By now, Triangle area high school graduates know where they’ll be attending college in August. They’re getting ready to leave home and start living on their own. For many it will be first time they will have to manage their own finances. Students who sign up for Scholarship Finder NC’s Premium Service are eligible to attend quarterly financial wellness classes. These sessions help students understand how to budget their money while in college. Even the most successful scholarship recipients will need to plan for the costs of travel home and the expenses that aren’t school-related.
Here are five important factors students should consider when planning their college budgets:
• Scholarship limitations: Scholarships don’t pay for every college expense. Students will need to allow for clothing, eating out, entertainment, school supplies and transportation. Often scholarships only cover tuition expenses; books, lab fees and other costs must be paid for out-of-pocket.
• Living expenses: Student housing usually will be more affordable than off-campus housing. When students live on campus, they don’t need a vehicle or money to pay for transit to and from school. They can eat in the dorm cafeterias and don’t need to cook for themselves. For freshman in particular, living in campus housing will save them money.
• Travel home: Getting home for holidays can take a big bite out of a student’s budget. Plane flights are most expensive at holiday time and finding a flight at the last minute will be difficult. Students planning to go home for major holidays or school breaks should book flights as far in advance as possible.
• Book costs: College textbooks are surprisingly expensive. Although bookstores will often buy back the books, the money offered is considerably less than the purchase cost. Many students are now going online to buy or rent textbooks at significant discounts.
• Socializing: Going out with friends runs up college costs quickly. Students should set aside funds for their monthly socializing. Credit cards are a costly source of money for these expenses. Budgeting for fun is the best way to keep costs down.
Scholarship Finder NC is available all year to help parents and students search out the best scholarships. If your student is looking for help with scholarship applications, contact us today to begin the process.
Reach out today to get started. Call us at (919) 589-FIND.
This important blog post about college expenses, scholarships, and applications is brought to you by the Scholarship Finder NC team headquartered in Apex, in the Triangle Region of North Carolina.
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