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What NOT to Buy for College

26 November 2014 By Emily Hohf

not_to_buy (2)Taking the leap into a college program is simultaneously both terrifying and exhilarating. It’s easy to get caught up in the heightened emotions and stress of the experience. Many students over-prepare by buying things they don’t really need. No matter whether you are a commuter or live in the dorms, a non-traditional student or just out of high school, it’s important to keep a cool head when shopping for school supplies and equipment. Why? Because college is expensive!

Even at the most affordable college, students still have to pay for tuition, books, etc. While not all of these expenses may apply to you, the ones that do are often enough to put a huge strain on your pocketbook. Be thrifty and smart by knowing what NOT to buy for college! Here is our handy list of items you may want to draw the line at before buying, along with explanations of why:

Smartphone/Tablet – A smartphone or tablet may already be in your backpack, but if it’s not, that’s okay! A smartphone can be a huge distraction for students. Between texts from your sister, Facebook updates from your bestie and phone calls, your smartphone might be lighting up every few seconds. So put the smartphone away – or better yet – just don’t upgrade to one!

As for tablets, the time may be coming in which college classes are tablet-centric, but it’s not here yet. The more affordable tablets can’t perform in the same capacity as a computer (so they can’t replace a laptop), and the ones that do perform like tiny computers are more expensive than a new laptop in many cases.

New Laptop – Speaking of laptops, were you considering upgrading to a faster model with an advanced processor, graphics card, and other fancy features? Pause on purchasing and consider what you actually need. Because while there is no doubt that a laptop is a necessity for college, most students actually only need it for basic researching and writing. From there, you must consider if your major actually requires other programs and features. If you are seeking one of Pioneer Pacific’s IT programming degrees, for instance, you may want to invest in a more advanced laptop.

Printer – Graphs, research papers, coupons for two-for-one margaritas – a printer is used for an awful lot in college. And yet, you might be surprised that it’s one of those things you really don’t need. Why? Pioneer Pacific and other colleges offer free or relatively inexpensive printing services to students, depending on course load and degree. You’ll be spending a lot of your time between classes at the library and student center where these services are located, so why not take advantage of them?

A car – Many Pioneer Pacific students commute onto campus from all over the area. Commuters may be tempted to get a new car when starting school in an effort to make sure it’s reliable. While reliable transportation is valuable, there are many costs to having a car. Some of these things include gas, insurance, upkeep and other unknowns – not to mention your basic car payments! Before you dive into this big expense, consider alternatives like a bicycle, car sharing or public transportation that may not only be more economical, but also better for the environment.

Conclusion:
No matter your living arrangements or program, hold back on the larger purchases you might make to prepare for new college courses or a new term. Many electronics can be easily damaged, distracting, and altogether unnecessary. That’s not to say you won’t ever need these things. By waiting a few months into the school term before making these purchases, you will have a better idea of what you need.

If you plan on attending Pioneer Pacific and are seeking one of the many great program degrees but you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. Knowledgeable staff are ready to outline exactly what the campus offers, such as services like WiFi and printing, so that you can save money on your first term at Pioneer Pacific!

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