How can i decrease the expenses?

<p>Hello! I have just got admitted to the university of Maine, orono. I got a full tution waiver, but still have to pay around 15k/yr. Do you have any ideas how I can manage to decrease my expenses? the estimated are-</p>

<p>Mandatory Fees $2,224
Room & Board $9,148<br>
Books & Supplies $1,000<br>
Travel (I live in Asia) & Miscellaneous $2,200 </p>

<p>I think I can decrease the books, travel and mics costs. Any more ideas?
Thanks in advance. Great thread.</p>

<p>The only thing you could possibly change is the room and board if cheaper options are available. </p>

<p>The book cost is actually pretty reasonable, but you maybe be able to rent or buy used. I think you may be to save a few $100 if possible. </p>

<p>I think your travel and misc number is actually low. Remember this not only includes travel but personal expenses such as shampoo, cell phone, entertainment, etc. You need to investigate how much a plane ticket cost (to school, back from school and during breaks).</p>

<p>By becoming RA (resident assistant) might save you all the room & board.
See [Resident</a> assistant - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia](<a href=“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resident_assistant#Job_benefits]Resident”>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resident_assistant#Job_benefits)</p>

<p>It is highly unlikely that OP would be able to become a RA this year as a freshman.</p>

<p>Freshman are not eligible at UMaine and competition among upper classmen is fierce for these positions. Not usually an option.</p>

<p>You can request the lowest priced room and board plan, and if there are kitchen facilities, ask to be exempt from the board plan and cook yourself. Once you get to the school, see if cheap housing, room shares are available off campus that can cut the cost below what the university room and board costs are. Maybe you can go off campus second term even if the school has shortages in dorm rooms. It all depends on what the student market is in that area, as to whether that is a cost saving measure.</p>

<p>You look for books used, maybe trying to find others who took the same course the year before or find someone for a book share. Or maybe there is a copy in the library you can use. </p>

<p>For travel, you look for the cheapest fares available. Look into what the rules are about finding work and see if you can find any part time work there.</p>

<p>OP has the cheapest room and board rate listed. There is no option to be exempt from the board plan. Freshman are required to live on-campus and pay room and board unless they are a resident commuter.</p>

<p>$2,200 travel per year to/from Asia is way low to Maine. I’d double that.</p>

<p>I plan to live off campus after the freshman year. That would be very cheap I guess.To minimize the book costs, I plan to spend most of my time in the library or to borrow books from there. And, ya, the travel cost is okay unless I be late to book the tickets. And honestly, I have never seen such high mandatory fees as at Umaine! Thanks everyone! Anyway, do any of you go to Umaine?</p>

<p>I’ve seen fees equal to the amount of tuition. $2k per year is not low. I think may people underestimate the savings of living off campus as well. Rent and food may be cheaper, but add back in transportation, utilities, and sometimes the a chunk of the savings disappears.</p>

<p>How many times per year will you return home? Will you be permitted to stay in the dorm over breaks if you are not able to travel home?</p>

<p>Sent from my DROID RAZR using CC</p>

<p>Look at the fees at the Massachusetts state schools. They exceed tuition. </p>

<p>Though I agree that for many kids, moving off campus may not result in any savings over the school prices, I have seen frugal students, many of them international students, in particular graduate students, live very, very cheaply off campus. There has to be inexpensive housing available near campus, and finding like roommates is a big help. Sharing a bedroom can really bring down the costs; having your own… well, that makes it more challenging. But with a rice cooker, and some good ramen recipes and packing your own lunches and snacks, one can save a lot off of the meal plan.</p>

<p>It’s good to start out in the dorms, IMO, as a freshman, as one can get the lay of the land and get to know others of one’s year before branching out. A lot of schools that have a lot of kids off campus do provide some form of extended campus transportation, and that’s one of the things a student can get to know before embarking on an off campus search for housing.</p>

<p>I would talk to the school about getting off the meal plan and out of housing for the second term, if opportunities arise. Thought the websites and official university stance may be saying one thing, there might be leeway for exceptions. I know a number of kids who were able to appeal such edicts. However, sometimes not. If a school is tight on housing space, they tend to be more lenient in these regards. One of my kid’s school one year was offering “bounty” money for those willing to give up university housing and also the exempt the person from the rule that once you leave university housing, you aren’t allowed to get it again, because they were housing kids in hotels and private apartment buildings as they do guarantee housing to freshmen, even requiring it in most situtuations. That year, anyone wanting out got it. It all depends, and one does have to ask. Also, if a school gets stuck for rooms, they often will gladly take names for volunteers for triples and barracks like quarters at a discount that can amount in some savings. My son got a quad one year, and though the cost was not proportionally less expensive (of course not) it was a couple thousand dollars off the room he would have ordinarily gotten as an upperclassman. It was a transitional room in that that was where the university would place people until a more desirable room opened up. My son stayed in it as there was an “L” formation to the room and he ended up in that part of the “L” and there were never more 2 others in the bigger part of the room which was enormous. He liked “hosting” the transients, so stayed. Made up for his losing his scholarship somewhat.</p>

<p>The Freshman dorms completely close during breaks and there are no exceptions. The savings from living off campus are minimal at Orono since off-campus means you will need a car there. </p>

<p>OP you are greatly underestimating the travel costs. Minimal flights to Bangor and they are very expensive.</p>

<p>You might save some money in total by going to school during the summers and subleasing an apartment for a cheap rate (or getting a cheap year-round off-campus apt.) In that case, you can graduate early. However, that would increase your costs initially.</p>

<p>Many colleges don’t charge you extra for taking one more class a semester. That can allow you to graduate early. However, I wouldn’t try to do it your first semester.</p>

<p>Most colleges offer jobs to students, beyond the work study program available to US students. Ideally, you would find a job where you can study during some of the time (such as working in a library job that is not busy).</p>

<p>Make some good friends early who you would want to live with in later years. The more people you can fit into an off-campus apt., the cheaper.</p>

<p>As a start to save money on books, buy books early on Amazon. The cheaper books that are offered often sell fast. However, don’t buy a book until you are sure you will take that class. At my son’s college, the new book price on Amazon is cheaper than the used book price at the college bookstore. However, if the college requires an online subscription for a class, you will have to pay for that, because it is only good for one semester. If you search, you can find those online subscriptions separate from the book. Each item has an ISBN number, which makes it easier to find the right versions and editions. You can also look into renting books, or buying an overseas edition (which may not be exactly the same). You might even find an overseas edition that is not only cheaper, but is in your native language. You can then compare that version with a US edition to find out the differences. If you have a tablet or electronic reader such as a Kindle, sometimes books are cheaper through an digital purchase.</p>

<p>Some dorms close down over breaks. If you have on off-campus apt. in future years, you will reduce the necessity to go home or find another place to live. Some colleges make special accommodations for international students over breaks, but you need to sign up in advance. Hopefully, you will make some friends who will invite you home over holidays. </p>

<p>Thanksgiving is the most expensive time to travel. If you do need to travel at that time, sometimes you can save money by buying tickets very early.</p>

<p>If you go home during the summer, see if you can take any courses at home - if the credits transfers. Many colleges require pre-approval for these courses. You might also save money by taking digital college courses over the summer.</p>

<p>Many colleges have facebook groups for their students (such as “X College Class of 2017”). Many students sell used books through these groups. In addition to joining the group for your own class, you might also check out the group for next older class, so you can see ads for books for freshman classes.</p>

<p>Going out to restaurants and convenience stores and ordering delivery food can use up a food budget very quickly. If you are on an unlimited college meal plan, eat as many meals there as possible. For other meals, buy food in bulk from a large supermarket and cook for yourself. A folding cart with wheels can be useful to transport food back from a supermarket.</p>

<p>Talk to your roommate in advance and make sure you are not buying or renting duplicate items and/or to split the costs. Most dorms allow one microwave and one fridge. Over the long-run, it is cheaper to buy a microwave and fridge instead of renting one, but you may not have a place to store it.</p>

<p>Air travel costs vary greatly and are unpredictable. You may find it is cheaper to fly into an airport that is further away. There are some discount bus services between cities, such as megabus. Some colleges also sponsor bus services at the beginning and end of the school year and breaks.</p>

<p>You live in Asia…are you an American or an int’l???</p>

<p>If you’re an int’l, then you will not be given a visa unless you can show that you have all funding for COA. So, “cutting corners” would not work for you. You’d still need to show the US Gov’t that you have all funding.</p>

<p>From another thread:

</p>

<p>Great post, Charliescm. Gonna give it my thrifty college kid and not so thrifty out of college adults. </p>

<p>Hopefully, the OP is going to be able to meet what she has to meet to get her visa. But once she gets into the country and at the college, that does not mean she has to spend what the COA has as estimates.</p>

<p>I have no idea what the student visa process entails in terms of any leeway on official COA amounts. i do know of many, many international students who are living so frugally that I’m embarrassed at the bounty that my kid enjoys at college, even as we tell ourselves we are scrimping. Many of them come from very poor families who are struggling back in their countries. Most of them are not on full ride scholarships and they somehow had to “show the money” in order to get the Student visa. Perhaps, they scrape it together for the first year and then have to somehow get it for the rest. Anyone truly know the process and requirements in getting a student visa to study in the US? What does the student have to show financially in order to get one? </p>

<p>I know a relative in France who had to get someone to vouch for expenses for her to live there, and she did get a brother to do so, but though he signed he would cover the costs, he’s not given her a dime; it just had to be done for her to get the visa she needed to live there. If it comes down to her needing money, she’ll have to leave, as he isn’t going to pay. There is tacit agreement on that between the two of them. In my mother’s country, one needs an able relative to sign off on an apartment–to say one is responsible and able to pay for it if the tenant cannot, and her brothers would sign for her with no intent on paying anything. My mother said if she had ever gotten into the situation, she would have had to have left the building. No way would they have paid, though on paper, and yes, if they had to, they could afford to do so. </p>

<p>My guess is that a relative or someone with verifiable funds will sign off to get the visa, but never actually pay any of the money and the students and immediate family have to scrape it up themselves in many cases.</p>

<p>Ok…so the student is an int’l. Therefore all the “thrifty ideas” may save money, but unless this student can show funding coverage for the full COA plus insurance, s/he won’t get a visa granted.</p>

<p>@mom2collegekids I am an int’l. I showed I have the funding and got my I20. My family is actually able to provide me 15k/yr(Although less would be better). However, I think, standing on own feet for own expenses and saving some thousand dollars for future is never a bad idea. </p>

<p>@KatMT I think I’ll go once a year. No, some dorms don’t close over the breaks. </p>

<p>@cptofthehouse Yes, I’ll start out in the dorms. you would talk to them! Thanks! It would be a great help for students like me. And, I’m not a ‘she’ ! I am a ‘He’ !</p>

<p>@Ironmaiden I’ve just checked. You are right! It’ll cost something like $3000 or more. bAad nEwS. Anyway, Some halls stay open during breaks and college lets students stay there.</p>

<p>@charlieschm That is my plan! I am absolutely interested in and eager to take credits during summer and do accelerated study. However, I don’t know whether my school offers the options. I also wonder whether I’ll be able to use my scholarship for taking credits during summer. I would love to work in library because I totally love the company of books. However, I really wonder whether I’ll get vacancy for a job in the library.</p>

<p>@Erin’s Dad Good to know that you’ll apply there, but find some better colleges too. Troy was the last of my safeties.</p>

<p>Thanks everyone. I’ve got some wonderful ideas from you.</p>

<p>You are incorrect about the dorms. There are a couple dorms that stay open during breaks. But they are only available for student that LIVE in those dorms. As a Freshman you cannot live there. So you cannot stay in another student’s room over a break. Your dorm closes and is locked. No exceptions. </p>

<p>And the dorms that stay open for upperclassmen are difficult to get into. They use a lottery to determine who gets them. The more completed credits you have the better chance you have. So even a Sophomore has almost no chance.</p>

<p>And KatMT. Your DROID RAZR is cool! However, I’d love to give you a little shock. My mobile is [Symphony</a> D56](<a href=“Symphony”>http://symphony-mobile.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=81) .Costs only $24! Best mobile ever, HUH?</p>