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Top money-wasters on college campuses

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – It’s no secret that college students are usually broke. We all know the price of tuition is high but there other ways you may be overspending without realizing. Tuition is a huge expense and there are alternatives. You can go to a community college to start and then switch to a university when you have a bit more direction. If that’s not something you want to do, there are other ways to save a lot of money on campus.

Students are getting ready to move back on campus. Where they’ll be calling home could be costing them more than they realize. Connecticut money school coordinator Esther Jean-Marie says rent is one of the top college money-wasters.

“People don’t realize it but living on campus is more expensive than your actual tuition a lot of the time,” she said.

Forbes found you can cut costs by 25 percent if you move off-campus and share space with a buddy. Food is another big one! If you have access to a kitchen, Forbes says you’ll save $10,000 over four years by skipping the meal plan and cooking on your own.

Save money by avoiding the campus book store. Basic supplies will be marked way up there for convenience. Get your stuff at stores like Target, Walmart or the Dollar store and definitely don’t buy your books there.

“I always say, look to see if there’s a used book or rent it, sometimes your school library will have that book so you can use it that way, the book might be in a PDF file online, it’s smart to look to alternatives and save yourself money that way,” Jean-Marie said.

There are also apps designed to save college students money like campus books to help you shop for a deal, and campus Foodz to narrow down the deals near your school.

Another easy way to stretch your dollar is don’t forget students and teachers get a number of special discounts and deals at some restaurants and retailers. I found some of them for last weeks Freebie Friday.