Back-to-College Money Advice From Students, Colleges

Kelsey Sheehy

College is a steppingstone to the so-called real world. Students are provided food and shelter, courtesy of campus housing and meal plans, and aren't expected to hold down a full-time job until graduation. But they are expected to foot the bill for clothes, lattes, nightlife and any dining outside of the cafeteria.

Eighty percent of college students say they are charged with supplying their own spending money. Another 77 percent pay their own credit card bills, and 71 percent fork over their own cash for new clothes, according to a survey released earlier this month by Citigroup Inc. and Seventeen magazine.

[Discover 10 ways to save on college costs.]

For many students, college is the first time they've had control over the purse strings, and most are unpleasantly surprised by day-to-day living expenses.

Sixty-one percent of the students surveyed said college was more expensive than they anticipated, the report notes.

Undergrads deploy a number of strategies to avoid depleting their financial resources. Some pick up part-time jobs; others spend more time in the dorm and less time in the bar.

We tapped our Facebook and Twitter audience for back-to-college money advice and pulled together these tips from current and former students, college officials and finance experts.

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