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Like many college students, I think about my college tuition and applying for scholarships to reduce that big number staring back at me on the screen a lot. With the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opening in December for the 2024–2025 school year, I’ve been pondering how to require less financial assistance for the upcoming school year. Although I haven’t come up with a solution yet, I have figured out how to make the most of the tuition that I’m paying with my financial aid. When the time comes to pay off my student loans, I know I’ll want to feel good about utilizing the resources that OSU offers its students by simply attending college here. If you’re also looking to make the most of your tuition here, take a look at this list I made compiling ten ways to make the most of your tuition—you most likely won’t have the chance to utilize this many resources once your time at OSU has ended!
1. Attend Group Fitness Classes
Maybe you don’t want to lift weights or run on the treadmill at the RPAC or the satellite gyms, or maybe you just need to mark down a time in your busy schedule to get in some movement. In either of those cases or another, OSU offers FREE group fitness classes ranging from Zumba, candlelight yoga, Pilates and more, all of which you can attend on your own or with a few friends. All you have to do is go to the Group Fitness website, pick the class you want to attend, choose a time, sign in with your school email and register for the class—make sure to plan ahead, though, because the spots fill up quickly!
2. Utilize Student Legal Services
College is a time when you’re navigating a handful of new challenges and experiences, and Student Legal Services is here to help you whether you need representation for criminal defense, help to review a lease or more. As a student who is in the process of signing the lease for a house, my future roommates and I want to make sure we have a roommate agreement planned out and go over the lease we have to sign to make sure we understand everything stated in it. Make sure to keep Student Legal Services in mind if you ever need any legal help—scheduling an appointment is free and super easy!
3. Visit the Writing Center
No matter your major, it is pretty much guaranteed that you will have to write some sort of paper at some point in your academic career. Whether you need help on an English paper, aid in writing a lab report, guidance on making a résumé or more, OSU’s Writing Center is here to help! If you’re taking any language courses, the foreign language departments also have tutoring resources for writing and conversational aid.
Check out OSU’s Student Life Calendar to put some fun and interesting events to attend in your calendar! Ranging from wellness to comedy to politics and more, choose some events that pique your interest and take advantage of the free experiences and things you can get from going.
5. Go to Free Sporting Events
Besides football and men’s basketball, OSU students can attend virtually any home sports game for free! Sometimes tickets will sell out or you’ll have to arrive early to get the ticket for free, but just plan accordingly and you’re set. When winter comes around and college football season has ended, it’s not always easy to know what to do with your weekends, which is why going to other OSU sporting events is a great substitution!
6. Use OSU’s Library Catalog
Whether you’re looking for a particular book or scavenging for that perfect peer-reviewed article for your paper, OSU’s library catalog is a great resource to use. Instead of buying new books, reading a book that has already been paid for by the university is a great way to save money! Additionally, it’s so much easier to navigate OSU’s database of peer-reviewed journals and articles rather than searching for them on a search engine.
7. Get Discounts on Streaming Services By Proving You’re a College Student
Even though you still have to pay for streaming services, signing up for them and proving you’re a college student will give you great discounts on your monthly subscriptions. Some of my favorite services that give discounts for being a college student are Spotify, Hulu and Amazon Prime!
8. Utilize OSU’s Discount Ticket Program (D-Tix)
When I’m looking for stuff to do, especially in the winter, I always like to check out D-Tix to see what discounted tickets and gift cards they’re offering each week. Whether you’re looking to get cheaper tickets for a concert, go to the Columbus Museum of Art, grab some food or more, OSU’s D-Tix program offers discounts for almost any event you can imagine! Some of my favorite experiences I’ve gotten through D-Tix are going to The Guild House (a Cameron Mitchell Restaurant), visiting the Columbus Museum of Art, eating at the North Market and getting some delicious ice cream at Jeni’s!
One of my favorite ways to explore Columbus is by taking the COTA, which is free for all OSU students to take with just a swipe of their BuckID upon getting on the bus! Just use your favorite navigation device, hop on the COTA and you’re set to get to your destination. OSU has also partnered with Lyft Ride Smart where between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m., students will receive discounted Lyft rides inside the university’s designated area. When I don’t want to walk back to my dorm at night, Lyft Ride Smart really comes in clutch!
As a student majoring in both Communication and Spanish, I don’t always want to study in Hagerty Hall or Derby Hall. Switching up your environment is an easy way to inspire motivation and reduce burnout, so go visit the various academic buildings on our beautiful campus! Some of my favorite spaces include the Timashev Family Music Building, Orton Hall and Knowlton School.