Get your money’s worth in college

By Hannah Preston, Copy chief

It’s no secret college is a big investment. Going to class at 9 a.m. on a Friday may seem like an easy feat when the semester first begins, but eventually it becomes all too easy to hit snooze a few too many times after a long night.

New students need to keep in mind the main motivator behind coming to college is getting an education, and with all the glittering new buildings dotting campus and numerous organizations and resources, there are so many things to explore! Get your money’s (or your parent’s money’s) worth by making use of these helpful hints.

Actually go to class

Sure, it may seem harmless to skip out on a day of lecture when attendance isn’t mandatory and you know you can get the notes from the friend whose name you don’t know, but there’s more damage to be done than you think.

Let’s break it down. The cost of in-state tuition for a semester is $6,018, so a single class that meets three times a week for a student who is taking 15 credit hours costs roughly $27. Think about that waste of investment when you don’t want to get out of bed.

On another note, being a student at the University yields the added benefit of having access to unique classes. Make the most of your class selections by taking a fun course if you have a few spare credit hours in your semester. Take part in stress-relieving activities like flower arranging in HORT 107: Introduction to Floral Design, pick up a skill you’ve always wanted to learn like ice skating in KIN 104: Skating Activities or get a spot in FAA 110: Exploring Arts and Creativity for free tickets and great seats to see the plentiful arts community on campus.

Use campus resources on a regular basis

There’s an entire section included in the cost of attendance dedicated to paying for all the exclusive benefits students at the University have special access to: fees. This portion of your bill includes the following and much, much more:

  • Bus fares with the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District buses
  • Access to many of the activities the ARC and CRCE have to offer
  • Career advising and professional development advice at the Career Center
  • Full permission to explore inside the second-largest university library collection in the U.S., including the Rare Book & Manuscript library which is home to multiple important pieces of history available at your fingertips
  • Download for programs like Microsoft Office and Lynda, a website with thousands of useful tutorials
  • $10 tickets to the majority of the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts’ shows
  • Admission to the Krannert Center Art Museum and the Spurlock Museum

Be on the lookout for student resources on campus to see what else you should make use of!

Take advantage of student discounts

Being a college town, Champaign-Urbana — and Campustown, specifically — by nature is littered with businesses that boast fantastic deals for students. Take advantage of saving a few bucks when you go out to eat or do something fun with friends, and always carry your I-card in case a good deal presents itself.

Another easy way to save is to grab the free coupons the Illini Union Bookstore hands out during the first week of classes — as well as the agendas they have available for free with any purchase — when you stop by to get your books.

Happy bargain hunting!

Hannah is a junior in LAS.

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