Back in the day, college newbies relied on good old word of mouth (or guessing) when figuring out what the hell to bring with them for their very first year. And now, even with the power of Google to solve just about any packing dilemma, vetted advice from veteran students is still tough to top. Our shopping solution? Combine the two.
We polled real college students to create a virtual shopping list filled with the first-hand products they found worthy of splurging or saving on. Some are still enrolled, some are recent grads, and all are experienced packers when it comes to campus lifestyle essentials. Ahead, find this good old word-of-mouth guide filled with the dorm goods, tech gadgets, and fashion accessories worth investing in (or not) for during your next four years and counting.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. All product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.
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Save money on books, school supplies and everything you want to enjoy college! Financial aid, back in the olden days meant grants, scholarships, work study jobs. Loans were part of the package, but since they are available, ‘common thought’ was it is not financial aid – it was however a low interest loan. If you’re dependent on your parents, and they are below a certain income, most colleges give you much monies to help you attend their school. The middle class student with 2 working parents pays much more for their child to attend school and that student often can’t get work study job on campus. Those jobs are limited to the kids with financial aid.
If you can, or your parents can, to lower your loan debt when you leave school, if you have any monies, try to pay at least the interest while you are in school. Many loans start adding interest the day they are used to pay for school. So a $10,000 loan becomes a $12,000 amount when you leave school (example each loan is different) If you pay the interest (example $25 per month) then the $10,000 loan is only $10,000 when you leave school.