Money-Saving Lifehacks for College Students Scholarship Contest (Spring 2020)

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College is a difficult transition for many students. College itself is expensive and student loan debt in the United States has ballooned to over 1.6 trillion dollars.

To make matters more difficult, this is often the first time in a student’s life that they are in charge of their personal finances. Many businesses and institutions target students who receive grants and scholarships for profiteering. With high school curriculum more focused on business practices and the stock market than personal finance, college students often lose a lot of the money they set aside for college on unnecessary expenses.

We’d like to help students by making a list of life-hacks and money-saving tricks to get the most out of the money set aside for college. The student who gives the most helpful advice will receive a $500 scholarship!

Scholarship Details

Write a short essay or list of tricks you’ve used or have heard from others to save money on college. These can be anything from ways to save money on textbooks, living expenses, dining, transportation, events, or anything else you can think of. The short essay should be around 300 words, but the word count can be more or less, we are more concerned about delivering helpful information to students!

Our favorite tips will be featured on (with students’ permission) and the student who writes our favorite money-saving tips will receive a $500 scholarship! The deadline for the scholarship is December 31st, 2019.

Scholarship Eligibility

This scholarship is open to candidates from the U.S. only. To qualify, you must be a current student or planning to enroll in higher education for the Spring semester:

  • Graduating high school senior with college acceptance
  • Current undergraduate student
  • Current graduate student

Please email your college savings tips and information to and include the following information:

  • Name
  • School you’re attending/have been accepted to attend
  • Major/planned major
  • Expected graduation date
  • Phone number
  • Email address

Sample Entry

Tips for Saving Money on Textbooks

Every semester, millions of students around the country spend way more money than necessary on textbooks. Many textbook publishers make minor updates to their books every year so they can release them as new editions. This keeps the cost of new books high while driving demand for the old editions down. These older editions of textbooks often work fine for your class since they are mostly the same book as the newer version. Before buying a new edition of a textbook, look for deals on older versions and ask your professor if those previous editions will work in their class. This won’t always work because some classes are more textbook oriented than others and will require the latest edition, but it never hurts to ask!

Another way to save money on textbooks and other required reading is to see if you can find a digital copy online. Usually, these digital copies are significantly less expensive than the printed book, and in some cases, are even free! Many of these books come in PDF format so you can view them on your laptop, tablet, or even your phone! Most professors these days try to help save their students save as much money as possible on books, so if you find a great deal on a digital textbook, let your professor know. They might give you some extra credit!

If you are taking classes with friends, you probably won’t all need your own copy of the textbook or required reading. Whether or not you can get away with this will depend on how your class is structured, so contact your professor before divvying up who buys which book. If it is allowed, this can save you and your friends a lot of money (some textbooks are over $300!). This strategy works best when you and your friends set aside time during the week to study together. If you have a lot of required reading to do in a week or if you won’t be able to meet up with your friends for a study session, keep in mind that most universities give students between $10 and $20 for printing at the university library. You can scan the pages your group needs to read and print or save them digitally. This also helps if you are reading passages from the book in class.

Additional Information

Privacy Policy

All of the student applicants’ information will be kept confidential. The only information that will be released is the name of the winner and which school they are attending along with their money-saving tips.

If you would like any additional information about this scholarship contest, please send an email to


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June 11, 2019

Tim Youngblood

Tim helps maintain After spending years as a starving student, he’s developed a passion for helping people save money.

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