Cost Cutting Techniques For The College Bound Black Woman

A few announcements first. I didn’t forget that June is Black Women’s history and Achievement month during June here at NYGF. (A family member graduated, I had finals and my computer crashed, then I had a writing deadline) which made my posts late. But I will be  be choosing black women I think are interesting  and will be writing about them at the end of the post.
Second of all I will be starting a new series that will be focusing on lifestyle choices for black women. This is the first post.
So here are my ideas for black women to save money during their college years.  As always this is an open forum for suggestions as I don’t claim to know all.

  •  Live at home. Many college students feel the need to live in dorms. Unless your family situation is simply untenable I believe it is a waste of money to live in a dorm.  A great way to save money is to stay at home and communite. At some colleges for people who communte they even do things like Zimride which is a ride sharing. This can save a lot of money.
  • Community college for two years- I started college in community college before transferring. Because of my income I got a grant so this save a lot of money so the only thing that I had to spend money on during the semesters were books. I would suggest every student start there because a lot of times the prices are cheaper.
  • In State- Many people try and go out of state this is extraneous and money wasting a lot of times. (unless you’re getting a scholarships or have a good job opportunity) I would suggest going in state. The tuition rate is lower. For people who live on the West Coast Check out the Western Undergraduate Exchange. You get reduced tuition rates in reciprocal states like California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico(?) Alaska? And yes even Hawaii. The reciprocity means that you pay less money than out of state but a bit more than in state. I have used this and received a grant through this program and along with the (amazing) financial aid I received from my school I save thousands and will leave with few student loans.  And if you got to community college first then transfer to another state (as long as you live in one of these and go to another in that state) through this program you can reduce costs.
  • The website below is for this program and it go here and you can see participating schools and the programs.
  •  Take courses in Community college that will let you graduate with an AA degree or certificate so you can work your way through.  Training as a paralegal or a dental assistant while it may take a little extra time can actually save you money as you can get a real job. In my state a Dental Assistant makes 50,000 a year dollars, and an  LVN can make 60,000 or a physical therapist assistant can make the same amount. and some of the programs only take two semesters. Further  got to public, never private schools.
  •  Community College Only: I am aware that education is important. However, everyone doesn’t have the time or inclination to go through all of that. There are many jobs that make money without having to get a BA or MA. Check these out. As I said there are some jobs like Dental Assistant that can make 50,000 dollars or more.  If you want to be a stay at home mom this may be a good choice because you may be able to get better hours while still having a good income.  My friend did this and she was able to find a job as a medical assistant quickly. Vocational Jobs are a great idea.  Or choose a BA degree that will let you get a job immediately after graduation without having to get an MA. Police officer or Fireman or paremedic may be a choice.
  •  To make extra money you can do online surveys, odd jobs ( I have seen on craigslist) and at one point a family member pointed out  that sometimes colleges in the area will pay people to do studies. Sometimes these can be psychology students doing these simple studies and you can make some money doing it. So check in your area.  Some BWE authors (can’t remember at the moment but if you do please post the link) have even suggested self-publishing books as that can be extra money. If you have the time that is an option. Cash in cans for money. This may sound weird but you can actually get money for turning in cans to a recycling center.
  • (this is the only link I remember at the moment.
  •  If you don’t live at home live with a roommate (that is trustworthy). You can save much money doing this. But I advise only doing this with people you can trust. That have been proven you can trust. Not people who will be dangerous or put you in bad situations.
  • When buying books Use the site Deal They compare prices so you can find the best one. Do not rent books. Re Sell so you can recoup money. Also I need to get a really expensive book (60) for an English class I had to take. I found the same book at the library so  please check there.   Ask your teacher about using older edition. I am always doing this. One book I needed went from 50 dollars to like 10 bucks when I got the (1.) edition earlier version of the book The information was the same.
  • .Take classes with friends/ family that way you can share the book  and get the same classes out of the way. If you aren’t taking the same classes but will be taking it at some point you can trade books Also check craigslist for books my family member got a TI 83 calculator for cheap on craigslist and books from there to
  • Forgo meal plan if possible this may take extra money and it may be cheaper to  make it yourself. And you will have larger portions and left overs. Host meals with friends where everyone only pays for one meal a week. Or buy in bulk with friends ( invest in costco) and split the foods/costs.. Costco (or Sams Club) can be helpful
  • Forgo extras like alcohol, sugary drinks (sodas), and Starbucks and music downloads. These things can zap extra money and the add up and can make you fat. Instead stick with water (Buy your own BPA free water bottle) or make your own coffee. For things like music downloads there are programs like Freegal at the library that legally let you download music from artists Check your local library for that . program.  If you must get fast food remember DOLLAR MENU. They have this at many places.
  • Volunteer while in college this could give you an edge later to find a better job.
  • Shop at consignment shops or, trade clothes with friends.  Some consignment shops have very nice clothes dishes, etc. I mentioned CD’s above. You can also buy those there (for cheap). I wouldn’t suggest furniture (bed bugs) and if you buy clothes make sure to bag them and then put them in hot water when you get them home before placing them down anywhere in the home.
  • For feminine black women who may need there mani/pedi do it yourself. Many youtube videos offer great tutorials to show you how to do your own acrylics, gels/ press on/glue on etc and buy beauty supplies on eBay. Some suggest doing manicures for friends to save money.  Hair tutorials are cheaper than salons and going natural can be less expensive.
  •  Cut extraneous like cable. You know my stance on the black women and the media. Cut the chaos in your life and save money by getting rid of cable see my article below for suggestions.
  • And above all if possible do NOT join the military for college money.  I will be writing a post about this soon. But this is a BAD IDEA. I will expand on this in my next post.
  • As always please add any suggestions in the comments section. As I hope to help younger black women.
  • ****************************************************************************************************
  • This week I chose Cicely Tyson. 79  year old  Cicely Tyson grew up in Harlem. She has been an actress for many years and did such movies like the legendary The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. She won two Emmy’s for this role and was nominated for a BAFTA Award.  She also was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe for the movie  Sounder.  She was also married for a brief time to Miles Davis.(Wikipedia)
  • This week she won her first Tony Award for Lead Actress.  Below Is a lovely clip of her acceptance speech.

Note please forgive the formatting. It was off and I was in a hurry. The next post will be more in order

Until next time….


8 thoughts on “Cost Cutting Techniques For The College Bound Black Woman

  1. This is an absolutely wonderful post. I definitely doing the in-state college and community college angle, having done both.

    I think people really don’t appreciate the advantages of being an in-state student and getting discounts. Those thousands of dollars off of yearly tuition really makes a difference.

    Wow, I cannot believe she is almost 80. Cicely looks amazing. I was so happy for her. 🙂

    • Heck yes! I got grants in community college and WUE was really a blessing for me.

      And I couldn’t believe my eyes with Cicely I would have though she was sixty. And her acceptance speech was really nice.

  2. I attending Pasadena City College, they have a dental hygiene program where they offer free cleaning and x-ray for the students. The health center has staff that consists of doctors, nurse practitioners and nutritionist. If you are a full-time student they have metro pass for 30 dollars a semester, which save you about eight hundred dollars a year.

  3. Great post! I am neither American or of college age but I love reading about any advise which may benefit me or my lovely daughters one day. Also I agree BW must avoid the Military!! I recently read Niccy’s posts about the horrors BW face and this message must be spread for us all to see.
    Look forward to reading the rest of your series.

  4. Actually for a lot of poor girls coming out of the ghetto, or a plain bad situation need to MOVE OUT! This is my biggest regret from experience. If you come from a place where there is poverty, lack of support, and a manipulative family then you are in for a lot of hell. Don’t stay no matter how guilty you feel. No matter how guilty they make you feel. People in your family will only see you as a financial aid check. Then even after that you may be forced to get a job to help pay the bills even after you paid your fair share. Ususally for poorer women this is a trap to get you to flunk out. So I’d much rather young black women move onto a campus where they won’t be dealing with family drama. They will also have plenty of time to socialize, make connections, expand their horizons, and find a husband. Get a job on campus and use the money to pay for your incidentals. Get a meal plan and a Club Card. Become fully independent so you wont become someone’s pawn.

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