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How to save as a community college student

Saving money as a community college student.
Saving money as a community college student.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

There’s going to be debate as to whether or not students who attend community college end up saving more money compared to those who enroll at traditional 4-year colleges and universities. There is a significant amount of money that students save by starting their college education at a community college. Although tuition is drastically less than public or private 4-year universities, that doesn’t mean college students on can’t continue to stock away additional funds.

Live At Home

It only make sense, right? That’s the beauty of community colleges: they’re meant to be local on purpose, making it less likely for students to deal with commuting, spending money on gas, parking and other travel related expenses.

Strategic location is especially helpful for students living in large cities like the San Francisco Bay Area, where getting to a school like City College is just a bus ride or even a few minutes’ walk.

Living at home as a community college student is a huge blessing, financially speaking, but it is also important to make sure to take care of things on the home front in order to continue receiving those benefits.

From house cleaning duties (washing dishes, doing your own laundry, picking up after yourself, etc.) and running errands as needed for parents and/or siblings, putting effort into maintaining the household will go a long way in making sure that the living at home situation stays a blessing that won’t turn into becoming a burden.

Eat at Home

Fast food and campus dining is tempting but why not make the most of living at home by eating there, too? If going home for meals isn’t convenient for one’s class schedule, go “old school” by making a sack lunch complete with healthy snacks to curb hunger pangs during breaks.

Leave the Car at Home

Having a car to go back and forth from home and campus is great but if public transportation options are available that can get you where you need to go, leave the car at home and hop on the bus, train or ride a bike. Can’t bear being apart from your car? Then organize a carpool with friends who can help chip in for gas. This gesture of goodwill is great for making sure student drivers don’t have to keep digging in their wallets each time they need to gas up for the week.

Make Home Your Office

Many community colleges have facilities fully equipped for students’ printing, copying, faxing and other needs. In most cases these services are free of charge but if you happen to be attending a campus where there’s a fee, save a buck or two by doing all your printing and other related tasks at home.

If your family already has a state-of-the-art printer and other office type equipment, why not take advantage of it? Not only does this mean more money in your pocket, but convenience when it comes to accessibility. There’s no need to worry about if the facility will be open or waiting in long lines.

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