Tu­ition is ex­pen­sive enough

Four back-to-school tricks that will save you hun­dreds of dol­lars.

The Coast - - ON CAMPUS - BY JORDANN BROWN

1 LIVE OFF -CAM­PUS

Liv­ing in cam­pus hous­ing can be a great way to meet new peo­ple in your first year, but af­ter that, ditch the ex­pen­sive $1,000-per-month room, over­priced meal plan and re­stric­tive quiet hours for a spot of your own or with friends. The more room­mates you have, the less ex­pen­sive your rent will be, but you’ll also give up qual­ity when look­ing at large prop­er­ties. To save even more, ven­ture into the north end or Dartmouth—you’ll en­joy cheaper rent, more di­verse neigh­bours and a va­ri­ety of trendy restau­rants and bars.

2 BUY TEXT­BOOKS SEC­OND-HAND OR ON­LINE

In­stead of pony­ing up your hard-earned (or bor­rowed) cash at your school’s book­store, search for used ver­sions of your re­quired read­ing. Of­ten, course read­ing lists only change slightly year to year, which means you can pro­cure per­fectly good text­books from your fel­low stu­dents at dra­mat­i­cally dis­counted prices. Start your search by check­ing bul­letin boards in your fac­ulty and ask­ing older stu­dents in your pro­gram for rec­om­men­da­tions. You can also take your search on­line by check­ing your school’s classifieds site, set­ting a new list­ing alert on Ki­jiji or join­ing the Hal­i­fax buy and sell groups on Face­book. It’s pos­si­ble to score an en­tire se­mes­ter of text­books for as lit­tle as $100 if you’re dili­gent in your search and reach out to pos­si­ble leads right away.

3

OP­TI­MIZE YOUR HEALTH IN­SUR­ANCE

When you reg­is­ter for a se­mes­ter, you usu­ally get an item­ized bill out­lin­ing not just course fees but also the an­cil­lary fees that are part of your full tu­ition bill. These fees in­clude your bus pass fee, your stu­dents’ union fee and your health and den­tal in­sur­ance cov­er­age. The thing is, if you al­ready have health and den­tal in­sur­ance through your par­ents, you shouldn’t pay for that ex­tra cov­er­age be­cause you don’t need it. For­tu­nately, you can opt out and save those ex­tra bucks. Just Google your school name plus “health in­sur­ance opt out” for in­struc­tions, or talk to your stu­dent union rep for more de­tails.

4

DITCH YOUR CAR

If you live rea­son­ably close to your school, it’s likely you only re­ally need your car for trips to the gro­cery store and the oc­ca­sional visit home. If this is the case, con­sider go­ing car-free en­tirely and use CarShare At­lantic in­stead. If you have a stu­dent ID and a UPass, CarShare At­lantic will waive your mem­ber­ship bond— re­sult­ing in a mem­ber­ship cost­ing only eight bucks a month. To put things in per­spec­tive, the av­er­age cost of car in­sur­ance in Nova Sco­tia is $65 per month. The only draw­back to this plan is that you must be at least 19 to join.

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