20101112 Wasted tuition
(Source: Tribune News Service)

 

There are a lot of opportunities for Weber State University students to earn their degree with as little student debt as possible. I was fortunate enough to find this out early in my tenure, halfway through my sophomore year. Because of these opportunities, I paid about half of my tuition on my own through my junior year and absolutely nothing out-of-pocket for my tuition in my senior year.

The biggest piece of advice I can give is to get involved, both at Weber and in your own education. Get to know your professors. Drop in during their office hours and chat with them. They’re pretty smart folk.

This step helped me two-fold. First, it showed that I cared about my own education and was willing to put in the work. When professors know you care, they tend to remember you. When they remember you, your name tends to come up when administration starts throwing around names of people who should be nominated for scholarships. I’ve received several scholarships in this manner. Of course, don’t forget to apply!

Second, professors usually know of involvement opportunities on and around campus. Getting to know my professor is how I was able to interview at the Writing Center and become a peer tutor. In addition to being a paying job, it’s something I’ve become incredibly passionate about.

There are also alternate routes to involvement. Student government, community involvement and campus internships are also all fruitful opportunities and useful experience for college students that can translate directly into post-graduation job skills.

A word of caution, however. In my last semester, I was involved with the Writing Center, the National Undergraduate Literature Conference, The Signpost and several clubs — all of this on top of my senior semester course load. I spread myself a little thin. The semester I had hoped would be the take-it-easy one turned out to be a fevered nightmare of stress. It’s been a high price, but it’s been an extremely rewarding experience.

So get involved. Get to know your professors and your peers. Take advantage of any opportunities that come your way. When you bleed purple, purple will take care of you.

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