The Hidden Costs of College

by ‎08-09-2012 10:27 AM - edited ‎08-09-2012 10:29 AM

With all the recent buzz about student loans, the skyrocketing price of higher education is a hot topic – but the financial impact of college goes far beyond just tuition. Plenty of secondary expenses aren’t factored into college "sticker prices," and many of them don’t become apparent until after students get to campus. From parking to Greek life, students should take note of these expenses when figuring out a sustainable budget for the school year:


Dorm Room: Most college dorm rooms come with a bed, a desk, and a few drawers. Students are responsible for providing everything else: lamps, rugs, pillows, bedding, hangers, etc. Take advantage of back-to-school sales and reach out to your roommate/s to split the cost of shared items. Go to your school’s Facebook page and see if upperclassmen on your campus have listed old furniture and dorm items for sale. Check Craigslist and thrift stores for gently used furniture and appliances.


Textbooks: Buying brand new books from the school bookstore can cost hundreds of dollars easily. Luckily, there are many resources for used books. Sites like and offer used books at a much more affordable price, and rent out books at an even cheaper rate. These sites, and many others, will also buy back your books at the end of the semester. Also, reach out to upperclassmen and recent grads to see if they’re selling or giving away their books. Your school bookstore may also offer a rental program; some will rent books at half price provided they are returned in good condition at the end of the term.


Celebrate Financial Independence

by ‎07-03-2012 10:49 AM - edited ‎07-11-2012 12:54 PM

 The Fourth of July means barbecues, the beach, fireworks and family – but take a moment this holiday to contemplate your financial freedom. Having a great credit score makes it easier to pursue the American dream, so follow these four easy steps towards cultivating a strong FICO Score and long-term financial health.




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