University of Louisiana at Lafayette students walking under the large oak trees on campus

Ways to Save

College is an investment, but that doesn’t mean you need to spend more than necessary. 

With some planning, you can save a lot in the short-term and the long-term. Here’s our list of recommendations.

Fill out the FAFSA to Apply for Financial Aid

This is the most important thing you can do. When you apply for admission, you should also fill out the FAFSA to apply for financial aid. 

When you fill out the FAFSA, you will be considered for state and federal grants — which are essentially free money — and for federal loans.

If you don’t fill out the FAFSA, you won’t be considered for financial assistance.

How to Apply for Financial Aid

Use Federal Loans Instead of Private Loans

If you need to take out loans, choose a federal loan instead of a private loan (like from a bank or a credit union). While the cost is the same now, federal loans will save you more money in the long run.

Learn more about federal vs. private loans

Get a Work-Study or On-Campus Job

There are jobs for students all over campus in administrative offices, academic departments, and even research labs. Those jobs are 10 hours/week and you can earn $2,600 over the school year. 

When you apply for financial aid, you’ll find out if you’re eligible for a work-study job. If you are, the Office of Student Financial Aid will help place you in a job on campus. 

If you’re not eligible for federal work study, there are still jobs available in offices and departments across campus.

See job openings

Apply for Scholarships Every Semester

Scholarships are available for current students from nearly every department and college on campus. Keep up with news from your major and find out when the scholarship applications open every semester.

There are also scholarships available through the Alumni Association and outside organizations. Search for scholarships offered through community organizations, local or national companies, clubs, or societies. 

A note about University scholarships: When you apply for admission, you’re automatically considered for academic scholarships from the University. And, as long as you continue to meet the GPA and credit hour requirements, you will keep that scholarship for up to eight semesters.

Use Your Red Dot Discount & Other Student Discounts

Before you make a purchase — whether it’s a school expense or not — find out if the store offers a student discount. You can easily save on the things you would buy anyway, just by showing your University ID. 

Dozens of local and national restaurants and businesses participate in our Red Dot Discount Program, which provides special discounts to UL Lafayette students and alumni. 

See the list of Red Dot Discount businesses

Rent Your Textbooks or Buy Used

We recommend budgeting $1,300 a year on books and other supplies, but you can save by renting your textbooks or buying used. 

And if you buy your textbooks, you can sell back your books at the end of the semester to get some of your money back. 

Live on Campus

University Housing has options for every budget. Save money by living in a traditional shared room, which includes the cost of your meal plan. 

When you live on campus, all of your utilities are included in the cost. That means you’re not paying extra bills for electricity, water, Internet, or cable. Plus, all laundry services are free.  

Learn more about University housing

Take Advantage of Free Events & Free Meals

Lafayette is famous for its free entertainment. There are free concerts every Friday night at Downtown Alive! and free festivals close by — including Festivals Acadiens et Créoles and Festival International de Louisiane. And that’s on top of all the free athletics and student org events happening on campus

And if you ever need help with groceries, you can visit the Campus Cupboard, which is our on-campus food pantry.  

Create a Budget

Creating a budget can be the hardest part of saving money — but it can also be one of the most effective tools.

The UL Federal Credit Union can help you develop and follow a spending plan with free financial counseling and budgeting assistance.

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