Saving Money

This section is full of money saving tips for community college students. From free textbooks to finding affordable childcare, we’ll provide you with a wealth of information on keeping college affordable.
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Free Tax Filing Help at Your Local Community College
April 15th is looming, but your local community college can help you file your taxes - for free! Learn about the programs that may be in your area to help with your filings with Uncle Sam.
With tax day just around the corner, many Americans are scrambling to get their documents in order and their forms completed. For those who need help with the return but can't afford to hire the services of a CPA, there is an alternative. The IRS offers volunteer tax assistance in a variety of communities to help low-income families get the help they need before April 15. The benefits are even more far-reaching, as many community college students aspiring to accounting careers can get the training and experience they need to work in this volunteer program.

We'll give a brief overview of the volunteer program and who it helps, as well as list a few of the community colleges that have come alongside the IRS to help Americans get their taxes filed on time.
 
What is VITA?
 
According to the IRS website, VITA, also referred to as the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, is designed to offer free tax help to low to moderate-income Americans who are unable to complete their own tax returns. The service utilizes certified volunteers sponsored by a number of organizations to provide the assistance people need to file their basic income tax forms.

Most of the VITA stations are located at community places like libraries, schools and shopping malls. Community colleges are another option where VITA services might be provided.
 
VITA helps many different groups of Americans file their taxes accurately and on time. Some of the people that qualify for VITA services include:
  • Families with incomes
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New Law Forces Community College Professors to Disclose Textbook Costs
Have you ever been sticker-shocked at the textbook costs for each of your classes? Thanks to a new law, before you sign up for a class, you can ascertain exactly how much the course’s textbooks will cost.
After they scrape together the necessary cash to pay tuition fees, community college students find that their financial obligations are far from over. The rising costs of textbooks and other necessary supplies have put more than one college student into a deep financial hole, forcing some to choose between their necessary resources and rent for the month.
 
To help students plan more efficiently for the cost of textbooks each semester, a new law has been put in place to require college professors to disclose the precise costs of textbooks before a student commits to their classes, according to a report in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
 
Lower Prices
 
In addition to helping students plan for the cost of higher education more accurately, the new law will also increase awareness and competition in the textbook market, lowering the cost of textbooks overall.
 
This is good news to students who may spend hundreds of dollars every semester to stock their dormitory bookshelves with the necessary supplies. A report in the Washington Post two years ago estimated that some college students pay between $700 and $1,100 each year on textbooks. Between 1986 and 2004, the price of a college textbook tripled, with an annual increase of around 6% each year – nearly double the rate of inflation.
 
"It's really hard just paying for tuition alone," Annaiis Wilkinson told the Washington Post. The 19-year-old Trinity Washington University student paid about $500 in textbooks each semester just two short years ago. For community college students who
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Smile at Free or Low Cost Dental Services at Community Colleges
While dental procedures are typically expensive, preventative services at your local community college is very affordable - if not free! Learn about how you can get low cost dental services through your community college's dental hygienist training program.
In difficult economic times, many people may delay visits to the dentist because they cannot afford to pay the accompanying bill. Many college students, who struggle to pay for tuition, books, housing, and other educational expenses also often put off dental work. While this plan may seem wise in the short term, neglecting one’s oral health can lead to serious health and financial consequences down the road. Those who do not get regular dental cleanings and check-ups put themselves at an increased risk for gum disease and cavities, both of which can lead to future financial and physical pain when the problems eventually need to be treated.

Fortunately, for college students who may not have the finances to pay for dental work, or for those whose health insurance does not include a dental plan, a lack of funds does not necessarily mean one’s dental health care needs to suffer. Community colleges that have dental hygienist training programs often offer low-cost or even free dental services to college students, as well as children and adults in the general public.
 
This video gives an overview of the dental and other health services available at Wake Technical Community College in Raleigh, North Carolina.
 
 
Dental services at community colleges are fairly comparable across the nation. To help you get an idea of the kinds of services offered, as well as potential pricing, we will examine a few college-based dental clinics.
 
Normandale Community College
 
The Dental Hygiene Clinic at Normandale Community
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How to Get Help for Your DUI through Your Community College
If you are facing a DUI, your community college can be an excellent resource for affordable legal assistance and counseling programs.

If you face potential DUI (driving under the influence) charges, you will need to seek immediate legal aid. The legal consequences for a DUI can include severe fines, mandatory jail time, and alcohol abuse treatment classes.

 
Fortunately, if you are a student facing a DUI charge, your community college may be able to offer support. With many community colleges hoping to help students avoid future DUI incidents, your campus may offer preventative programs, alcohol and substance abuse treatment options, and additional resources.
 
The Dangers of Impaired Driving Among Community College Students
 
In examining the current alcohol-related crisis among college students, statistics compiled by drunk driving lawyers reveal that approximately 2 million college students chose to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol every year. Researchers have also found that over half a million people ranging from ages 18 to 24 experience injuries due to alcohol-related incidents. Furthermore, approximately of college students admit to experiencing poor academic performance due to their drinking-related choices.
 
With the awareness of these serious issues related to alcohol abuse, students who are facing a DUI or drinking problem should speak with their community college counselor to find out about specific on-campus treatment programs.
 
This video shows several ways to avoid driving drunk.
 
 
Legal Services at Community College

Some community college students in need of legal support may struggle to find the financial means to pay for a professional lawyer. Fortunately, many community colleges have programs that provide current students with free
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How to Earn Extra Discounts As a Community College Student
Are you taking full advantage of your status as a student? Learn where you can show your student ID to take advantage of discounts that add up to hundreds, if not thousands, annually in savings.
Every college student is familiar with the challenges of managing finances amidst the pressures of tuition and book costs. Burdened with tests and assignments, many community college students have little time to earn supplementary income while enrolled in courses as a full-time student.
  
Fortunately, that seemingly simple college ID stowed away in one's wallet can actually help students save hundreds of dollars each year! With nearly endless discounts offered specifically for college students, showing your community college ID can help increase the amount of cash in your wallet immediately.
 
Technology on the Cheap

If you're in the market for a new laptop, cell phone, or another form of technology, it will financially benefit you to shop with companies that cater to students' needs. Many of the companies that offer technological products strive to attract buyers with enticing college discounts.
 
For example, Apple Computers gives college students, instructors, administrators, and college staff members "Apple Eduction Pricing" on select products. You may be able to save hundreds of dollars on your next computer simply due to your community college student status. In addition, Apple also offers occasional promotions specifically for students. For example, when an eligible student purchases a computer, he or she may be able to receive another free Apple product.
 
Other technology-based companies that offer various student discounts include Dell Computers.
 
This video describes Apple's Back To School program.
 
 
Almost Free Entertainment

Before paying for the rising cost of a movie ticket, always remember to show your
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