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College & Career Training in Alaska

09Jan

5 Tips for Fun on a College Student Budget

You have your tuition paid, your classes scheduled, and you have moved into your dorm room.  Now what? 

You want to explore the area and have new experiences, but after paying for everything you need to start college you don’t have a lot of money left.

Here are 5 tips on how to stay active and have fun on a small amount of money:

 

Tip 1: Create a budget:  This is one of the first thing you need to do, because if you don’t know how much money you have to spend on non-essential items you can get yourself in the hole, money wise.  Click on this link to get information on creating a budget: https://acpe.alaska.gov/PLANNING/Money-marts/Creating-a-Budgetipe

 

Tip 2:  Look into what is included in the Student Fees you pay:  Most college campuses have some type of student fees that half time and full time students have to pay whether you utilize what the fees are for or not.  Go onto your college website and look under student mandatory fees to find out what the fees you are already paying cover.  Student fees usually cover items like the following:

  • Athletic/Sport Complex: The use of facilities such as the college gym, pool, and ice rink are included in the mandatory fees and could also include free or reduced admission to students for home athletic events.

 

  • Student Activities: Events such as ice cream socials, barbecues, free or reduced admission to musical events, comedy shows, featured lectures, and other social programs.

 

  • Student Health and Counseling Services:  Most campuses provide certain health services that are covered through a flat fee that all students have to pay whether they use these services or not (such as routine physical exams, health and wellness programs, mental health counseling and possibly even some laboratory services and shots)    

 

  • Transportation:  Some of the larger campuses provide free shuttles to get around the campus and even to go to local malls

 

  • Technology/Computer Labs:  Students have free use of the computer labs on campus, most of the computer labs also have training and support for the students

 

Tip 3: Join a Student Sponsored club or organization: Joining one of the student organizations on your campus is a great way to make friends and learn new skills.  Most campuses have a number of different student clubs/organizations available and if there isn’t one you are interested you can always start a new one by following the rules the college has on registering a new club on campus.

 

Tip 4: Look into what the city off Campus has to offer: Most cities offer free events throughout the year for people in the community, anything from art festivals to free or reduced entrance into museums, shows, or movies.   Some good sources to look at to find free activities and events in your community are community calendars and websites, the city’s parks and recreation department office or website, free local newspapers that you might find at local stores, the local library, city hall, and state tourism websites.  

 

Tip 5: Volunteer: If your city doesn’t offer any free events that you are interested in, another way to get out and do something is to volunteer.  If there is a festival, outdoor concert or fair you are interested in attending, look to see if they have an official volunteer program, and if so, send in your application.  Yes, you will have to do some work (such as unloading trucks, setting the area up, and other simple tasks), however volunteers usually get perks for their efforts (such as free food, merchandise, or even tickets to the event).

 

If you follow some of these tips, you should be able to stay active and have fun on and around the campus without spending very much money.  Go forth and enjoy your college experience!

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