Maximizing your tuition and fees


DACA students are left out of the CARES Act, a relief fund for those impacted by COVID-19. 

Ally Frickel

As the 2016-17 school year comes to a close, it may not be too early to figure out what you’ll be doing next year in and out of classes. In other words, it may not be too early to find out more ways to maximize precious tuition dollars.

Here are some ways — some more obvious than others — to maximize tuition money.

Go to class.

Going to class may be overlooked at times, especially if it’s an 8 a.m., but ultimately this is why students are at Iowa State: to get an education.

“It’s what I’m paying for,” said Caitlin Meader, sophomore in psychology.

Attend the sporting events you already paid for.

If you have a ticket to a game, go. You won’t have another chance to go to that game, and they are always fun, win or lose.

Go to the gym on a regular basis.

Lied Recreation and State Gym are here for students’ benefits. Students can stay in shape while in school and partake in the multiple services and classes the gyms offer, both having a wide range of exercises.

The gyms also allows students to rent sports equipment, so exercise may not always have to be something to dread over. All you need is your valid ISUCard and a visit to the service desk.

“Volleyballs, basketballs, badminton equipment, towels and other equipment are available for checkout,” according to the State Gym and Lied websites.

Use the free wifi on campus.

No matter where you are on campus, you can get free wifi just about anywhere. Try connecting to the different networks if you don’t get an automatic connection right away. It can seriously lower the phone bill. You’re welcome, Mom and Dad.

Take advantage of office hours, getting to know TAs and professors.

Staying after class for the extra five minutes can help create a better relationship with professors and TAs that may benefit your academic career. Attend SI sessions if you know you are struggling or just need a little bit more help.

“Use your professors and make relationships to use them later on to make yourself more marketable,” said Paul Melancon, sophomore in mathematics.

Explore tutoring and Supplemental Instruction.

If you feel you aren’t doing the best, there are different resources for tutoring students can use, such as supplementary instruction sessions and tutoring through the Academic Success Center.

SI is free for students, and tutoring through the ASC is $4 per session.

“Definitely go to SI,” Tori Scharfenkamp, junior in animal science, said.

Another resource the ASC offers is academic coaching from the ASC coaching staff, which are free workshops for students to attend. These sessions are available for fall and spring semesters.

In addition to the coaching, students can meet with coaches to discuss topics such as test anxiety, exam preparation and time management. Check out the study plans the ASC has on their website for students to customize and use!

Find a club that you know you will actually participate in and enjoy.

Go to ClubFest and be real with yourself — find something that actually interests you. This club may be a fun break from schoolwork, and it may allow you to focus on something you are perhaps more passionate about.

Fall 2017’s ClubFest is currently scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 6th, 2017, on Central Campus.

Here is a list of the participating organizations from fall 2016 to get a taste of the range and depth of organizations.

Add a minor/minors to your degree.

Use elective spots to complete a minor in an area that may interest you. Minors may not be as hard to complete as you may think, and it’ll broaden your range of study.

Take advantage of free on-campus events.

Take advantage of on-campus events such as Cyclone Cinema, WinterFest and ISU After Dark. You don’t know what you could get for free, and it will be fun. They don’t put on the event if they think it will be boring.

Do your research before finalizing living spaces and meal plans.

Take into consideration pricing, location and how much you actually eat per week versus how much you should eat per week.

Think about taking summer classes.

Taking summer classes will free up space in your schedule to add a minor/minors if you need the extra space. If you do take summer classes, consider taking them through a community college to save money — if the credits transfer properly.

Visit your academic adviser regularly.

They may know what is academically better for you than yourself. They can also help you plan out your college career from here if you are feeling a little lost. In addition, they may give you tips on how to plan your classes more effectively.

Microsoft Office is free through the university.

Normally quite expensive, Microsoft Office is free for Iowa State students during their time at the university. Visit the TechCyte website, or this link, and follow the easy steps to download.

Look into intramural sports if you want to play in school.

Intramural sports have a range of competitiveness. With the level of competitiveness comes flexibility and a way for students to get their minds off of academics for a little bit.

“It’s a great way to show your competitive side,” said Kathryn Fornoff, freshman in mathematics. “You can have fun while playing off the freshman 15.” 

Check out the Intramural Calendar, Registration and Schedules website for details.

Consult Student Counseling Services.

SCS has a range of services other than individual or group therapy. There is also career, couples, crisis, sport psychology and veterinary medicine counseling.

SCS also offers mind-body services, which includes biofeedback, a mindfulness meditation class and a mind-body spa.

More importantly, SCS is here for students, no matter what his or her situation may be. Check out their website for more information.

Visit the Student Wellness Center.

A newer department at Iowa State, student wellness is also here for students seeking assistance throughout their college career.

“Iowa State University Student Wellness is holistic and engages students in finding balance in mind, body and spirit, achieving success and building life-enhancing skills in their journey for life-long well-being,” according to the Student Wellness Center website.