Apply for Scholarships Within each college or university there should be a Financial Aid office. The Financial Aid office will have resources on where you can find scholarships and bursaries within your community. Take advantage of these opportunities! There are usually tens of thousands of dollars to be found in scholarships. Typically, all it takes is writing a short essay on why you're deserving of the scholarship (or other such criteria decided by the scholarship fund committee). In some cases, the scholarship fund committee (the person or people who decide who the scholarship goes to, will ask for references so be prepared to provide references from your school or from community leaders who can vouch for your work ethic and work quality).
Find a Part-Time Job in Your Field Interested in finance? Why not try working part-time for your local bank. Interested in the trades? Why not try working as a tradesmen for your local plumber, carpenter or electrician? This will get your foot in the door of your field and in many cases, can be more valuable than the actual formal education in that you're growing your network within the industry first hand. This usually gives students a competitive advantage over their peers in that working in the field part time while obtaining your education can give you introductions to leaders in your field and your potential employer after you graduate!
Utilize LinkedIn - Grow Your Network This brings me to the third step. Utilize LinkedIn and Grow Your Network. My rule of thumb is to meet people in person before adding them to LinkedIn, but a lot of people nowadays add people they don't know. If you opt for the second route, just please do make sure that you give a personalized invite. Meaning to include a personalized electronic greeting to your "add contact". This will give a warm welcome and give the contact an opportunity to get to know you rather than simply clicking "add" and not giving your new contact context as to why you are adding them.
Join a College Professional Network in Your Field Similar to landing a part-time job in your field, join a professional network in your field. You can find out about these by talking to your school's club department or talking to industry professionals as to which best professional networks there are to join in your field, for example: The Business Students' Association, The Trades Association, or the official Accounting Club.
Look for Free Money By free money I mean free merchandise or other opportunities to earn extra income. Oftentimes at student events there are tents and stands that offer free merchandise and in some cases, opportunities to earn money. Seek these out.
Lower Your Expenses - Differentiate Between Needs and Wants Determine what your Needs are vs. Wants. What can you eliminate or decrease in your budget currently? Doing this will ensure your money goes further with each pay check.
Budget, Budget, Budget Of course, things brings us to my last point: budget, budget, budget. Ensure you're tracking your expenditures for the last 3 months and seeing where you spend your money each day of the month, especially tracking any preauthorized payments to ensure you're on-time with the payments as being late or missing payments can negatively impact your credit score.
That's it! 7 Personal Finance Tips for College Students. Hope you enjoyed and if you have any questions at all about more money saving tips while you're in College or University, feel free to reach out to me at FilipinaBudgetGirl@gmail.com.