We know that the cost of college is a common concern for most students. What can you do to lower the cost of attending school and graduate with some extra change in the bank? Here are a few helpful tips we’ve gathered through the years to get you going in the right direction.

Set a budget and stick to it! 

Sure, we all want to go out every night and eat dinner or grab a movie with friends, but these small expenses can really add up over time. Limit your outings to once or twice a week. Enjoy those times out and enjoy the savings it will bring.

Work part-time. 

This will help eliminate the need to take out more student loans in the future. Not sure where to start? Check out Handshake to find all kinds of jobs! 

Shop around for the best housing situation. 

Avoid jumping into a housing situation until you know it is a good fit for you, financially and academically. Living on campus at UNC will help you to save money on a car (most things are within walking distance), and you won’t have to worry about grocery shopping (choose a meal plan here). If you can live at home rent free, this can also save you some money in the long run. Keep in mind that there are specific UNC requirements for living at home.

Set up a savings account. 

Try to save some money every month for any unexpected emergencies or for the future. Whether you are saving $10, $100, or $1,000 per month, saving is important. Every little bit helps!

Be familiar with your student bill. 

There are many costs that can be waived by following simple tasks. At UNC, if you have health insurance already through your parents or as an individual, you can sign the waiver under the Financial tab in Ursa. This will save you $1,340 per semester! Educate yourself on your bill and what you are spending on college. Make sure each charge is correct and that you know exactly what you are paying for. Learn how to read your UNC bill.

Books, books, books! 

We all known textbooks are essential for college students but prices can add up pretty quickly. Shop around online for renting options vs. purchasing or just to find a good deal. Consider purchasing online versions of textbooks or used copies. Learn about textbook price matching at the UNC bookstore.

Have financial aid questions or need some guidance? Contact the  Office of Financial Aid, or stop on by Bear Central for some friendly advice.