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March 5, 2019

What Students Should do with Summer Earnings

Making the most of summer wages takes some thought.

What Students should do with Summer Earnings

According to Pew Research Center, thirty five percent of traditional aged students work during summer in between academic years.  Wages vary widely based on the summer job, geography and skill level.  For some, they may need to pay for room and board out of their summer wages.  If this is not the case, consider putting those hard-earned wages into the following educational expenses.  

Save up to pay for books and supplies 

According to 2017 U.S. College Book Price Index, the average new academic book costs $72.67. Holy smokes with nine classes in two semesters, that is a whole lot of dough.

Stock away some of those summer wages to pay for hardcovers, transportation, extraneous costs, and student loan interest.

Plan to use your summer job wages to get your Chemistry book and notebook.

Save up to pay to get to and from campus.

Monthly bus pass in a US cities range from about $48-$122 per month according to ValuePenguin. If you are enrolled for 9 months, this can set you back from $432-$1,098 to get to campus. Even if you paying for gas, a gallon of gas will set you back $2.58 according to AAA on March 20, 2019. Whatever your mode of transportation, save some of those summer job wages to pay for these travel costs.

Save up pay for those “miscellaneous” expenses.

We all want to cheer on our Zane at the hockey finals, hear Kathy belt out that solo at talent show, and see Manuel speak at the auditorium. Ensure you have the funds to be able to support your friends and have fun by saving some of those summer job earnings.

Pay any unsubsidized interest on your student loans.

Whether from the federal government or a private lender, the majority of student loans have interest accruing while a student is in school at least half time and often during a six-month grace period before repayment begins.  Although it seems great to not have to make payments on loans during this time, interest is accruing.  If not paid, then the interest is capitalized – meaning it is added to principal just before entering into repayment.  No one wants to pay interest on interest, so consider making interest-only payments to your lender(s) with your summer job or #workstudy wages. 


Photograph of Colleen Krumwiede
Colleen Krumwiede
Co-Founder & Chief Revenue Officer

Colleen MacDonald Krumwiede is a financial aid expert with over a decade of financial aid experience at Stanford GSB, Caltech, and Pomona College and another decade at educational finance and technology companies servicing higher education.  She guides go-to-market strategy and product development at Quatro to transform the way families afford college.


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