Tag Archives: university

5 ways to keep living costs down at University

For the majority of you, going to university will be an exciting experience and your first real experience of independence. It may also be first time you have to manage your finances alone so if you’re struggling to keep out of your overdraft, then here’s a few tips to keep costs down.

Party hard but wise

If you’re new to Uni then I’m sure you’re aware that one of the main perks of living away from home is the social life. For many this will mean blowing your student loan and either sponging off parents after this, or being skint for the remainder of the semester! The best way to get around this is moderation, play it wise and you can have a decent social life without breaking the bank.

Fresher’s week might be a tricky one to plan, as there are parties on every night of the week, no lectures and probably a lot of takeaways which means you’re likely to spend lots. The positive side of this is that everywhere will be competing to get your custom. Bars, clubs, and takeaways will all be running special deals to try and get you in each night, in the hope you will make it a regular occurrence! This also is the time you’ll make the most friends (remember, everyone is in the same boat as you so this will be easy).

Once Freshers is out of the way everything will calm down. From thereon, try and avoid the kebab house on the way home, think ahead and buy some pizza in advance, in the long run you’ll be shocked how much you can save!

Shop sensibly

There are supermarkets within walking distance of most Sheffield university accommodation but alternatively, many supermarkets offer discount for your first home delivery so take advantage of as many of these offers as you can (You may have to pay a minimum spend on the order so share the shop between your housemates to get the price up). If each of you use the offers available then you will be going for a while before you have to make a non-discounted order! Don’t be afraid of cooking too much food either cook in bulk and save some for lunch the next day! Forget pricey meal deals, nothing beats a reheated cottage pie!


Getting around the city can be difficult at times with traffic, especially for getting to those 9am lectures! A time and cost saver is investing in a bike, most student accommodation will have plenty of bike racks available. If you already have a bike then even more of a saving, if not check the local pages on social media or local papers and see if you can bag yourself a bargain!!


Once you’ve decided your course you’ll be expected so shell out for a number of textbooks depending on what it is you’re studying. It always pays to check online first to see if you can get used ones, some may have annotations etc. but for the amount you can save it be worth it! Another alternative is to go to the Uni library which also may have the books you need. I know it may not sound cool but you may also be more productive in the library where there are fewer distractions.

The final commandment: Thou shall not forget student discount

Get yourself a student discount card as soon as you start. Don’t be afraid of asking places if they offer student discount! From Museums to Nightclubs the discount possibilities are endless. You may even occasionally pick up some freebies so be sure to carry it with you at all times if you do invest in one. Never forget!!

A guide to international qualifications for college entry

Are your children studying overseas? If so, and if they ultimately want to go on to American colleges or universities, you’ll need to make sure they have the right qualifications to do so. Qualifications gained in foreign countries may not make the grade because there are simply too many different ones for US institutions to be able to judge their value fairly. There are, however, several types of international qualifications designed to help in this situation.

The Scholastic Assessment Test

The Scholastic Assessment Test, better known as the SAT, is required by most colleges. Some international schools offer it as standard and others can arrange it specially, though in some cases you will need to arrange extra tuition to ensure that your child has covered all the relevant material. Taking the SAT makes applying to colleges a lot simpler and a good grade can make a better impression for a foreign student than a domestic one, because colleges are aware that this means other material will have been studied as well.

The Test of English as a foreign language

If your child is not US-born or has been studying for some time in a country where most people don’t speak English, a TOEFL qualification may be helpful to reassure colleges that language won’t present a problem when it comes to study. It isn’t usually a strict requirement however.

The American College Test (ACT)

Although not every college requires it, taking the ACT is a useful way to demonstrate the aptitude and critical thinking expected of students who have had a good American education. It’s a particularly good idea for children to take it if they want to major in a science or engineering subject, as it has a science section not covered by the SAT. Students can register online and it’s available through test centers around the world.

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBD)

A two-year program designed for students aged between 16 and 18, the IBD is the system used by Hong Kong international schools. It’s designed around standards set in Switzerland and is respected by universities all around the world, including in the US. As well as signifying academic ability, it’s designed to show that children have achieved a noteworthy degree of personal development.

The Advanced Placement Program (AP)

Students who are excelling at school and want to give themselves an extra boost when it comes to making college applications might wish to consider the AP program, an opportunity to take university level courses that are recognized by institutions all around the world. Over 1,000 schools participate in the program, however, you should be aware that there are significant differences in how it’s run in China and India.

Getting an internationally recognized qualification doesn’t just help with access to American institutions but gives young people much broader options. It’s seen as an indicator that a student will contribute to the sort of rich life experience every college and university provides. Solid qualifications indicate that students will have a lot to contribute on campus, so they are a great way to improve the chance of admission.

How College Students Can Supplement Their Income

If you are a college student you probably already know the woes of college life all too well. Not only do you have to spend most of your time studying, but also you probably end up living off noodles and canned food. This is unless, of course, your parents are just filthy rich, but this is probably not the case. Even with the economy being what it is today, most wealthy people have to cut back as well. However, you might be surprised to learn that just because you are in college it does not mean that you have to be broke. In fact, there are tons of different methods that you can take to acquire money while attending college. Below you will learn about some of the different methods and opportunities that college students have available to them to supplement their income.

Use Your Writing Skills Online

Seeing that you are in college, you are probably pretty well educated, which means you know how to write very well. There are a wide variety of writing services online that are always looking for individuals that can write and speak English proficiently. Not only will this give you a chance to earn a little extra income, but you might be able to learn something new and educational in the process.

Take On A Tutoring Job

Is there a subject that you just find extremely easy and excel at? Well, not everyone has it as truly as easy as you when it comes to this subject. In fact, there are probably a lot of students that are suffering and lacking in this particular field. You have the advantage of setting up your own tutoring services and charging students that need a little extra help in the field in which you excel.

Donating Plasma

Donating plasma might not seem like the sexiest option on the table, but if you aren’t afraid of needles and can handle getting your blood drawn, this just might be the opportunity for you. Most centers will allow you to donate a certain amount of plasma once a month, and you can make anywhere from $30 to $50 dollars each pop. Not only this, but you will actually be helping someone else out. There are a lot of people out there that need your plasma.

Take Advantage of Moving Opportunities

You would truly be surprised to learn about all the moving services that are looking for young, strong college students to help them move. They know you are in college, so they will be willing to work around your schedule. Not only will you be able to make a few bucks moving, but also this will truly be a different change of pace than just sitting in your room with your nose buried in a book.

Find A Teaching Assist Job Or Work Study Program

Not everyone will qualify for this type of opportunity, but there are a lot that will. Teaching assistant jobs and work study programs are available through most colleges, and they can be truly useful, because you will not only supplement your income, but you will also earn college credit at the same time.

Go Digging Through The Garbage For Recyclables

Have you ever really looked inside the garbage cans or dumpsters at a college? Probably not, but you would be surprised at all the soda and energy drinks that you will find. These aluminum cans can be hawked at the recycling center for a pretty penny. Of course, you will have to collect quite a few and you might end up looking like a bum, but at least you will be making some money in the process.