Six textbooks, six composition notebooks and two new sets of clothes for ASCBU later, Patrick McGinnis was ready to start his sophomore year at California Baptist University.
With the cost of attending a university as a full-time student, many students are finding alternative ways to pinch pennies while traveling down the education road to a much-needed diploma.
“School can get pretty expensive,” said Daren Stevens, junior Christian studies major. “I don’t get a lot of financial aid so I’m left paying a lot out of my pocket for school, so I need to do as much as I can to save money.”
Adding to the costs of textbooks and supplies needed for class, buying food is another expense students need to consider. Going to Wanda’s, Brisco’s and the Alumni Dinning Commons on a daily basis can get expensive for some students, but there are cheaper means for food that are simple and effective.
“To save money I’ve started packing lunches instead of going to the cafeteria,” Stevens said. “Instead of spending over $5 on a meal I can just bring it from home and not have to spend anything.”
Jensine Davi Roque, junior graphic design major, said, “I can say that I definitely am saving money by making lunches. My parents buy the food and they don’t mind that I make lunches so it’s free (for me). It’s better than paying $6 or more at the school or anywhere else for that matter.”
Students are even saving money by being more conservative with their spending habits on beverages.“I refill water bottles; I bought a bigger reusable canteen and refill it at water fountains instead of having to buy bottles of water all the time,” Stevens said.
Even staying in shape can get expensive, and some students have cut corners to save money and remain active and healthy.
“I took exercise classes this semester instead of (purchasing) a gym membership,” Stevens said. “It’s roughly the same as buying a membership to the gym, and I feel like I work out more.”
Making lunch and skipping on the gym are not the only options students have to cut costs.
Transportation can be costly. With prices that never stay steady for long, gas can take a toll on commuter students. For those students who live close to classmates, carpooling is a cheaper and eco-friendly solution to save money on gas by splitting the bill.
“I have to stay two hours after my last class ends in order to wait for (classmates), but it saves money,” Roque said. “The carpool is split between three people so it definitely does save money.”
Time spent participating in offcampus activities can be alluring but can usually come at a much higher price.
“Personally, I’m restricting my outings a lot more,” said Karina Diaz, a sophomore health science major.
“I work two jobs and I’m a full-time student, but I pay my schooling, rent and what is left over of it I pay my phone bill. It limits my money to spend.”