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Financial advice from a student in the know

By March 20, 2020January 14th, 2021No Comments

Entering his second year of a double degree in the Bachelors of Law and Applied Finance at Macquarie University, Zack Mason feels he’s on a path to success. It seems the combination of his interest in his subjects and some university student ingenuity is what’s got him past the trials and tribulations of first year worries.

He says there are plenty of ways to save money on university campus in first year. You’ve just got to know where to look.

Textbooks savings, financial support, working part time, joining university societies and applying yourself are his top tips for getting through first year.

“The first thing I learnt at uni was that you can save money by not buying some of the ‘required textbooks. Some units will rarely use these textbooks as all the course material is covered in the lectures and tutorials. Other units will rely heavily on the textbooks and without them. It will be impossible to do well,” Zack said.

“Textbooks, particularly law textbooks, are very expensive.”

“I suggest talking to students who have already completed the unit to see how important the textbook is – you may save yourself a few hundred dollars.”

Financial support can come in many ways for university students.

The CEF University Survival Guide walks students and care givers the options available to students while they are studying.

The guide also has great advice on government support and tips for helping you enter the workforce.

Another resource CEF offers is our annual Scholarships Guide. Universities offer a great range of scholarships and financial assistance for a variety of reasons from academic me. Accommodation bursaries are available too – and very handy for rural and regional students.

Zack said joining university societies – especially the ones particular to your degree – offer a great advantage also.

“You don’t have to be heavily involved in them, but you will meet people with similar interests to you. Some of them may have completed units you are currently doing and can give you advice about them,” he said.

“More importantly, often as a regional student, you may have started at the uni with only one or two people that you know. Societies are a great way to network and make new friends.“

Zack is the founder of a great society for country students: the Macquarie University Rural and Regional Society.

“Make friends with someone doing the same degree as you. Most degrees have a few hundred or more students completing them in your year group. You are bound to find someone with similar interests to you that you get along with. If you can, then you can attend classes and lectures together and supplement each other’s understanding of key concepts. You can also discuss assessments and homework and share some of the workload; it makes life a lot easier.”

Zack has been supported with an education grant from Hastings Education Fund and a CEF education partner scholarship.

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