Ways to Get Free Housing at College
College costs continue to escalate at a rate well above inflation. Not only are tuition costs increasing, but the cost of room and board is rising as well. The average is now over $10,000 per year at the most popular colleges and universities.
Here are 3 ways to eliminate this hefty yearly expense:
1. Become a Resident Assistant (RA) in a dorm. An RA is a trained peer leader who supervises those living in a residence hall. RA’s act as a pseudo-counselor, a familiar first resource for students with academic or institutional questions, and enforce residence policies. In return RA’s often get free room & board, and in some cases, a stipend as well.
2. Invest in a local property with multiple bedrooms. Keep one room for your student, and rent the spare rooms to fellow students. What they pay you in rent covers the mortgage, taxes, utilities, etc., on the property. So your son/daughter gets free housing.
3. Create a college coupon/information book. I know a guy who did this and not only paid 100% of his room & board expenses, he had enough money left over to buy a brand new sports car.
Why does this work? Students going to a university or college away from home may not know where local stores are, where to get groceries, where the police station is, the local library, cafes, etc. Sell an information pack just for these students to help them get familiar with the area and save money on the things they want.
Remember that college students do not typically have a lot of extra money so you will need to make sure they know they will save lots of money if they invest in your info pack. Keep the cost low. You could sell them for $5 – $10 per pack. Assure them that they will get their money back quickly when they start using the discounts and coupons.
What can you include in this informative and useful packet? Sell an information pack designed exclusively for a college student that contains a guidebook, a local map, bus/train schedules, coupons, and discounts they can use. Include anything that you can think of that would help them get comfortable to the area. Don’t forget you will want to include restaurants especially; health foods, deli’s, sandwich shops, pizza parlors, coffee shops, and Chinese food.
Local businesses will gladly work with you; they know that offering a coupon or discount will bring them new regular customers. See if you can get the businesses to offer a regular student discount, because this will really appeal to students on a fixed income. If you can include these in your packet, you will be able to show them how it will pay for itself in just a few purchases, by using the coupons and discounts.
You may want to check with all of the local bookstores also, and see if they will carry the info packs for students to buy. You may have to share some of your profits with them, but it will be worth it. Leave brochures in some of the businesses that accept coupons too; this can be an added source of advertising for you.
This works especially well in a city/town that has more than one college.