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Use the Campus Resources You Pay for Anyway

Your school probably boasts a lot of 'free' activities, but in reality, your tuition is paying for any and every thing you can access on campus. Why not make the most of that expenditure and take advantage of some free services? Here's a rundown of what may be included with the cost of tuition at your school.

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By Sarah Wright

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Healthcare

There's a good chance that there is a free clinic on your campus that's available for everything from routine check-ups to emergency care. College campuses, particularly dorms, are usually hotbeds for spreading illness, so it's a good idea to go to the clinic if you're feeling under the weather. Your campus health services clinic might also provide students with over-the-counter medicine and other health-related items, like condoms, as needed.

Entertainment

Even the smallest colleges host concerts, lectures, performances and other cultural events that can add some variety to your day. Your favorite comedian might not be on the schedule, but taking advantage of free events like these can expand your horizons and give you something to do for the evening other than sitting in front of your computer. Plus, it's fun to feel social with other people on campus.

Academic Services

Your school wants you to succeed, and they likely provide a variety of tools to make sure that happens. Writing centers, student mentors, tutors and academic resource centers are common services that are available to every student. Since the whole point of paying tuition in the first place is to do your best, you might as well take advantage of these services that your tuition is underwriting. You can look at it that way if you're cynical about the possibility of a tutor helping, but trust us - it'll probably help.

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Activities

Do you like hiking, camping, sports and other physical activity? There are probably a host of resources available to you on campus. Your school might even sponsor all-expenses-paid guided backpacking and camping trips throughout the year, sometimes even over spring and fall breaks. Additionally, your school probably has a gym or recreation center that can save you a costly monthly bill from an off-campus athletic facility.

Library Resources

You (hopefully) already know about the academic resources your library has to offer. But you might be surprised to learn that your library also likely has a multimedia collection that's full of new movies and music to be discovered. If your librarians fill acquisition requests, you can suggest new additions to the library's collection and save yourself the cost of a Netflix account.

Vacation Opportunities

Granted, this isn't terribly common, but some schools have vacation properties that are available for student use. For example, Reed College in Portland, OR has a ski cabin on nearby Mt. Hood that can house students who sign up before all the spots are filled. Other schools, like the Citadel in Charleston, SC, have properties like beach houses that are only used for official school functions or alumni use. Taking advantage of opportunities to visit properties like these is great for students who might not otherwise be able to afford such an experience.

Your school also likely hosts volunteer efforts that you can join.

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