Surviving the Financial Challenges of College

In 2011, I decided to quit my full time job and return to college full time. Wow! What a transition! Switching from a 9-5 job to classes and stairs and students and teachers and homework was something I hadn’t done in nearly 20 years! 1 year later, I have earned my Associates Degree and have 16 months left to earn my Bachelors in Business Administration.

When I began the process of researching my educational options, I was a bit overwhelmed. Everything had changed. Instead of getting a hardback book, I could now opt for an e-book. Homework was completed online rather than the traditional hard copy. I could see my teachers on Facebook and personal lives began blending with school and professional lives. But I must admit, I didn’t miss standing in long lines anymore. I could do most everything online and everthing could be updated instantaneously. I could complete my financial aid profile online, order school books online, sign up for classes online – it was definitely up my alley as I am very tech driven when it comes to making our lives as simple as possible.

As I researched and talked to other students, I realized that most of the ones who were brand new to college had no idea of the ways they could save money. Most kids dutifully lined up at the college bookstore and signed $300-$400 of their financial aid checks over for each semester of books. What most didn’t realize is you could rent most of the books for 1/4 of what you pay at a bookstore. I was instantly peeved at the audaciousness of the bookstores to sell books for upwards of $150 to $200 each for some subjects and then provide a buy back for maybe 1/2 or 1/3 of that.

Nevermind these kids are borrowing student loans in excess of what they need, but between tuition, books, and living expenses – unless their rich daddy pays their way through school – what choice do they have? My parents are extremely good with money, but they’re not millionaires – so I had to come up with a plan.

Keep checking back to this blog. I’ll be discussing the best places to rent your textbooks, how to survive on a college student budget, and probably just my thoughts as I study my way to my Bachelors. At the very least, it should be interesting!

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About Ginger Terrell

Ginger’s work experience spans several industries to include Marketing & Advertising, Insurance, and Food & Beverage. She is the Regional Director with the Southeast division of The Referrals Group and is passionate about business and personal development. Ginger holds a leadership MBA from Liberty University and is best known for elevating the lives of others through C.E.I.R.S. (Connect. Engage. Inspire. Refer. Succeed). When she’s not wearing her business hat, she enjoys gourmet cooking, blogging, traveling, music, and reading.
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