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4 tips to help college freshmen & parents save money

Starting college is already a stressful and emotional time. Jessica Brown, the Founder of College Gurl, shares 4 tips on getting your child set up for success.
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Multiracial students are walking in university hall during break and communicating.

WASHINGTON D.C., DC — Students are headed off to college for the first time but aside from picking out your bed linens and mini-fridges, there are many other important parts of the transition that need to be completed before this new chapter begins.

Jessica Brown is the founder of CollegeGurl.com and the author of "How to Pay for College When You’re Broke".

She has some great advice on ways to make a smooth transition as a college freshman and to help you save money along the way.


Watch: How students can save money during college


1) Review your student account

Financial Aid: Ensure all documents have been received by the Office of Financial Aid and aid has been processed. Also make sure all your scholarships, internal and external, have been received and documented.

Meal Plan: Review your meal plan options to ensure you are meeting the dorm minimum, but not paying for more than you need. You can always change your plan, but not till the Spring semester. 

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA): 

Attention parents! Make sure you fill out the FERPA form in order to have access to your child's academic profile. You cannot call Financial Aid and ask about your child's situation if your child does not sign-off to give you access.

2) Scholarships

Over 100 million dollars in scholarships go unclaimed annually. It is imperative for students to research scholarships throughout your educational journey. Things change, you may have to take summer classes, or you may want a refund! Make sure to continually research financial aid opportunities.

3) Connect immediately with a Counselor / Advisor

Ensure students understand their curriculum, courses, and expectations. You don't want to sign-up for and take classes you don't need. Additionally, understand how many credits impact your financial aid.

4) Campus Banking

Opening a bank account that partners with the institution to avoid fees. (Campus Checking Account)

Anything Else?

Shopping: Remember to always carry your student ID card. Most stores will give a 10 % discount if the student uses their school id.

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