Life can be tough for a college student. First, there’s time management: How does one balance school, and maybe a job, with pressing social commitments?
But perhaps even more stressful is balancing a budget. Money can be tight, so the money-conscious student is always on the lookout for great deals and ways to get things for free or ridiculously cheap.
If this is you, Mustang Daily has compiled a list of a few on-campus resources that can make saving money even easier.
Not sure where to find the cheapest eats? Campus dining resource PolyDeals can help.
The website lists upcoming specials and deals at campus dining locations (e.g. $4 sandwiches at Village Market from 10 p.m. to midnight), as well as reminding students of long-standing discounts (e.g. wear green on Thursdays for 10 percent off at most campus dining locations).
PolyDeals was founded by Cal Poly computer science graduate Scott Dykzeul as a way to help students use social media to save money.
Cal Poly’s Media Distribution Services (MDS) are there when a student needs technical equipment for a project. MDS rents out equipment such as video cameras, audio recorders, projectors and speakers.
The service is incredibly useful for students such as landscape architecture senior Yesenia Fernandez, who said she rents from MDS at least twice a quarter. Fernandez checks out laptops with Adobe Suite programs out whenever she is working on a project that requires an Adobe program, she said.
“Without MDS, I’d have to beg and borrow, or buy it I guess,” Fernandez said.
San Luis Obispo City transportation
Buses that run through campus might not be a service offered by Cal Poly, but the university helps fund the bus system with money collected from parking fines, so any Cal Poly student can ride the bus free with their PolyCard.
The buses are key to saving money for landscape architecture senior Darlene Rapoport, who lives near Albertsons’ and takes the bus onto campus almost every day.
“It’s convenient and parking is way too expensive on campus,” Rapoport said.
Students who live on campus also make use of the free buses. English freshman Nicole Moore said she lives in a residence hall and uses the buses to visit downtown.
“I use it just to go to town once or twice a week,” Moore said.
Got a cold? Need a check-up? Don’t like to go to the doctor because it’s crazy expensive?
Cal Poly’s Health Center is there for just such an occasion. The Health Center, located next to the new Recreation Center, is funded by student fees and helps provide affordable (and sometimes free) health care to Cal Poly students.
The Health Center is a deal compared to other health care services in San Luis Obispo, Health and Counseling Services director Martin Bragg said.
“If a student doesn’t have any insurance, then the cost of medical care is horrible,” Bragg said.
At the Health Center, X-rays and local lab work is free. Students pay a small fee for pharmaceuticals and elective physicals, but most care is covered by student fees.