As back-to-school season approaches, students’ excitement about going off to college is likely accompanied by their parents’ dread of the costs associated with their education.
The summer before your first semester in college can be overwhelming as so many parts of your life begin to shift. Being on your own means, you may need to get a few extra things. Your dorm room will be your bedroom, living room, and kitchen! With so many expenses, it’s a good idea to make sure you aren’t overspending, and you’re protected in case something goes wrong.
A quick search of online resources can uncover ways to save money while protecting your substantial investment in college. We’ve already got a few for you,
Here are a few places to start:
Moving Across the Country? Ship It!
In the excitement of starting college, you may begin to make purchases and not think about how you will take them with you, especially if you are attending school out of state. There are a few different options available, so no need to worry.
You can consider shipping your belongings through a specialty college moving company for students making long-distance moves. You’ll be able to track the packages, and you and your family won’t have to haul them through the airport – or worry that they’ll be lost by the airline.
It’s You can also make purchases for your living quarters once you arrive at school. Usually, local stores are close to campus so you can get everything you are missing once you are able to check out your space. Another benefit to waiting until you arrive at school is you may not need as many new items as you thought and you’ll be able to save some money.
Check out this list of essentials to get you started.
Take Inventory of Your Important Belongings
Have you ever thought about how much your stuff is worth and, more importantly, how much it would cost to replace it if it was stolen? Computers, phones, jewelry, and other essential items are often taken with students to school. That would be devastating if they were gone, not to mention a big blow to your bank account to replace them.
Take an insurance inventory; special tuition and renters policies are available for college students. Make a list of your personal items such as electronics, clothing, and bikes, and research flexible, low-deductible renters insurance policies to protect your property. Learn more about student insurance options at www.GradGuard.com. Take an insurance inventory; special tuition and renters policies are available for college students.
Buy Textbooks Used or Online
Buying books can be pricey, but there are a few ways to save money. Instead of going through the book store at your college or university, find a used copy online. Substantial savings can be had by utilizing one of the many book-focused websites. Another advantage – the hefty tomes can be delivered right to the dorm – no lugging them back from the bookstore.
Another popular option that students have been switching to is a digital version. Often they can be even more affordable than used textbooks, and you can rent them! It will save you time trying to locate a copy and driving to pick it up or having it shipped to your home before classes start. You can have it on your computer or tablet at the click of a button!
While in school, there are many events where your friends or family may want to come and visit you. Plan ahead for these visits to save your sanity. Hotel rooms book up fast for parents’ weekend, homecoming, and when arriving onto campus. Flights are always jammed with kids heading home for Thanksgiving, and tickets are expensive when coming home at the end of the semester. Use online travel resources to bid on and book travel ahead of time, saving money – and a lot of headaches.
Look at the School Handbook
For many families, college is new territory, and, even if it is not, many things have changed over the years. Take a look at all of your university’s policies to ensure there are no surprises. Study the school’s tuition refund policy. Many schools only offer a partial refund of tuition if a student is forced to withdraw in the first five weeks of classes for medical reasons, and most schools don’t refund anything after five weeks. Special Tuition Insurance Plans are available for students should they need to withdraw from school for a covered medical reason. Learn more about these programs offered through GradGuard.
Unfortunately, life will throw you curve balls, and you often never see it coming. Even if you have a perfect plan A, it’s never a bad idea to have a plan B and maybe even a plan C. GradGuard has your back and is here for you if something happens. Whether your laptop gets stolen or you get sick and can’t go to class, we’re here to help ensure you get right back on your feet. College is tough, but so are you!