Everyone knows college is expensive, but did you know there are some great perks that you get during your time as a student? Here are just a few that you can enjoy!
Free or Reduced-Cost Software Downloads
Students these days need access to a variety of computer software in order to complete their projects and papers. Although campuses always have computer labs available, we live in a world where every student likely has his or her own laptop, computer or tablet.
That’s why most universities offer software downloads as part of their tuition. These are either free or low-cost, and the only stipulation tends to be that you remove the software from your computer if you end up dropping out. If you graduate, you can keep the software!
Even if you don’t plan to use them for your classes, now is the time to take advantage of the offering and download software like Microsoft Office, Adobe Pro, Photoshop and much more. You’ve paid for this with your tuition, so make sure you get your money’s worth! Contact your school’s IT department if you’re not sure where to go to get these downloads.
Use the Library … Really!
If you are passionate about the field you’re studying, find out where the relevant journals and books are located in the university’s library. Or, use the online database to find and print online journal articles. Don’t just wait for an assignment to give you an excuse to visit the library. Now is the time to skim and scour. You won’t be on this campus every day for forever, so peruse these resources while you have the opportunity. And realize that once you graduate, your ability to login to the online databases may disappear as well.
The librarians are also able to work some magic and find rare texts for you. Let’s say you’ve found a title that is no longer in print and that isn’t carried by your library. If you tell a librarian that you’re interested in that book, he or she can network with other university libraries, find one that has it in stock, and have it shipped to you on loan. Just don’t lose it!
Besides attaining a degree, you can also earn some certifications that show potential employers the exact areas you’re skilled in. For example, popular IT exams can help you show the various coding languages and programs that you’re fluent in.
Your university may offer certification training resources or occasionally proctor the tests. Ask your advisor about these opportunities. If your college does not actively offer certification resources, you’ll likely be able to find study materials in the library and can take the exam with an online proctor like CertificationDuck.com.
Visit the Writing Center
Most universities have a dedicated Writing Center, staffed by people who know how to improve your writing. These folks won’t proofread or write your papers for you, but will give you personalized advice that will take your papers up a notch (and hopefully bring up your letter grade too).
Students who aren’t English majors tend to take just one or two introductory writing courses their freshman year, but that’s often not enough training for producing polished research papers. Every time you have a writing assignment, work on it in advance and take it to the writing center before it’s due. This is no time to be bashful! You’re at college to learn, so use this opportunity to really improve your writing skills. Employers like to hire people who can write, and you have access to personal writing coaches for the next four years. Use them!
During your freshman orientation, you should be alerted to additional resources available to you. Yes, you have to buy your own books, but your tuition covers a lot of other resources—be sure you’re getting your money’s worth!