Facebook and Twitter can make the Internet seem more like a time-waster than a productivity tool. But did you know that the Internet can actually help you pay less for college?
Whether you’re a high school senior or a senior in college, money is always the big question. Found that dream school? How are you going to pay for it? Want to study abroad? You’re going to have to make that deposit. Fortunately, Fastweb.com’s free scholarship search service can pair you up with dozens of opportunities to make money. If you like to write, an essay contest could win you the big bucks, but even if you don’t, there are plenty of sweepstakes that require nothing more than filling out an entry form. They also have a college search tool and discussion boards on everything from admission essays to superpowers.
So you win a scholarship that helps out with tuition. But what about books, lab fees, and those oh-so-important late-night ice cream runs? Maybe a job would help. The Internet can also help you there. Take surveys (mysurvey.com or surveyhead.com), write for Associated Content, or tutor younger students on Tutor.com. Probably the one and only office you can go to in your bunny slippers. Your school’s classifieds and Wheresmytutor.com are some other ways to get paired up with jobs in your area.
Stuff for Free or Cheap
How about when the time comes to move off-campus? Finding and furnishing a house or apartment can be intimidating for those with empty pockets. Fear not! Get online! Your local Craigslist.com has it all: housing ads, furniture for sale, even a free section. Check out the “housing” and “for sale” sections. Feeling extra broke? Grassroots movement Freecycle.org is all about turning one person’s trash into another’s treasure. This site may become your best friend if you’re searching for furniture that won’t cost you a cent. They do require you to register, but then you’re set up with a network of free stuff in your area-and you’re keeping the dump clean, too.
These are just a few of the options that are out there. Use Google (my personal favorite) or even the ubiquitous Facebook to find more. One word of caution: make sure the sites you find are legitimate before giving them your information. Read online reviews and ask around for opinions. Then go for it!
Whether you’re looking for a scholarship, a job, or a bunkbed, the Internet can help you make and save money. And you thought it was just a procrastination station.