Campus perks: How much can they really save you?

A woman swims in a pool.

Score major savings by taking advantage of perks offered just for students.

Life as a college student comes with plenty of perks. From services to help with studying to fun school-sponsored activities, there are a ton of free (or cost-efficient) resources that you may not be aware of. Be sure to take advantage of these perks while you still have them!

Cost-efficient study support

Some of the best perks you can get on campus are the ones that will help you succeed as a student. Many universities have a Learning Center, Writing Center, and a Career Center, which are all typically free to students. Use these campus services, available at most colleges, to give yourself every advantage possible.

Campus services:

  • Private academic advising
  • Private tutoring
  • Writing center: For editing/proofreading essays
  • Career services: For resume reviews, networking help, and general career counseling
  • The library: For digital resources, paid subscriptions to journals and magazines, books, and much more
  • Technical and lab equipment
  • Free or discounted printing

Day-to-day savings

In the real world, most people have to pay to do their own laundry. Not to mention gym memberships, which can be pricey. What a bummer! Here are some perks you can take advantage of every day, both on campus and as a student in general:

  • Free or inexpensive laundry machine use
  • Campus gym (often with fitness classes!)
  • Discounted health care and certain health center freebies
  • Major discounts with student ID on everything from opening checking accounts to restaurants to insurance companies
  • On-campus mental health counseling services
  • Free or discounted airport transportation or shuttles to other attractions or campuses nearby

Affordable entertainment

Entertainment can be a budget-busting item. What’s a great way to save? Participate in events going on around campus. Look for free entertainment that your school is sponsoring — your Student Life department is a great place to start. Here are some events to look out for:

  • Free movie nights
  • School-sponsored theater performances, concerts, or stand-up comedians
  • Free or discounted tickets to sporting events
  • On-campus speakers
  • Philanthropy events (24-hour danceathons, charity 5ks, and more)
  • Intramural sports leagues: Fun to watch and even more fun to play in, and participants often get a free t-shirt!
  • Discounts or free passes to local activities (ski slopes, museums, and more)

A week of savings

How much could you save in an average week by using on-campus perks? Here are some examples.

Task Average on-campus cost Average off-campus cost Savings
Monday: Fitness — let’s hit a spin class! Free gym use for students, including classes. Spin studios charge an average of $20 per class — and in some cities, more! $20
Tuesday: Preparation for your big chemistry test with a tutor. Visit your campus Learning Center and get a free tutoring session. A private tutor off-campus will set you back at least $30 per hour. $30
Wednesday: Print handouts for an upcoming group presentation. Free printing at the library (if not, printing for students is inexpensive, likely 5 cents per page, or $5 for 100 pages). Outside of school, printing services start at 10 cents a page, so $10 for your flyers. $5
Thursday: Get resume help for your internship applications. The university’s Career Services Center is a helpful — and free — resource. Career counseling services typically start at $75 per hour-long session. $75
Friday: Watch a movie. School-sponsored movie night on the quad: free (and free popcorn too!) Average movie ticket price is $8.65 —without snacks. $8.65
Saturday: Go to your school’s football game. Many schools offer free student tickets to athletic events (or, student season passes at heavily discounted prices — assume no more than $35 a piece). Pricing varies and depends on the school, the game, and the seats. At the nation’s largest football schools, tickets can go for up to $300. At least $50
Sunday: Laundry day: Time to do three loads. Dorm laundry facilities may be free. Some schools charge per use: 50 cents per load is average ($3 for 3 loads of washing and drying). Average cost per load at a laundromat is $3, making your Sunday laundry a total of $9. $6

Though these are just estimates, in just one week, you could save $194.65 by taking advantage of perks on campus. Over a typical 15-week semester, that adds up to almost $3,000 of savings!

Want to read more about building a spending plan in school?

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