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Categorized | Paying For College

Gas Prices Getting you Down? 4 Ways to Save on Transportation in College

Whenever we consider college expenses, we usually think of only the most obvious things like food, books, and tuition. What many students and their families don’t take into account is that the totality of college expenses are the big things, yes, but also a lot of the little things. Transportation is one cost that students often don’t take into account. It’s possible to completely eliminate or heavily downsize your transportation costs with just a little planning. Here are some ideas:

1. If you live on campus, leave the car at home.

It’s very tempting to want to take your car that you may have used in high school up with you to college. After all, college in many ways represents personal freedom, and you want to have that freedom to get around town when you start university. If you’re living on campus, it’s really a much better idea to leave your car at home. Most university campuses are set up such that all your needs are either on-campus or in close proximity. By leaving your car at home, you’ll save tremendously on gas, and, more importantly, parking, which can run up to hundreds of dollars per semester.

2. Find out if your campus has a Zip Car program.

A very interesting program being offered at many college campuses is the Zip Car program. Zip Car is essentially a car-sharing service in which you pay a small fee to have access to a car for a day. The cars are available on-campus 24/7 and they’re usually very efficient, environmentally-friendly, fun-to-ride cars. This way, if you need to take a day to run errands like grocery-shopping, you can have access to a car without having all the headaches of having your own car on campus.

3. Consider alternative modes of transportation.

If you’ve driven a car ever since you were legally able, it may be difficult to think of actually using different modes of transportation. I grew up in a small town with absolutely no public transportation, so it seemed strange to me to use the bus/rail system available in the city I moved to when I began attending college. If your college city has safe and efficient public transportation, learn how to use it, even if it seems confusing at first. Also consider trading in that car for a scooter, or consider getting a bike. Bikes are great ways to stay in shape, too!

4. Set up a carpool program with friends.

Carpooling is perhaps one of the most underused ways of saving on transportation. If you have many friends who have cars, talk to them about carpooling to school (if you live off-campus) or sharing rides on errands trips or nights out.

At the end of the day, college is going to be expensive, no matter which way you look at it. At the same time, however, if you stay aware of all the little expenses that stack up over time, you’ll be able to enjoy yourself in college living a comfortable lifestyle that allows you to succeed personally and academically. Good luck!

Today’s guest article is provided by Pepper Givens. She is an online blogger and freelance writer who focuses much of her content on promoting online colleges in Texas, as that is her home state. She also covers other educational topic and welcomes your questions and comments at

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