Tips for Freshmen (and continuing students too!)

  • Bank near you. This will help you avoid unnecessary transaction fees and give you quick access to your accounts. Most banks offer accounts specifically for college students that have low or no minimum daily balances. At Rutgers-New Brunswick, we are currently powered by PNC Bank, which means their ATMs are located all around campus. Within a five-mile radius of the New Brunswick campus there are TD Bank, Chase, Wells Fargo and Bank of America branches as well.
  • Budget. If you don’t budget appropriately, you’ll find yourself being the typical “broke” college student. It is easy to waste money at school because it seems like there is always something to buy. Take some time to budget and write down your expenses to compare to the amount of money you’re bringing in.
    • Utilize student discounts. They’re literally anywhere and everywhere! Check this list of discounts that we update frequently as the year goes on.
    • Watch Your Credit. Having credit cards are a good way of establishing credit, but only if you are able to pay off what you owe. Failing to do so can not only leave you broke, but mess up your credit.
  • Know your student loan status and repayment options. Check with your lenders and NSLDS for the most up to date information on what you owe and what your best repayment option will be once you graduate.
  • Free stuff around campus. Check out RUPAs calendar for Rutgers sponsored events. These events are full of free stuff, including Rutgers swag and free food!
  • Be responsible. Don’t lose your keys ($70) or your ID ($20). It costs extra money to replace these things.
  • Use the meal plan. Rutgers is known for its good eats but try not to overindulge. If you have a, meal plan use it! Students often end up with extra swipes because they do not utilize them.
  • Learn your way around. Learn the local bus routes to navigate around the area. Services like Uber and Lyft are great but riding the bus or other forms of transportation tend to be significantly cheaper.
  • Keep your money close. Always proceed with caution when leaving any form of money or sensitive information out. In addition, try not to become the person people can always come to for money or the friend pays the entire bill. People may take advantage or avoid repaying you.