Whether you’ve just moved into a dorm or into your new studio apartment, maximizing your space should be at the forefront of all your furnishing decisions. Not only can it de-clutter your new home, but there are so many items that have multi-purpose use!

3 Things to Remember

The biggest factor to consider when maximizing your space is your color scheme. Black may be your favorite color (like your soul or whatever) but lighter colors tend to make any space feel airy and open. Add pops of color here and there but keep it at a minimum. Appearing to have a lot of space is critical when you don’t actually have a lot of it.

The second step in de-cluttering your new digs and maximizing your space is getting as much stuff hung up on your walls or even on your ceiling! If you’re not allowed to make holes in your walls, there’s plenty of paint-safe tapes and gummy alternatives – just be careful not to put too much weight on what you’re hanging. When you absolutely can’t hang anything, just think vertical. What can you stack higher instead of laying it out on the floor?

The last thing to consider when furnishing your new apartment is functionality. My absolute favorite is anything that can be folded up and put away when I don’t need it. But aside from that, there are so many products that can double as storage!

Space Saving Products

If you’re anything like me, getting ready is a multi-step journey. The bathroom is easily the first room that gets cluttered, especially if you’ve got roommates.

  1. That cup you store your toothbrush in can be a cesspool of mold and bacteria. Water from your toothbrush drips down into the bottom and unless you dry your toothbrush after every use or clean the cup out regularly, you need another alternative.  I’ll also use this opportunity to shamelessly plug my advocacy for closing the toilet seat cover before you flush. Toilets can project water (and other things) up to 6 feet with every flush so unless you wanna splash everything you own – toothbrush included – with toilet water, you might wanna think twice about using that toilet seat cover. This covered toothbrush holder and toothpaste dispenser keep the germs at bay while saving you counter space. Get it from Amazon for $8.99.
  2. This nail free multi-purpose bathroom caddy has a shelf for your toiletries, hooks for miscellaneous items, and a towel bar. Get it from Amazon for $31.52.
  3. Nothing is worse than opening your sink cabinet and having everything tumble out. This cabinet organizer hangs from your cabinet door and holds all your cleaning supplies or just about anything else. Get it from Amazon for $12.99.
  4. Storing items on your toilet tank is a balancing act – one wrong move and all your stuff topple into the toilet bowl (if you don’t habitually use your toilet seat cover). Gross. This over the toilet organizer gives you peace of mind that you don’t have to go fishing in your toilet. Get it from Amazon for $29.99.

A cluttered bedroom is the beast that can keep you up at night. Is that shadowy figure in the corner of your room a looming monster or your clothes chair spiraling out of control? Did the evil dust bunnies under the bed eat your missing shoe? Is today the day you pass out from the ‘sniff test’?

  1. Never lose another shoe with a hanging shoe organizer. This organizer has 24 pockets, store your shoes individually or double up on flip-flops and sandals. The best thing about these types of organizers is that you don’t necessarily have to use them for shoes. You can use it for your pantry items or even in the bathroom for your toiletries. I personally use the middle row for storing socks – because who wants to dig around a sock drawer for 20 minutes when you’re already running late? Get it from Amazon for $7.87.
  2. Full-length mirrors are a must-have in any closet but having it propped up against a wall isn’t exactly ideal. An over-the-door mirror solves this problem (and gives you the right angle for flattering #mirrorpics). Get it from Target for $14.99.
  3. Okay, so you’ve used your closet door for the optional non-shoe hanging organizer, and the hanging mirror. Where do your shoes go?! Under the bed with the evil dust bunnies. The same rings true with this organizer as the hanging one – you can use it for other stuff too. Personally, I’ve opted for the organizer without dividers so I can use it for storing items that don’t get used every day such as important documents and travelling gear. Get the divided organizer from Amazon for $10.99 and the undivided organizer also from Amazon for $9.02.
  4. Get rid of that scary clothes chair by having a hanging clothes organizer. Stick this bad boy in your closet so you no longer have an excuse to not study at home and you wont even need an expensive bulky dresser. Get it from Amazon for $6.15.
  5. When you’re living tiny, full-sized furniture isn’t always an option. Hanging shelves are your best friend when it comes to displaying your knick-knacks. Though functional, always keep in mind the total weight your hanging shelves can bear. Get this floating corner shelf from Amazon for $9.89.
  6. For heavy duty bookshelf space, get this floating shelf that can bear up to 18lbs.  from Amazon for $39.65.

Now that your desk chair is newly reformed and useable – make your desk more inviting so you aren’t tempted to always go out to study. Studying at coffee shops and tea bars can put quite a dent in your pocket especially when caffeine is life. 

  1. When you’ve got a tiny desk to begin with, having extra items on your desk can eat up much-needed space for your laptop, notebooks, textbooks, and other study materials. Next thing you know, you’re knocking over that cute ceramic pencil holder, your Starbucks has spilled all over your rental textbook, you’re screaming, your roommate is crying, and everything is on fire. You don’t need that. Instead, hang desk-cluttering items on your wall. Get this hanging pocket organizer from Amazon for $10.99
  2. Keeping your notes organized can be such a challenge and finding notes can be an even harder feat. Get it together with this hanging file organizer. Get it from Amazon for $9.24.

 

There are so many great space saving storage solutions on the market and many items on this list can be easily found at your local shops for a cheaper price. Don’t let tiny living be cramped living!

*Amazon prices subject to change from the initial publication of this post

 

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Downloading the right apps can be a hassle and a trial-and-error process. Our staff has curated a list of 45 apps for college students so you don’t have to waste hours browsing, reading reviews, and downloading (and inevitably uninstalling cruddy apps).

Study Tools

  • Quizlet – free with paid upgrade option
    • Every college student knows about Quizlet, but did you know that there’s an app for that?! The Quizlet app provides you with the information you need right when you need it.  The app is free, but you can upgrade to Quizlet Plus for only $1.99/mo ($23.88/yr) or you and your study buddies can apply for a group upgrade and get up to 20% off the total amount!  
  • Khan Academy – free
    • a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide a free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere. The app is free and offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard so that you may study at your own pace.
  • StudyBlue free
    • Are you a fan of flash cards when it comes to studying? Then StudyBlue is just for you! A study library, with over 400 million flashcards, notes and study guides from students like you. You can also create your own flashcards and quizzes, so you can have your study material at your fingertips!
  • Focus Keeper – free with paid upgrade option
    • Is procrastination your best friend? With Focus Keeper you can stay focused on the task at hand. You can set a timer so that you may take breaks throughout your study time and not be fatigued from studying too much. You can track your progress and set daily goals. Its free to download and you can upgrade for Pomodoro Keeper Pro for $1.99.
  • Forest – $1.99
    • Want to feel even more satisfied about staying focused? Then use the Forest app to stay focused. This app uses the Pomodoro technique that helps you grow trees and eventually forests on the app. The more you study, the more lush your trees grow. As soon as you leave the app because of temptation then the tree withers and will eventually die. The app keeps track of your progress and also lets you set goals. It is $1.99 to download and there are in app purchases to help your trees grow.

Storage

  • Dropbox – free with paid upgrade option
    • Dropbox is  file hosting service that provides the best package rates for the most storage space.
    • Basic – 2 GB – Free
    • Plus – 1 TB – $8.25/mo
    • Professional – 2 TB –  $16.58/user/mo
    • Advanced – as much space as needed – $20/user/mo
  • OneDrive – free with paid upgrade option
    • OneDrive is a file hosting service provided by Microsoft, which is why the last two OneDrive packages come with Office 365. Whether you’re just looking for storage or looking to download the whole Microsoft suite, head on over to their website or download the app on Google Play or the App Store and create an account with 5GB of storage for free.
    • Basic – 5 GB – Free
    • OneDrive 50 – 50 GB – $1.99/mo
    • Office 365 Personal – 1 TB – $69.99/yr
    • Office 365 Home – 5 TB – $99.99/yr
  • Google Drive – free with paid upgrade option
    • Every Gmail account has access to a plethora of Google Suite apps – including Google Drive. Google Drive is a file hosting service that can store up to 15 GB of data for FREE.
    • 100 GB – $1.99/mo OR $19.99/yr
    • 1 TB – $9.99/mo OR $99.99/yr
    • 2 TB – $19.99/mo
    • 10 TB – $99.99/mo
    • 20 TB – $199.99/mo
    • 30 TB – $299.99/mo

Learning New Things

  • Duolingo – free
    • Practice your speaking, reading, listening and writing skills while playing a game! You’ll improve your vocabulary and grammar skills by answering questions and completing lessons. Start with basic verbs, phrases, and sentences, and learn new words daily.
  • Py – free  
    • Teaches you the basics of coding. Free courses in Swift, Python, Javascript, HTML/CSS, Data Science and more.
  • TED – free
    • Explore more than 3,000 TED Talks from remarkable people, by topic and mood, from tech and science to the surprises of your own psychology.
  • Memrise –  free with paid upgrade option
    • Entertainment mixed with real-life, relevant content is at the very core of the Memrise foreign language learning experience. Learn words and  grammar skills and become fluent in Japanese, Spanish, French & more!
    • free 7 day trial of Memrise Pro
    • $9/mo
    • $6.33/mo for 3 months
    • $4.92/mo for 12 months
    • $129 for lifetime Memrise Pro
  • Orphic – free
    • helps you expand your vocabulary with cool and fascinating new words to learn. Orphic provides you with a long list of cool words found in various languages, especially English.
  • Periodic Table – free
    • Anyone can learn about the wonderous world of chemistry. With this free app, you can learn different features about the elements in the periodic table. It includes podcasts, videos and how its used in everyday life.

Books, References & Homework Help

  • Oxford Dictionary of English – free
    • A pocket dictionary.  Stay up-to-date with the very latest words and expressions, brought to you by the most recent 2017 database update by the Oxford University Press.
  • Hoopla Digital – free
    • Borrow eBooks, audiobooks, comics, music, movies, & TV, FREE with a library card.
  • Free Audiobooks – free
    • Listen to a collection of audiobooks for free.
  • Mathway – free with paid upgrade option
    • This app (and website) helps you answer basic math questions. Just plug in the equation and get an answer!
    • $19.99/mo
    • $79.99/year
  • Photomath– free
    • Ever struggled with a math problem and wasn’t sure how to solve it? Photomath can help you solve problems by just taking a picture of the math problem. Not only does it give you the answer, but it also demonstrates on how to solve the problem step-by-step so that you’re learning as you’re going.

Proofreading and Editing

  • Grammarly – free with paid upgrade option
    • Easily improve your essays by eliminating grammar errors with this browser extension. Visit the Grammarly website and follow the prompts for installing the browser add-on. The best thing about Grammarly is that the basic package completely free! But if you’d like more more features, you can update your package to premium.
    • The best thing about Grammarly is that they also offer Grammarly Keyboard for your phone so you can make sure your texts, posts, and captions are mistake-free! Simply download the app from Google Play or the App Store.
  • Citation Maker –  free
    • Don’t get overwhelmed with your citations anymore! Create citations for books, journals, websites, or videos in MLA or APA with this easy to use app.

Planners and Notes

  • Timetable – free with paid upgrade option
    • Organize your class schedule with Timetable. Once you add in the information for the class, the app easily organizes your classes in chronological order. You can then add in homework for each class, which you can set reminders for. The app is free to download and then you can upgrade to Pro for .99 cents.
  • Trello – free with paid upgrade option
    • Have you ever caught yourself sucked into the realm of Pinterest? Well now you can indulge without feeling guilty. Trello helps you organize your thoughts and tasks in the same way. You can create boards for different projects, upload pictures and videos, attach files, work offline and even organize your calendar. You can also share with whomever you choose or keep it private. This app is free to download but you can upgrade to Trello Gold for $4.99/mo or $44.99/yr.
  • Evernote – free with paid upgrade option
    • Sometimes built-in apps just don’t cut it – whether you have a flagship phone or not. Most smart phones come with some type of note app, but sometimes it could be clunky or disorganized. With Evernote, you can get organized by creating notebooks and organizing everything you could possibly need to write down! Evernote has three levels, Basic (which is free), Plus ($2.92/mo), and Premium ($5.83/mo). You can check out their package features on their website or download the app for free on Google Play or the App Store.
  • OneNote – free
    • Getting organized is easy with OneNote. You can write down notes or even plan the party of the year. You can do anything with this app including securing your notes with a password.
  • Diaro – free with paid upgrade option
    • Diaro is a multi-platform diary app, designed to record your activities, daily events, appointments, experiences, thoughts, secrets and ideas throughout the day and sync data across all your devices. It helps you organize your daily diary/journal entries or notes from the past in the easiest way.
  • Google Keep free
    • This app takes notetaking to the next level. Not only can you take notes in any format that you want, but you can also incorporate pictures, have voice notes transcribed and share with your friends, family and classmates. You can keep track of the notes wherever you go,either it be one your computer or your phone.
  • myHomework Student Planner – free with paid upgrade option
    • This app is not just another planner app. You can track all your classes and assignments that organizes into a calendar so that you see what you have on future dates. Not only that, you can download the class information, assignments and files from their Teachers.io class. If that isn’t enough, you can also customize the appearance so it can be more aesthetically pleasing to the eye. (additional fees may apply) You can upgrade for $4.99.
  • Smiling Mind – free
    • School can be very stressful, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take a break. With Smiling Mind you can check in with yourself and your emotions, take timed meditations to keep your mind healthy and refreshed for when you’re ready to go back to the work at hand.

Office Needs

  • Tiny Scanner – free with paid upgrade option
    • Tiny Scanner turns your phone into a portable scanner. Scan any document and save them on your phone either as images or PDFs. The app is free but you can upgrade to Tiny Scanner+ for only $4.99.
  • CamScanner
    • Don’t have a scanner in your backpack? Well you do now with CamScanner. The app automatically takes a high-resolution picture and you are able to edit the image at your fingertips. The app is free to download, but there’s an upgrade for only $4.99 ($6.99/mo for business).
  • Office Lens – free
    • Office Lens will create PDF files of any picture that you take, which includes taking pictures of whiteboards and blackboards or any handwritten notes that you have. This app also creates editable Word documents, if needed and keeps everything organized at your fingertips. You can save the files to OneNote, OneDrive or any storage you prefer. The best thing about this app is that its totally free.
  • Google Suite – free
    • Drive – storage
    • Docs – word document
    • Sheets – spreadsheet
    • Slides – presentation slides
  • Microsoft Suite – prices vary depending on package
    • Word
    • Excel
    • PowerPoint

Rewards

  • Pocket Points – free
    • This app rewards you for staying off your phone in class. When your phone is locked, you rack up points that are redeemable for free or discounted items at local shops.
  • RetailMeNot – free  
    • A collection of updated coupons and discounts in your local or online stores.
  • Groupon – free
    • Save everyday on thousands of things to do, see, try & buy. Download the Groupon app and save up to 70% on the things you need everyday. Find great deals on all the best stuff to eat, see, and do near you and around the world.

Job Help

  • LinkedIn – free with paid upgrade option
    • basically Facebook for professionals. Its a social network specifically designed for career and business professionals to connect.
  • Glassdoor
    • Search millions of jobs and access employee reviews, personalized salary tools, and much more.
  • Ziprecruiter
    • Need a recruiter to assist you in the job hunting? Ziprecruiter is just for you! You will get notifications via email or text message for jobs that match your resume and whether the hiring manager has viewed your submitted job application.
  • Indeed
    • Find jobs hiring near you and apply with just one click!
  • Snagajob
    • An online employment website specializing in the hourly marketplace.
  • Real Talk
    • Ever wonder if you’re picking the right career path? With Real Talk you can chat with real people that are in the career that you are pursuing.

Design

  • Canvafree with paid upgrade option
    • Create beautiful designs and professional graphics with Canva. Whether it’s a photo editor, pic collage, logo, invitation or poster maker you’re looking for — Canva makes graphic design easy.
  • Adobe Spark Post – free with paid upgrade option
    • Turn your text and photo into a professional-looking graphic by simply applying your favorite theme. With Spark Post you don’t need design experience to create beautiful images.

Used textbooks are a great choice for students looking to save money on their path to graduation and finding a great job! Here are a few reasons why used textbooks are so great:cash-coins-money-259165

Cheaper option: Used books are almost always cheaper than new books! Aside from regular wear and tear from being used by other students, there are no content differences between a new book and a used book.

More books in the market: There are way more used books in the textbook market than new books, which makes finding a great deal on the book you need easier, faster, and cheaper.

Can help save time with studying: A pre-highlighted word here and a pre-underlined word there might just make the important information stand out easier!

Won’t affect your buyback price: If you plan on selling your book at the end of the semester, you might as well purchase a used book. Normally, bookstores will buy books at the same price, even if you bought it new. The only time the price may change is if there’s minor damage on the book and the bookstore isn’t willing to pay the full price.

Lower Negative Environmental Impact: Everyone loves the smell of new books; the paper, the ink – and maybe even the glue…but it’s no doubt that mass production of books and paper products require a lot of lost trees. When you purchase a used book, it’s just like reducing, reusing, and recycling!

We all know college textbooks are expensive, but why is that the case? Here are a few reasons for the growing textbook costs we see today:

Publishers only make money when new books are sold

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Publishers create the textbooks and make money based on how many new books are produced and sold. Because of this, they want to see more new books bought and fewer used books bought.

“Since the publishers don’t make any money off used-book sales, their business model is to make the old editions obsolete and force you to buy a new book.” (NY Post)

There are a few different tactics we have seen publishers use to try to sell more new books:

Marketing new editions of textbooks to professors. Marketing reps are trained to hook your professor into selecting a new edition of a textbook without really mentioning the price of the book. These new editions often contain only minor content changes. As soon as the new edition is selected by the professor, the old edition often is useless for their class.

Creating custom editions. Publishers will create university specific book editions (custom editions) with no named authors, which makes it hard for students to find cheaper alternatives. These editions also frequently are minor revisions, with some being a simple of a difference as a different title page in the book. It is basically impossible to tell the difference between a custom edition of a book and the edition of the book that it is based on without purchasing copies of both and comparing them.

Packaging books with access cards. Due to increased use of online homework programs that require access cards, there have been increased amounts of textbooks being bundled with the access card. This makes getting all the materials you need for your class very easy, but it often comes at a high price. These access cards can often be purchased individually from the publisher for a lower price than the package, but it is difficult to identify exactly what access card you need for your class. Because of the difficulty of this process, many students will choose to just buy the package and spend more than they should.

Textbooks are chosen by people who aren’t paying for them

The process of choosing what textbook is used for a class is part of what drives textbook prices up. Textbooks are typically chosen for a class by the professor who is teaching the class. These professors are visited by publishers who try to convince the professor to use their book. The professor evaluates their different options and selects a book that is best suited for their class.

So what is the problem with this? The textbook is selected by someone who won’t have to pay for it. When evaluating which textbook to choose, many professors do not consider the price of the book and what impact it will have on their students. Because they will not be paying for the book, there is little incentive for professors to include price in their ultimate textbook decision.

Lack of Competition

There’s just not that many publishers! The textbook market is dominated by five major players, and none of them are willing to make room for small publishers with better prices. These major publishing companies are able to hike up new textbook prices without fear of market competitors.

“According to the National Association of College Stores, more than 77 cents of every dollar spent on textbooks go to publishers. Of those 77 cents, the publishing company makes about 18 cents in pure profit, while spending 15 cents on marketing, and roughly 32 percent to cover costs (paper, printing, employee salaries, etc). At the same time, the author – the person who dedicated hundreds of hours of research to write the book – only gets about 12 cents on the dollar on average.” (Business Insider)


References:

  1. https://nypost.com/2015/09/05/heres-the-reason-why-your-college-textbooks-are-so-expensive/
  2. http://www.businessinsider.com/why-are-college-textbooks-so-costly-2015-8

While searching for your textbooks, you may be wondering whether you should rent or buy your textbooks. The short answer is it depends on the book! Here are a few tips to help decided if you want to rent or buy your textbook:

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  • Expect to save 50%-90% off the new price of a book.
  • Allows you to pay less money today than buying books.
  • Great for textbooks you’re not sure you’ll want to keep, especially classes outside your major or introductory classes.
  • Reduces stress and risk of selling your book at the end of the semester.

Buying:

  • Great for novels and books that you’ll want to keep, especially books in your field of focus.
  • Able to try to sell the book for cash at the end of the semester.
  • No risk of being charged a fee if the book gets lost or damaged.

Ultimately, the better option depends on your situation. If you are having trouble making a decision on whether to rent or buy, just ask us! We will be more than happy to help you make a good decision that fits your needs!

Check out an earlier blog post to see Four Tips For Getting Cheap Textbooks.

College is expensive, but there are millions of dollars of scholarship money that gets left unclaimed every year! We thought you may want additional information about some scholarships you can apply to right now to save you money.

Opportunity Scholarship

  • Opportunity Scholarship is for students that want to enroll into colleges but are either not given the funds by the government or are in a “locked out state” ‘which is when the university wants to charge an out of state fee.
  • Provided by: The DREAM.US
  • Eligibility: Current student at an accredited two-year program or an accredited U.S. community college. Have an average GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Have not been enrolled in a four -year institution, but intend to enroll in the future to a bachelor program. Have DACA or TPS. Came to the U.S. before your sixteenth birthday.
  • Application Deadline: November 1, 2018
  • Apply Now: http://www.thedream.us/scholarships/national-scholarship/

AXA Achievement Scholarship

  • The AXA Foundation thrives in helping people and students who have volunteered in their communities to succeed in getting higher education. They do this by offering a scholarship of $2,500, $10,000 or $25,000. The foundation will also donate $1,000 to the scholar’s school.
  • Provided by: AXA Foundation
  • Eligibility: United States citizens or claim residency in 50 united states including Washington, D.C. or Puerto Rico and legal residents. The scholar must also demonstrate achievements that emphasize the way that they empowered a low-income or at risk environment.
  • Application Deadline: Will be announced in September 2018
  • Apply Now: https://us.axa.com/axa-foundation/AXA-achievement-scholarship.html

Undergraduate Scholarship Program

  • The Undergraduate Scholarship Program, funded by the Central Intelligence Agency, is a very competitive program where students will learn skills that are relevant to their degree. The scholar will work full-time with the CIA during the summer, and the scholarship will be awarded per calendar year for tuition that will assist up to $18,000. Not only will the recipient receive pay for their work and the scholarship but other benefits such as health insurance, allowance for daily meals, federal retirement plans will be provided.
  • Provided by: Central Intelligence Agency
  • Eligibility: GPA of 3.0 or higher, 1000 SAT score or higher, 21 ACT score. Acceptance to a four or five -year college and be a enrolled full-time. Availability to work at least two 90-day summers for the CIA.
  • Application Deadline: July 31, 2018
  • Apply Now: https://www.cia.gov/careers/student-opportunities/undergraduate-scholarship-program.html

HACU Scholarship Program

  • HACU represents more than 470 colleges and universities committed to Hispanic higher education success in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Latin America, and Spain. Although their member institutions in the U.S. represent only 13% of all higher education institutions nationwide, together they are home to two-thirds of all Hispanic college students. HACU is the only national educational association that represents Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs).
  • Provided by: HACU
  • Eligibility:
    • Demonstrate financial need if required by scholarship sponsor (typically determined by FAFSA).
    • Meet specific criteria for the scholarships to which they are applying.
    • Students must currently attend a HACU-member college or university in the U.S. or Puerto Rico at the time applications are completed and scholarship awards are made. For students transferring schools, the school must also be a HACU member to be eligible to apply.
    • Scholarships are ONLY for enrolled college students. All students must have completed their first semester of freshman year at the time of applying.
  • Application Deadline: TBD
  • Apply now:

Golden Door Scholars Program

  • Golden Door Scholars provides scholarships for DACA students and scholarships for undocumented students. There is no federal law that prohibits the admission of undocumented immigrants to U.S. colleges, public or private. However, there are certain obstacles that stand in the way of these students’ path to higher education. This program covers whatever it is the students cannot pay of their tuition.
  • Provided by: Numerous supporters such as Wells Fargo, Red Ventures, etc.
  • Eligibility:
    • DACA qualified
    • Lives in a state that doesn’t allow in-state tuition for DACA students
    • High GPA
    • Taking advanced or challenging high school classes
    • Driven to excel and help others succeed too
    • Has held leadership positions or is involved in the community
    • Has applied for a variety of scholarships
    • Recent high school graduates, currently enrolled undergrad, and transfer students are also welcome to apply.
  • Application Deadline: TBD
  • Apply now:

Live Más Scholarship

  • In 2015, Taco Bell Foundation launched the Live Más Scholarship, a program aimed at empowering the nation’s next generation of dreamers, innovators and creators – those whose passions don’t fall into the conventional “academic” or athletic” qualifying categories of traditional scholarship programs.
  • How to enter: Submit a video (2 minutes of less) that tells the story of your life’s passion.
  • Provided by: Taco Bell
  • Eligibility:
    • You must be a legal resident of the United States, between 16 years of age and 24 years of age, located in the United States or D.C. and on track to apply for or currently enrolled in an accredited post-high school/post-secondary educational program (including accredited two-and four-year colleges, universities, vocational-technical and trade schools).
    • You’ll have to identify the specific secondary education program, college or certificate/degree option you want to get into, or for which you will need funds.
    • If you are a minor, you’ll need written consent from a parent or legal guardian to participate.
  • Application Deadline: Opens January, closes in March
  • Apply now: Application opens in January

Scholarship America Dream Award

  • Too often, student scholarship support dries up after freshman year. Scholarship America Dream Award is a renewable scholarship fund for students in their sophomore year and beyond — with growing, renewable awards that help ensure talented students can afford to complete the degree programs they’ve started. Scholarship America provides Dream Awards ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 based on the individual student’s financial need. Each student’s award will increase by $1,000 each year to help them successfully finish school and earn their degrees.
  • Provided by: Scholarship America
  • Eligibility:
    • Be at least 17 years of age. Be U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents (holders of a Permanent Resident card), or individuals granted deferred action status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA).
    • Have received a high school diploma or the equivalent from a U.S. school by September 2018.
    • Have completed or expect to successfully complete a minimum of one full year of postsecondary education by June 2019.
    • Plan to enroll in full-time undergraduate study at the sophomore year level or higher at an accredited two- or four-year college, university or vocational-technical school in the United States for the entire 2019-20 academic year.
    • Be studying to obtain an associate’s or first bachelor’s degree.
    • Have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (or its equivalent).
    • Demonstrate financial need.
  • Application Deadline: TBD
  • Apply now: Applications open in August

Future is Female Scholarship

  • True&Co believes in supporting women as they pursue the educational course of their choice — whether it’s in coding, design, marketing, research, film, or beyond. They seek to help passionate, motivated women become the future trailblazers of tomorrow. They require 4 short  essays (minimum of 200 words) to win a $3000 scholarship for the educational course of your choice. The winner will receive $3000 dollars towards the course of her choice, $300 of True&Co. Products, and a full feature and interview on the True&Co. Journal.
  • Provided by: True&Co
  • Eligibility:
    • Be enrolling in/enrolled in/have graduated college with a 3.0 GPA or above.
    • Winner will be required to submit transcripts and enrollment or offer letter.
    • Be an American Citizen/Resident.
  • Application Deadline: June 29th 2018.
  • Apply now:

You can find a scholarship for practically anything! No effort is wasted effort. To be able to score a scholarship, make sure that you are applying to as many as possible.  Good luck!

To find more scholarships, you can use the following websites:

Blog - Books

Looking for ideas on how to save money on your textbooks? Here are some helpful tips!

  • Buy or rent used books!
    • Buying a used book is assuredly cheaper than buying a new book. And aside from regular wear and tear from being used by other students, there are no content differences between a new book and a used book.
    • Renting a used book is even cheaper than buying a used book. When you rent a textbook, you pay a discounted price for the book you need for just the amount of time you need it. There’s nothing worse than buying a book at a high price then trying to sell it afterwards and it isn’t even worth a quarter of the purchasing price. Make sure you gather the right information.
  • Check with your professor if you can purchase or rent an older edition.
    • Sometimes newer editions are almost identical to is predecessor.
    • Almost always, older editions are cheaper than the newer one!
  • Avoid on-campus bookstores!
    • Universities usually contract large companies to set up an on campus bookstore (that pretty much only cares about making more and more profit). Because of this, used book options are usually limited since new books are more profitable.
    • Small independently owned bookstores are in the business to help college students find more affordable options. Independent textbook stores usually sell and rent out used books because it’s the cheapest option available for students.
  • See if you need the bundle or just the book.
    • Sometimes professors will list an ISBN on their syllabus that isn’t quite what you need, because it is for a bundle of materials like access codes or study guides.
    • Individual books have different ISBNs from packages. Do you really need the access code or lab manual? Check with your professor first before purchasing bundles that have unnecessary items.
    • Finding the correct ISBN is the easiest way to find a better deal on your books!