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A Financial Guide to College Extracurricular Activities

For students headed back to school, it is time to start thinking about joining extracurricular activities that fit each individual student’s interests. Being a part of clubs and organizations comes with several benefits, if you know how to manage the costs appropriately. Our experts break down everything students need to know below:

Many students head off to college without thinking about how choosing the right college extracurriculars could change their lives – or how hard those extracurriculars could hit their wallets. That’s why we’ve put together a financial guide to college extracurriculars, including insight on what kinds of expenses to expect, how to save money on extracurricular activities and when to use a student credit card to fund extracurricular costs.

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Getting involved with student activities in college

There are two major types of student organizations, explains Alexander Lowry, Executive Director of the Career and Connection Institute at Gordon College, a nationally ranked liberal arts institution in New England. Some organizations, such as chess clubs or intramural sports clubs, are primarily for fun. Others, such as business clubs, help prepare students for future careers. “These types of clubs are designed to help you meet people, build your network and get a job.”

Ofoegbu knows about the benefits of professional student organizations first-hand. “My engineering club allowed me to network with senior engineering students and university professors involved in the club, thereby expanding my pool of mentors and resources.”

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Does that mean that you should only sign up for career-building extracurriculars? Not necessarily. A student who is more interested in joining the anime club than the accounting club can still benefit from being part of an extracurricular organization. “Any club can connect you to a network of people,” Lowry explains. From there, you can make the kinds of friendships that can last well beyond your undergraduate days.

Earn extra cash

Many students already have part-time jobs or are involved in work-study programs, but if you have extra time and want to earn a little extra money, Thomas suggests picking up a side hustle. “Tutor students in a subject you are particularly good at,” she suggests, “or teach a skill you’ve already learned, such as how to play guitar.”

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