One of the reasons college tuition continues to rise at alarming rates is competition. Universities are constantly competing with each other to attract new students, and they go to great lengths to do it. Whether it’s building a state-of-the-art recreation center or giving out laptops to students, colleges and universities have to spend more and more money to encourage new students to enroll.
The result is that it costs a lot for us to pay for college, but it does come with some great perks. When I think about my college years though, I start to wonder if most students even take advantage of these perks while they’re in school. You’re paying for these perks with your tuition and fees, so you might as well make the most of them. Here are 6 common perks that students don’t take advantage of in college.
1. The Gym
At practically every public and private university, a membership to an on-campus gym or recreation center is included in your tuition and fees. Depending on the size of your college, the facility could be anything from a small single building gym to a massive recreation center filled with basketball courts, racquetball courts, a swimming pool, a weight room, a rock climbing wall, beach volleyball courts, badminton courts, soccer fields, etc. Do you realize how awesome this is? (You will once it’s gone, but then it’ll be too late.) So use it now!
2. The Library
Imagine a place where everything is free, and there are countless shelves filled with books, CDs, DVDs, and other media. Then imagine that there are even people there just to help you find what you’re looking for. Well, it really does exist, and it’s called the library. You know, that ominous building that you’ve avoided like the plague because you see people going in to study but never coming back out. Forget Netflix and Blockbuster, you can have a free movie night by checking out DVDs from your campus library.
3. The Student Health Center
After getting sick or injured for the first time at college, your first instinct may be to run to Mom, but suddenly, you realize that you can’t. If you live close to home, you could drive all the way back home, but there’s an easier solution. Colleges and universities typically have a Student Health Center with physicians on staff and specialists that come in a few times a week. The best part is that you don’t have to pay anything for the office visits.
4. Discounted Movie Nights
Both of the universities I attended offered discounted movie nights on campus a few times throughout the year. Typically, they would show relatively new movies before they were released on DVD. The price of admission was only a dollar or two for students and slightly higher for non-students. Of course, you get what you pay for, so don’t expect the optimal theater experience when watching a movie in a campus auditorium.
5. Educational Discounts on Software
Never let yourself or your parents pay full price for essential software while you’re in college. Whether it’s Windows Vista, Microsoft Office, or anti-virus software, you can get significantly discounted, or sometimes free, copies of these programs through your university’s software store. You’ll most likely find a few other useful programs that are available at really cheap prices, so take advantage of them while you still can.