Surviving Between Financial Aid Disbursements

With more than 65 percent of all undergraduate students receiving some form of financial aid each year, it’s no secret that paying for school for many can be tough.

So how can you survive if you receive only enough financial aid money to cover your tuition, room and board, and maybe 3 loads of laundry?

Here are some tips you may want to consider to get by:

  • Pick Up a Campus Job

Yep, that’s right, many students who receive financial aid find that they may have to pick up a job in order to make ends meet. However, the difference between the regular off-campus job and the on-campus job is that when you work on campus your boss will allow you to make adjustments to accommodate your classes and study time. If you have difficulty making the arrangement you can have your boss help you look over your schedule and choose the work hours that don’t conflict with your studies. You are also able to leave early if you need to prepare for a presentation, you boss will very often be sympathetic to your needs.

The downside to the on-campus job is that it usually pays minimum wage and if you need to work longer hours because you need the money – the hours are not always readily available to you. So if you think you will need more money to survive between financial aid distributions, you may want to consider finding an off-campus job that provides ample flexibility for school.

  • Spread Out Your Financial Aid Funds

If you are able to receives a little bit more in leftover financial aid funds each semester then you might try working out a budget to hold on to them until your next distribution arrives. If you receive leftover distributions in the thousands then you may be tempted to go on a much-desired shopping spree. But if you do this, you may be setting yourself up for some unwanted stress once you’ve realized you don’t have any more money for necessary things. Instead, try mapping out your monthly expenses up to the next semester. This way, you can put your money in the bank and only withdraw what you need on a monthly basis.

  • Keep Your Grades Up

Another option is to maintain good grades so that you qualify for various scholarships. This way, in addition to the financial aid distributions you receive, you can take advantage of additional scholarship funds that you can pocket after all else is paid for. And if you are able to get enough scholarship funds, you won’t have to worry about working at all and just focus on your classes.

Surviving on your own in college is challenging enough without having to worry about finances so it’s good to know there are options out there for you to manage yourself while you’re still in college.