Wednesday, January 22, 2014

College, Books and Financial Aid...Oh MY!

So I recently decided to go back to school. Let me just say college can be overwhelming if you don't know what you are doing, and I clearly did not know what I was! 

I had a general idea on what classes I wanted to take, but I just had to make sure I was taking the right ones. I initially thought I was signing up for a local college (LANEY), but it turns out the classes are offered at a sister college (MERRITT). 

I also started this process about a week or two before Christmas 2013. After 3 trips between the two campuses, I finally realized what I needed to do. Here is what!

So off to the college I went. Only it was not the right college campus! Upon arriving at the college, I decided to hit up financial aid glad I did. (Thankfully, I had already applied for admissions and FAFSA, that much I did know how to do)

At the Financial aid office, the line was OUT OF THE DOOR CRAZY LONG! So I stood in line, and waited......and waited....and waited even more, for almost 2 hours only to be told I needed to go to Merritt to apply for Financial aid. However, the guy I spoke with was not very clear at all, I had no idea why I couldn't just got to Laney (where I thought my classes were going to be at). I then headed up to see a counselor, only everyone else had the same idea, and I was turned away because they could not see me because of the long line of other students waiting. So I went home. :( Still worried I might be in the wrong classes.

Long story short, a trip to Merritt, a bus ride downtown to Oakland IRS, and back to Merrit, I FINALLY got financial aid taken care of, my fees waived, and enrolled in the right classes.

The cost of college text books are CRAZY expensive. So I did some research, rented my books from here, used a coupon from here, and also used a cash back site on my online purchase from here. Overall for two classes, I spent $37.46 on my books! THATS AMAZING! It broke down like this:

Subtotal:            $39.43
Tax:                   $3.55
Shipping:                $5.99
6% Off coupon:  -$2.37
Free Shipping:    -$5.99
Total:                $40.61

PLUS I'll get 8% cashback from (so that's another $3.15)

So my GRAND TOTAL I paid was: $37.46!! 

 I saved $344.00 over the cost of buying my books brand new instead of renting them. To add icing to the cake, the site I ordered from also has free shipping back to them for rented books.

So if you do your research, books don't have to cost you an arm and a leg. 


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