The cost of college that most schools list on their promotional packages is rarely the complete cost of living, eating, breathing, studying and partying during those four magical years. In fact, it rarely comes close. There are surprise costs every week it seems, but these apps reviewed by MyBankTracker.com, plus a couple we like, can help you get the cost of college at least a little closer to that tempting figure colleges are dangling in front of you.
A lot of bars and restaurants, food trucks and vending machines near college campuses only accept cash. And since your student is probably starving by the time she looks these up, she just uses the pricey campus ATM. ATM Hunter lets users locate ATMs that won’t charge them fees in the area — it even lets students studying abroad find their bank’s sister-bank within the country so they can seriously cut down fees in withdrawals and transactions.
The room or building where buying back books takes place is usually a long walk from your student’s dorm or apartment, who by the way is now exhausted from taking the finals that she used those books for, and has no desire to trek back to campus. Plenty of students just throw away or donate their books out of laziness, but that’s a lot of dough down the drain. Chegg lets users buy, sell or rent textbooks. Students can compare prices on popular books, and often find virtual copies.
As if the stress of leaving home and taking on a challenging curriculum isn’t enough, many college students are expected for the first time in their lives to manage their own bills. But there are plenty of distractions to ensure late payments, which means late fees and even damaged credit. BillMinder lets users easily track bills and reminds users when it’s time to pay.
If your student was already a texter in high school, she’ll become even more of one when she arrives at college and wants to text all of her friends back home about the mean professor, or when she just wants to text someone because she’s nervously sitting alone in the cafeteria. WhatsApp allows for free instant messaging almost anywhere in the world.
Your busy student will be using more data than ever between checking for emails from professors when running around campus, and checking to see if the 10 new people she added on Facebook that day accepted her friend request. Onavo Extend can compress mobile data, and boost data allowance by up to 500 percent. The app also helps users monitor how data is being eaten up so they can try to be smarter about it.
For the drinking-age student, this app will save a ton of money on drinks. DrinkOwl searches for local drink specials and happy hours by city and college campus, as well as by type of drink (beer, wine, cocktails etc.)
College students borrow and lend money all of the time, and hardly ever collect on or make good on their debts. They don’t mean to: they just forget or don’t run into that friend again for months. But Venmo ensures users get paid back: just link up your bank account or debit card and pay and receive money from other users for everything from utilities to bar bills.
TUNdeals scouts out student discounts in the user’s area on everything from bars, restaurants and cafes to retail stores, movies and even gyms. It also finds ordinary deals available to nonstudents in the user’s area and deals can be filtered by type of business and the day and time available.
BIGWORDS lets users compare prices on textbooks across the Internet. The multi-item price optimization tool lists deals based on the highest dollar amount off and the lowest cost of shipping. What’s really cool is that Amazon Prime or Barnes & Noble members can use their benefits on deals found through the app.
With so many students crammed into one neighborhood, landlords tend to hike up prices because they know everybody wants to be near campus, and will pay top dollar to do it. Weed out the few good deals left with this app that lets you find apartments or even just rooms based on cost, square footage, number of rooms and more.