3 Ways I Make College More Affordable

Christian walks down Rowan Boulevard with two other students

Today we feature junior Communication Studies major and Journalism minor Christian A. Browne, who commutes to Rowan from Sicklerville, NJ (Camden County) and is originally from Philadelphia. Christian transferred to Rowan from Camden County College.

Let’s be honest, college is a huge financial decision. With food, textbooks and parking, there are a bunch of expenses that you may not think about until you become a college student.

Here are 3 tips that I personally follow to make college more affordable.

Commute from home

While a high schooler may dream of being on campus and the adventures that come with it, it might not be the best option for you. While even I was tempted to live on campus myself, everyone who I have ever talked with has said that if they physically could, then they would live at home themselves. I am lucky. I live only 20 minutes away from campus. And after spending two years commuting to my community college, I thought why not continue to do so. The decision has paid off for me as I saved thousands of dollars by commuting to campus. I save a bunch of money while being able to still travel whenever I want to and stay in my comfortable room.

Cook at home, pack snacks!

Ordering out can be so expensive. You’ll often be tempted to go out late or in between classes and spend money on fast food. After a while, it’ll eventually catch up on you, and you’ll look at your bank account wondering why you spent so much money when you could’ve just cooked something at home. Don’t get me wrong, you have to treat yourself at times and try new things too. But nothing is more fun than cooking something fresh at home. Whether it’s homemade pasta or curry fish, there are a lot of ways that you can stretch a buck.

Curry fish with mangoes and carrots
Curry fish with mango and carrots

Rent/buy used books online

The most frustrating thing for me when I first started college was spending money on books. It blew my mind how much just one book could cost. According to The National Association of College Stores, the average college student will spend $655 on textbooks per year. However, these days, there are a bunch of places where you can get books for cheap. Amazon, Chegg, Campus Book Rentals or our on-campus Barnes & Noble are some of the places that I have gone to rent used textbooks for classes. Going this route has saved me so much money. Unless it’s a book that you’ll use in your future career like the AP Stylebook for journalists, save yourself some money and rent your books.

Like what you see?


Story by:
Christian A. Browne, rising senior communication studies major