Wait, What’s Free College Tuition?

New York

I wouldn’t know because I don’t live in New York. If you’ve somehow not heard already, New York is officially the first city in the U.S. to offer tuition free college to students. But before you start packing your bags, be aware that there’s a catch (because there’s always a catch).

First, it’s important to know that the free tuition is more scholarship based. According to CNN Money, there is an income cap for those eligible of $100,000 and the scholarship only applies to SUNY (State University of New York) and CUNY (City University of New York) school systems.

The Excelsior Scholarship, the actual name of this amazing free-tuition opportunity, only applies to students studying full-time and on track to graduate in either two or four years depending on their program. Unfortunately, the scholarship would only cover a student’s tuition and not textbook fees, room and board, or the many other costs of going to college, so if you love seeing your refund check each year, this won’t aid you there. This doesn’t come close to the biggest catch of all.

The New York Times says that students who receive this scholarship MUST stay  and work in New York for the same amount of time that they received the scholarship, i.e. if you used the scholarship all four years of college then you’re stuck in New York for another four. Otherwise, if you decide to leave for other potential opportunities, the scholarship you received turns into a federal loan you have to pay back.

Very catchy, right? It’s like Cinderella’s carriage turning into a pumpkin at the stroke of midnight because she didn’t want to go back to her step-mother.

Although we all don’t qualify for this amazing scholarship, there are still ways to maintain your college budget. If you haven’t yet, read our posts What You Need to Know About Borrowing for College and The Truth About Student Loans and Debt for need-to-knows on paying for college.

Luckily for us, we all know about downloading the Freenters drive to earn money for printing at no additional cost.

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Do You Think You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep Each Night?

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Only around 11 percent of college students report that they consistently gain enough sleep each night because sleep deprivation is an ongoing epidemic on college campuses.

Sleep deprivation may seem like the new norm, but depriving your body of much needed rest can hurt your GPA, lead to ongoing health problems, and result in a threat to your life.

When you’re not getting enough sleep each night it affects your three learning processes: Acquisition, the ability to store information, Consolidation, your brain making use of the information, and Recall, the ability to access your memories. The Rundown compares sleep deprivation to both binge drinking and drug use, stating that all three have similar affects on student’s test scores.

In this regard, CBSNews said that driver’s without enough sleep are four times as likely to getting in an accident  as those who had the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep. If you’re someone who uses a car on campus, you could be a risk to not only yourself, but others around you. 

Sixty percent of people admit to drowsy driving and over a third of people have fallen asleep at the wheel. If you’ve gone a full 24 hours without sleep it is the same as driving with a blood alcohol level of .10, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

Huffington Post adds that 20 percent of young adults are receiving only less than five hours of sleep each night. This can lead to numerous health problems like depression, attention deficits, higher risk of obesity, and dependence on sleep and anxiety medications.

Interestingly enough, NPR noted that that women on average go to bed earlier, wake up earlier, and for biological reasons still need more sleep than men! While around 11 percent of male college students suffer from insomnia, nearly 30 percent of female college students suffer the same, so make sure you’re getting your beauty sleep ladies!

Nevertheless,

there are many ways you can combat this campus-wide epidemic. Make sure you have your daily routine down. It’s too easy to come home, jump into bed and type Netflix into your browser. Sit at your desk (and not your bed because your brain will begin to associate it with productivity) and do some homework. Then you can reward yourself with snacks and whatever else tickles your fancy, then end the night with something relaxing like a book, bath, or playing with your dog.

Even a new pillow or, if you can afford it, a mattress pad can aid your sleep game. Dorm room beds were basically made for jail cells and everyone loves new pillows, so you shouldn’t let your sleep patterns be affected by something so simple. Stay comfortable!

Finally, eliminate your go-to things which may include, caffeine, television, cellphone, laptop, and any screen usage, and alcohol before bed. While sometimes it’s inevitable to avoid the sleepless study nights, there are things you can do to help get a better nights rest.

Avoid Poor Spending Habits

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Sometimes when you get to college, it’s your first experience with true independence. We have a tendency to not invest where we should and spend money on things we don’t need. Whether it’s your first year in school or your last, everyone makes the same common mistakes. Make sure you don’t pick up on these poor spending habits in college.

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Okay, we can admit that it’s a lot easier to spend your dollars on that McChicken, but you should minimize your visits. It may be tempting to eat out with your friends most nights, but cutting back can save you big bucks. College Connections from Wells Fargo says that by limiting yourself to two lunches a week can save you at least $30 a week and $450 a semester. Fast food is great for saving time, but a meal  at home is cost effective, can last for days and your bikini-ready body will thank you.

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There’s nothing wrong with spoiling yourself every once in a while, but don’t make it your pass time.  CNN says that “When it comes to making major purchases, patience is a virtue.” Often times, when there’s something you’ve had your eye on, there may be a big sale coming up, making it worth the wait.

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This may be obvious, but also easy to forget. The College Investor encourages students to pay their bills on time so their credit score isn’t affected for the future. It will only cost you more through late fees and interest charges. College is the best time to both begin establishing credit and gaining responsibility as an independent adult.

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Why are you still spending money on printing?! There’s nothing worse than a professor who hasn’t caught on to the digital age and wants you to physically turn in your 20 page paper. If you have yet to download the Freenters drive onto your computer, you’re not only losing money, but you’re losing money. First you’re losing money from campus printing, and second your not earning money through Freenters’ printing. Visit our website and start earning money for what you’re already required to do. It’s fast, it’s easy, and it’s free to use.