Alfredo for me.  My major food for that time period.  Fortunately, it was awesome food. 

 

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Reading through this reminded me that when I was in college I was on the student health advisory board. I was paid via room and board to provide in dorm and campus-wide "health awareness" events. One huge one I planned was having food, bands, and non-alcoholic beverages sponsored by a large name-brand brewery that promoted awareness of under-age drinking and its effects. (That was back when half of the on-campus population went from being legal drinking age to under legal drinking by the passing of a single law.)

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The firehouse one, reminded me of one.   I knew someone that lived at a mortuary or was it a funeral home?   Lived for free, but the requirement was that she had to be on-premise between midnight and 7am.   I think.   They basically wanted a person there as an unofficial guard.  Good for a studious kid, who didn't need to 'go home' for the holidays.  

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