College Life

There’s more to college than just showing up for class; the next few years will be filled with ups and downs as you learn to live on your own and balance academics with a social life. Whether you need to find cheap textbooks or learn how to shop on a shoestring budget, we’ll provide helpful tips to get you through college without going broke. We can even teach you how to study more effectively, finance a study abroad program, or throw a Super Bowl party that’s worthy of the Vince Lombardi Trophy. By the time you graduate, you’ll be an expert on saving money and how to find the best campus deals.

Back to School

How to Snag the Best Back-to-School Deals

The National Retail Federation estimates that parents of school-aged children will spend nearly $635 per child on books, clothing and electronics this year. If you have a college-aged student, expect that number to be closer to $835 per child. As a mother of four, I can attest to the financial strain back-to-school shopping can put on a family, especially if you just head out and start purchasing items on your child’s list without any preparation. Before you know it, you can easily blow past any budget you might have set and find yourself frustrated and broke. Thankfully, over the years I have found several strategies that have saved me hundreds of dollars and valuable time during the weeks leading up to school. If you want to snag the best possible deals this season, follow these simple suggestions.

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Phi Theta Kappa

Phi Theta Kappa Provides Scholarships and so Much More!

When I started college in 2004, I enrolled at my local community college. As a working mom, it provided the flexibility I needed and was less expensive than the 4-year colleges in my area. I enjoyed the smaller classes and the opportunity to get to know my professors really well. Soon after my first semester, I received a letter from Phi Theta Kappa congratulating me on my academic success and inviting me to join their honor society. I was unfamiliar with the organization, but after a few inquiries, I soon found that many on campus held the organization in high regard. Intrigued, I decided to attend an upcoming chapter meeting to learn more.

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Study Abroad Scholarships

Study Abroad Scholarships for Undergraduate Students

One thing I regret not doing while I was in college was taking the opportunity to study abroad. Many students in my French class jumped at the chance to stay in Strasbourg for six weeks, immersing themselves in the language and culture. I would have loved to tag along, but my family obligations and bank account made the trip impractical for me, or so I thought. Of course, now that I realize how many financial aid resources there were for study abroad opportunities, I could just kick myself in the pants.

It never dawned on me to check with my French professor to see if the language department offered any scholarships or grants (they did!) or even the financial aid office. I just assumed that any education I received off campus would have to be paid for through my own personal piggy bank. I later found out that some of the college departments (music, business and engineering) even provided additional scholarships to students traveling outside the United States.

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College Savings

Dorm Room Ideas That Won’t Leave You Broke

If you are headed off to college this fall, you’re probably already thinking about how you want to design your dorm room. Unfortunately, most college dormitories are known for their limited spaces and bland walls, so you’ll have to be pretty creative to make your room pop. This can get quite costly if you venture out to the regular retail stores or turn to those online shopping websites that cater to the college crowd. Luckily, the Internet is teeming with great ideas for making your space the place to be; you just need to know where to look and be willing to put in a little elbow grease. I get most of my inspiration from Pinterest, which is full of great ideas for making your dorm room rock. Here are just a few of the creative ways you can decorate your room this fall without going broke.

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Dining Bargains

International ‘No Diet’ Day – Let’s Pig Out!

If you’re a foodie, you probably look forward to the winter holidays with much anticipation. There’s Labor Day, which my family celebrates with a huge barbeque and pie cook-off, and of course Halloween, the kids’ favorite holiday. It’s the one day that no matter how hard I try, I can’t resist sending myself into a sugar coma. November isn’t much better. Last year, at Thanksgiving, I counted over 30 different food items on our table, and yes, I tried every one of them. As soon as my stomach starts to settle, there’s Christmas and New Year’s Eve; just another excuse to shovel copious amounts of food into my belly. All those holidays usually lead to the annual New Year’s resolution of going on a diet and eating healthier, but I can only tolerate leafy greens and water for so long. Thankfully, today is International No Diet Day.  This means I get a free pass from my restricted menu for 24 hours…and believe me, I plan to use it! If you are a foodie like me, here are just a few of the places you can visit to celebrate this gastric occasion.

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