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Ten Ways to Save Money in Art School

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Affordability is important at VCUarts. Here are some ways to save money throughout your college journey.

10. Find a part-time job on campus.

Many VCU departments and programs offer student worker positions. Be paid to assist in the Graphics Lab, give tours of the School of the Arts, or work in the Institute for Contemporary Art – your on-campus job can be the first step to gaining professional experience in the arts! 

9. Check out VCU’s Free Store.

The Free Store is an on-campus resource that promotes equitable access to everyday needs like school/art supplies, electronics, home goods and plenty more, while keeping usable goods out of our landfills. VCU students can take items for free!

8. Scout out student discounts.

Your student ID can get you deals at art supply stores, restaurants, theaters, and even salons and auto parts stores! With a campus in the heart of a bustling city, you’ll have no shortage of places to bargain hunt.

7. Take a mini vacation in Richmond for free.

Sometimes, you just have to get away to relax, recharge and get inspired to make more great art. Richmond has several parks for you to explore. Two of our favorites, the James River Park and Maymont, are close to campus.

6. Thift!

Richmond has a lot of thrift stores for you to explore–the perfect opportunity to find the perfect nightstand for your bedroom, a cute outfit to wear to your favorite class or DVDs of your favorite TV show so you and your roommate can have a binge session.

5. Immerse yourself in art and culture for free.

Looking for a way to be inspired, but also don’t want to spend money? Richmond is known for its many murals. Hop on your bike or grab some friends and walk around the city and check out the murals for free. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, a world-renowned museum located less than a mile from campus, is also free.

4. Shop for tech on campus. 

As a college student, you’ll need a decent computer to write essays, access online class content and do important self-care like play games and watch Netflix (you can’t just work all the time!). You can purchase your laptop from RAMTech, which offers discounted tech for VCU students – and you can even trade in your old device for cash there.

3. Consider using pre-owned materials.

Let’s be honest: textbooks and supplies are expensive. You need them to succeed in your classes, but used or rented textbooks work just as well as new. You can also find pre-loved art supplies at Richmond’s unique art supply thrift store, SCRAP, and the VCU Arts and Crafts Supplies Facebook Group!

2. Fill out the FAFSA now.

The FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The form is available now, and filling it out is the way to find out if you are eligible for grants, loans, and work-study awards.

1. Apply by the scholarship deadline: November 1.

All students who apply by November 1 will be automatically considered for VCU’s merit-based scholarships! Apply now.

VCUarts has the lowest annual tuition among the top 10 schools of art and design. Join us.