Attention Rutgers students, we are roughly half way through the summer season! I know for a fact that all of us have been doing everything in our power to enjoy our, not so short, vacation time away from school. Since the summer is moving quickly, I would like to give incoming and continuing student some words of advice.
First and foremost, if you haven’t already decided how you are going to pay your term bill, hurry! Financial aid along with other student loan providers takes a minimum of three weeks to reach approval. It is important to settle all of your financial needs as early as possible so that you have no problem registering and holding onto classes.
Also if you plan to live on campus you must have paid your term bill in full, or set up a payment plan with Rutgers University so you can move in on time and without complication.
Next, be sure to prepare! Students that are living on campus will need plenty of things in order to live comfortably in their apartment or dorm this upcoming semester. Department stores will begin to start selling different lines of college collections that are normally slightly cheaper in price. Look out for this around the end of June and early July.
You will need everything from toothpaste and soap, to sheets and pillows, and don’t forget kitchen supplies and groceries. Here are some tips and suggestions:
-Be sure to check the Rutgers website or contact the Rutgers housing office to see what items are not permitted in your room (i.e. multi-bulb lamps, toaster ovens, etc.).
-Contact your roommates; there is no reason all four roommates to buy a shower curtain. Communicate with each other to see what requirements your common areas need. Also be sure to look online for college checklists that will give you a broad idea of what you may or may not need.
-Make a list, and start shopping now! It is helpful to keep a running list of items you use daily along with things you anticipate on needing while away from home.
College is expensive enough, waiting until the last minute will only cost more money. Sales are happening every day, check the newspaper for sale items and coupons. Paper products specifically are extremely expensive and can be stored without worry of an expiration date.
If you plan to stock up on groceries and snacks, like granola bars, be sure to check for long expiration dates and keep them stored in cool space.
-Think outside of the box when shopping. Ross, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, and Burlington Coat Factory all sell designer bedding and home goods for dirt cheap. Be sure to shop around for the best deals.
-If you are living in an apartment, be sure to supply yourself with groceries and cooking supplies. Rutgers gives apartment tenants an option to have a minimum meal plan which is roughly $700. Speaking from experience, this meal plan will not last an entire semester of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you will be extremely lucky if it last half a semester.
It is a good idea to buy the more expensive meal plan in the Fall semester and minimum plan in the Spring. This is because what ever goes unused in the fall will rollover into the spring. Doing this will work out to being roughly $1,000 a semester.
Planning to commute? No problem. PATCO and New Jersey Transit offer reduced prices for students who will be using public transportation. Check out Rutgers website for additional information.
Rutgers students also have access to Enterprise rental cars right on campus.
Lastly, get ready to work hard and have fun! College is a great place to have fun, but it can be overwhelming trying to juggle school, play, and sometimes a job or internship. Experience all that you can, but know your limits. Try not to procrastinate! Waiting last minute to do a paper may be the reason you can’t enjoy a night out with friends.