Say what you want about college tuition, built into it at least are discounts and freebies that young adults might not otherwise enjoy. Win a full or near-full scholarship, and there\’s a chance you might even “make” money in terms of the value of goods and services.
Here – ka-ching – is a potential tally of some of the perks on college campuses:
- Free computer software. Some institutions offer free Microsoft and Adobe software, which retails for a few hundred dollars a pop. Potential value: $1,000 or more.
- Free workouts. Who needs gym memberships when many campuses offer free weight machines and some feature fitness classes as well. Potential value: $500 annually.
- Free seminars and lectures. Attend three in any given year, and you\’ll do more than expand your knowledge, enrich your life. Potential value: $1,200 (or $300 each).
- Free and reduced entertainment. This could mean saving anywhere from $5 to $85 for per stage presentations and NCAA games – not to mention free movies that might be shown on campus and student discounts offered at off-campus establishments. Potential value: $100 or more a year.
There are other opportunities for college and university students to save money as well. They include everything from free food and giveaways at campus events to free local bank accounts and discounted prices on computers.
Students in the market for new laptops, netbooks or iPads can compare these discounts with the education pricing that\’s part of offerings such as Dell University, HP Academy and the Apple Store for Education, to determine how they might get the best bang for the buck.
If you\’re interested in saving before you go, try finding a free online course to get you ready for college and potentially save you up to $2,000.
Still other cost-saving measures are environmentally friendly as well: Carpooling, walking or cycling to and from campus, for example, and cutting back on electric utility bills. Some power companies can assess your electrical usage and offer cost-saving recommendations.