Coming home everyday should feel like drinking a nice hot beverage on a winter’s day, or seeing a rainbow after a summer storm. A sense of comfort and security that follows you when you step through your door. You should never feel stressed at home, but sometimes the underlying knowledge of how much money you are spending to live in your home can be nerve-racking. How about we try and alleviate some of that pressure? Let’s dive into the world of student loans for living expenses, and help YOU breathe easier.
According to CollegeBoard researchers, the average cost of your room and board can range anywhere between $9,000 and $15,000 dollars depending on many different factors in choosing your future school. Deciding on the location of the college, the years of schooling for your chosen education, public or private universities, and other determinants can change your living expenses considerably. So how exactly can you save the most while studying for your future? Let us break down student loans for living expenses and other cost efficient ways to aid your well earned education.
Today we will learn about:
- How living prices differ in college life
- Utilizing and understanding student loans for living expenses
- Resources for you to make the most of your money
There are many elements that can impact how expensive college life can be. It can sometimes feel like you're doing the same math problem over and over, but learning the landscape can help you!
College Living Expenses Galore! How Do They Differ?
Any prospecting college student knows that searching for your future school is a stressful task. Filled with countless hours of research asking the question of “what school is right for me?” Weighing the pros and cons of each school solely based on tuition and not learning about all of the other aspects like living expenses is counter productive. So let’s make our own guide based on some questions you may have about college living expenses!
- What all is considered under “college living expenses”?
- Well, your living expenses are everything you need to live in a comfortable/healthy way, including but not limited to: food and drink, technology, school supplies, clothing, furniture for your home, and other essential utensils for everyday life.
- Private vs. Public Universities: What option is better for you?
- It’s not surprising that private universities are more costly overall to students. Not even including tuition, the average price for living expenses at private vs. public colleges can be thousands of dollars. If you are looking to save money, researching the average costs of student spending can be important.
- Off campus or on campus, what’s the difference?
- There are many benefits to both living on campus and living off. Some colleges require you to live on campus for at least your first year. The cost can also change depending on where you go to school. If you decide on going to college in California or New York, your living expenses will be a lot more than going to school in Wyoming or Utah.
- So how does off campus and on campus differ? Let’s talk about the pros and cons to each:
Pros to on campus living:
- Across the board pricing, the price you pay for your room encompasses wifi, electricity, water, and laundry.
- Services provided, while living on campus you can utilize what the college has to offer, like gyms, libraries, cafés, and other recreational facilities.
- Easy accessibility to meeting new people and transportation, as you will be with the majority of the student body on campus, it’s easy to make new friends. Also living on campus, you don’t need to worry about traveling to your classes everyday.
Cons to on campus living:
- Lack of privacy, whether it be a roommate or general noise from being mixed in with other students. Adding too, possibly shared bathroom spaces, can cause some prospective anxious students to shy away from dorm living.
- It’s not shocking to note that small spaces are a big part of on campus living. With the lack of privacy and the lack of space, it can make certain students feel even more claustrophobic.
Pros to off campus living:
- Larger spaces including your own bedroom, kitchenette, private bathroom, and just generally more space, is a nice thing to come home to after a long day of classes.
- A space for you, all year round! If you’re on campus, you don’t have a place for when school is no longer in session during summer. Having your own home can allow for less stress moving in and out of your dorm throughout the year.
- A roommate of your choice! To save money and avoid having to be paired up with someone you don’t know through dorm living, you can have a friend as a roommate if you choose to stay off campus!
Cons to off campus living:
- Added expenses, living off campus doesn’t cover wifi, electricity, water, laundry, and other independent costs that come with having your own place.
- It’s harder to meet new people when living off campus, and you might want to expand your social circles when going to college for the first time.
- Transportation costs may also be included if you live a distance away from your school and need to travel back and forth everyday.
- Now according to debt.org, the average pricing for on campus living is around $987 a month for public schools and $1,121 a month at private schools. While off campus living is $895 a month, not including furniture and other essentials you’ll want in your home.
All in all, college living expenses are a big weight to add onto an already stressed possible student. They are the second leading cost in a college student’s budget. Therefore finding student loans for living expenses could be a huge help to alleviate that pressure. Let’s investigate those student loans and how they can assist you!
Getting insight into student loans for living expenses can save future students a good portion of money and help them feel better about applying to schools.
Understanding Student Loans For Living Expenses
The world of student loans is a tricky landscape, with many options and so many different avenues for help, it can feel like a never ending cycle. Luckily we are here to break down the complicated and give you the understanding you need to unlock student loans for living expenses.
You may be asking yourself, can I even use my student loans to help cover my college living expenses? To answer that, yes you can, but there are limitations as with any government program. First learning about financial aid is important in any research regarding the student loan journey. Then understanding what you can and can’t use your student loans for concerning living expenses is a good next step!
- As said before, living expenses cover a lot of things, but what can you use student loans for and what could cause you to get in trouble if you use them incorrectly?
- Student loans for living expenses can cover:
- Rent, utilities, household essentials, personal care items, medicine, bus/train tickets, groceries, and other fees that would be specified in the student loan provider’s regulations.
- Student loans for living expenses can’t cover:
- Home purchases/down payments on a new house, dining out, buying your own car, gaming systems or fun electronic purchases, vacations, or other fees also specified by the provider’s regulations.
So now that you have a small breakdown on what student loans for living expenses can cover for you, how do you get started on getting those loans?
One word. FAFSA.
If you are a potential college student you would have heard this word before, it’s ingrained in every student’s mind as a big part of the college process. Applying for a FAFSA is the first step to getting financial aid. There are many tips and tricks when it comes to applying for your FAFSA and you can find out more with this helpful guide here.
After completing your FAFSA and taking the time to see where you can put your money and how much you can use for your living expenses, you can then see what options are right for you moving forward with choosing how you want to live during your time in school.
No matter the route you take, it’s important to remember that accepting help and taking the amount of time you need is most important when it comes to college.
Resources For You To Make The Most Of Your Money!
Any student going into college has a goal to make the most of their money and breathe easier while taking classes that will help further their chosen career. Looking into as many avenues as possible with reputable sources is a great start. Learning ways to successfully pay off college and exploring different options to help with living expenses is like what was said before, key.
There are however alternatives to using student loans for living expenses!
- Scholarships and grants are a celebrated way to help pay for those expenses. When filling out your FAFSA, you might be eligible for scholarships that are given out by schools or federal grants. Also looking into private grants and scholarships by online research is always a good idea to help you save!
- Working a job during or before college to save up money is an option, and you should never feel bad about taking some time to work before you go to college, future you will thank you!
- If applicable, living at home is a major way to save money, also renting your textbooks or carpooling with a friend are all small ways that can add up to a big difference later on.
Do The Best For YOU! Take Time To Research!
At the end of the day, doing what’s best for you is important when it comes to your own college career. Take the steps that you think might be best for you, make sure to do your research, and remember to breathe, the path of college is a tough journey. However, if you take your time and plan your path, it will get just a little easier.