7 Ways to Save Money for College as a High School Sophomore
It’s never too to early to start saving money for college. The average annual tuition, fees, room and board rates at four-year colleges and universities across the United States totals from about $19,000 to more than $42,000, according to the CollegeBoard.org. Your sophomore year (or anytime really!) is a great time to start saving cash for college.
Here are seven ways you can get started saving money for college.
Apply for scholarships.
You don’t have to be a high school junior or senior to start looking for college scholarships. Some scholarships are available to students at any high school grade level, so start looking for scholarships now!
Various organizations host essay, art, video and other contests for high school students, even as early as your sophomore or freshman year of high school. Search online for contests that fit your interests, and then participate! See our article on 10 Essay Contests for High School Sophomores and Juniors to get started.
Put money in the bank.
If you don’t already have a savings account at a bank, open up one. As you earn money, deposit it at the bank. You’ll accrue a little bit of interest (free money!) each month, depending on your bank and the type of account you open. If you already have a bit of cash saved up, consider putting it in a CD an account where you agree to leave the money in it for a specified period of time in exchange for a higher interest rate.
Get a part-time job.
Whether it’s a summer job, or a job you keep throughout the school year, getting work experience will help you earn cash and get a work experience to put on your resume. If your schedule with extracurriculars is just too busy, look for other ways you can earn money. For example, perhaps you could mow your neighbors lawn in the summer for a few bucks, or in the winter you could shovel your neighbor’s snow.
Sell your stuff.
This goes for only things you don’t need. For example, if you have an old model iPhone you no longer use, send it in to Gazelle or other similar sites that give people cash in exchange for old cell phones.
Also, if you have something you no longer want (such as a childhood toy or book), look on Amazon.com or eBay.com to see if you can get any money for it. If others are selling similar items for a decent price, try putting your items on there. (Note: You’ll need your parents to help you sell your items online or exchange your cell phone for cash, since many services require you to be at least 18 years old to sell items or be members.)
You could go low-tech with your sale, too, and organize a garage sale.
Use the library.
Thinking about renting a movie from Redbox? Want to buy a new book you heard about? If so, don’t forget to check your library first. You can rent DVDs from most public libraries, and the new book you want to read might be available through the library, too all for free.
Do free stuff.
When you hang out with your friends, you don’t always have to do something that costs money. Look for free events and activities to do in your community.