How to Invest in Real Estate Before You Graduate College


Everyone’s familiar with the term “struggling college student.” It’s a true cliche that affects millions and it’s hard to escape the stigma. But many millionaires and billionaires don’t wait until they graduate college to start building their fortunes. If you interview top grossing entrepreneurs and investors, they’ll tell you they were very young when they made their first investments.

A lot of entrepreneurs choose real estate investments as their first ventures. These are considered more stable and higher-grossing than others, and the barrier for entry is often lower. In fact, you could get involved without a degree or much cash.

That being said, real estate investments are a great way to lose a lot of money if you don’t approach them intelligently. If you’re a poor college student, here’s what you should know about investing.

Find Feasible Financing

Unless you’re sitting on a trust fund, you probably don’t have substantial capital. In fact, you probably have a negative balance when you factor in your student loans. Unless your debts are unreasonable, this shouldn’t be a huge concern. Using the capital you have, there are options for investing without a lot of money.

A popular option is real estate crowdfunding, in which you, as the primary investor, put in a small amount of money and offer to run point on the project. You’ll make the purchase, set up the renovation, and organize the money. Other investors will contribute money in exchange for a certain return on the project. Each of you will receive a return and benefit from the proceeds.

There are other ways to make an investment with low cash flow, such as real estate investment trusts (REITs), hard money lenders, and private investors. It’s important to note that these forms of financing aren’t easy to obtain. You’ll want to develop good relationships with financiers and business people, developing a way to demonstrate your ability to make a success out of this project. Do thorough research and discuss your options with professors and money lenders.

Be in Good Financial Shape

The options mentioned above for financing your rental can be done without a lot of money on hand, but you’ll still need to run a tight financial ship. Qualifying for a loan, whether it’s from a conventional or private lender, requires a decent credit score, a good debt-to-income ratio, and a decent savings account.

Qualifying for loans without help isn’t easy, but getting help isn’t too hard if you have someone supporting your venture. A parent, friend, or business partner with good credit and financial experience can co-sign the loan to help you qualify for a lower down payment and interest rate so that you can afford your monthly payments and establish a history of good credit for future investments.

Buy a Single-Family Rental House

Rental properties that are near a college or university make great investments. You live in the neighborhood, so you’ll have some idea of the prices and quality expected in the area surrounding the college. Additionally, if you own a rental home, you can live in the house and rent out the extra rooms. Depending on what you charge for rent, you can live there virtually rent-free while you’re going to school. It’s a win-win situation!

It’s also easier to get financing for a single-family home than for an apartment complex or a commercial investment. You can use traditional financing and make a few updates (such as adding a kitchen and bathroom to the basement so that you can rent out both halves). The rent you collect will pay for the mortgage and more.

Wholesale Properties

Wholesaling is a great form of investment for college students without a lot of cash because it doesn’t require personal money. You’ll find great deals on properties and then sell them immediately to investors for a slightly higher price to make free money on the exchange.

You can wholesale properties using the multiple listing service (MLS)  if you can find properties listed well below their book value, but a better wholesaler will buy properties that aren’t listed. This is a great practice for the cash-strapped college student because not only can you make great returns to pay off your student debt, but you can also learn a lot about finding great deals, which will be incredibly useful for your future real estate investment prospects.

Any of these ventures won’t make a ton of money quickly, but with the right planning, research, and investment intuition, you can make more out of your limited income and work towards a brighter financial future before you earn your degree.

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6 Extremely Practical Tips for Living Off-Campus for the First Time

living off-campus

Moving out of the dorm and into an off-campus housing solution – like an apartment or rental – is both exciting and nerve-wracking. You probably don’t know what to expect and might be a little apprehensive about the responsibilities that come with taking care of your own place. You’re also notably excited about the freedoms that come with the territory. But what can you do to make sure you survive? Here are some suggestions that you’ll commonly hear from those who have been in your shoes before.

  1. Choose Good Roommates

The most important step in the process is finding the right roommates. Your best friends may or may not be the ideal roommates for you. Think about schedules, personal habits, interests, and other issues when determining who you want to live with. Nothing is more miserable than having a roommate you don’t like, so avoid rushing into things just because a particular living situation seems convenient.

  1. Build a Good Reputation With Your Landlord

You’ve probably heard stories from friends who don’t get along with their landlords – you don’t want that to be you. The landlord can make or break your satisfaction and you want to get in his good graces.

Here’s the thing: Landlords are cautious when it comes to renting out their properties to young people. College students have a reputation for not taking care of their properties and many landlords simply don’t want to deal with the hassle. If you can build a strong relationship on the front end and garner some trust, things will go much smoother.

  1. Conduct a Walkthrough

When you move out of your rental property, your landlord is going to walk around the property and inspect everything. If something is broken or missing, you’re going to get charged for it. Understanding this, you need to conduct a walkthrough with your landlord prior to moving in so that you can document anything that’s already broken or missing. This will protect you should any discrepancies emerge at the end of your lease.

  1. Set Some Ground Rules With Roommates

It’s not always an easy conversation to have, but you need to set some ground rules with roommates as soon as you move in. This will hopefully allow you to avoid conflict and ensure everyone feels safe, comfortable, and happy.

For example, if you’re big on cleanliness and want to make sure people don’t leave their dirty dishes in the sink after eating, establish some rules on putting dishes away and unloading the dishwasher. Little things like these might not seem like a big deal in the beginning, but they can create friction after months of living together.

  1. Use Your Kitchen

Speaking of the kitchen – use it! One of the biggest benefits of living in an apartment or house (versus dorm room) is that you have a space to make your own meals. This can save you a lot of money and typically ends up being a lot healthier.

  1. Make Memories

Finally, be sure to make memories. There’s nothing like living off-campus for the first time and experiencing new freedoms. Have a blast, make new friends, and don’t take these years for granted.

Just Use Your Head

Being a college student can seem difficult at the time. Between classes, group projects, your social life, and maybe even a part-time job, there’s a lot going on. But the truth of the matter is that your life will never be easier than it is now. Just use your head, be smart, and have a blast. Living off-campus for the first time is a quintessential college experience and you should maximize the opportunity.

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4 Basic Ways To Pick Where To Head To College

Choosing College

When it comes to choosing where you want to go to college, there are a lot of complicated ways that you can approach the problem. Or, you can try to simplify, and really focus in on what means the most to you. The more basic your decision-making process, the more concrete results are going to be.

So, four basic ways to ensure that you had to the college that most suits you would be to look at things like the campus, the reputation of the college, the budget that you have to work with, and where your social group is headed. By breaking things down into those four categories, you’re giving yourself a better chance to determine the broadest value of your potential decision.

By the Campus

When you visit a college campus, it may be exactly what you need to decide if that’s a place that you want to go or not. The basic environment and vibe that you get from walking around a certain place may indicate to you that this is where you want to learn. It really could be as simple as that. How many people that you’ve talked to about their college experience reminisce fondly about the campus itself? That should give you a pretty good indication of how important that particular factor is.

By the Reputation

Another way to choose your college is by reputation. In order to do this, simply research college reputation on a number of different sites and see what the results are. The overall reputation score is going to come from a combination of how professors rate the place, how students rate the place, and how employers rate of place. By getting a good feel for how other people observe the conceptual value of a college, that can get you a pretty clear indication if it’s a place that you are interested in attending or not.

By the Budget

How aware of you of how much college costs? Because the thing is, no matter how badly you want to go to a particular place, if it’s not in your budget, then it’s not going to happen. If you can’t even make it into place by getting loans, and working with grants and scholarships, then it’s probably better to look into different options. Especially if you’re in your early years, you don’t want to waste money on freshman education when you could be saving it to use that money on higher education and preferable spots later down the road.

By Your Social Group

And finally, you can consider your social group when it comes time to choose the college. If all of your friends are going to a certain place, especially if it is nearby and within your budget, then there’s no issue with choosing that as a primary destination. Especially if you don’t know what kind of major you want, going to college with respect to a social group can give you some of the basic support that you need to make it through a first year or two.

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3 Ways to Get Away With Having A Pet In College


College is a time that is often stressful, but it’s also one of the greatest time periods of your life. You learn so much because it’s the first time you really individuate from your family, and you learn what it’s like to be an adult and hold down a job, as well as make payments on bills, get your coursework done, and maintain social time with your friends. There are moments you don’t think you’ll survive through, and there are others that turn out to define you.

When you go off to college, there are big adjustments being made. You can’t really cook for yourself if you’re in a dorm, you have to prioritize, and you end up disconnecting from friends and family you’ve been close to for years. One such family member you’ll probably find it hard to disconnect from if your family pet from childhood. Dorms don’t usually allow pets, so the option to bring your baby along isn’t available. However, if you want to get away with having a bet in college you can try out these 3 things:

Get Your Own Place

Sometimes not having a pet isn’t an option. If this is you, you might have to get your own place when you go off to college. An apartment or a house close to campus could be a great option for you. Of course, if you bring your pet along, you’ll have to assume all responsibilities, i.e. feeding them, giving them water, loving them, covering their pet insurance, but these are all tasks that are worth it when you can come home after a long day of classes and get a big, wet kiss from your furry companion.

Settle For Betta

When option A doesn’t work, you just might have to settle for option B, which is a Betta fish in this case. Fish are low maintenance, your dorm advisor probably won’t even realize you have one, and if they have some sort of qualm with the matter, you can kindly explain to them that their rules are ridiculous. So even if you can’t have a cat or a dog or a pig, a fish might be as good at it can get. You’ll still get your fill from Betta. He’s colorful and requires to be fed and have his water changed, so if all you want is to name something and have it there for you when nobody else is, a fish called Betta will do the trick.

Room With A Freshman

If you can’t have a pet, and a fish isn’t allowed either, don’t fret. Just room with a freshman. They’re young, unruly, emotionally dependent, they’ll ask you lots of questions, you’ll have to pick up after them, and you’ll basically be their parent for the whole of the year. That’s basically like having a pet in college. Train them to do tricks, and everybody else will be impressed and knocking at your door. If things take off enough, you could even charge for admission.

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Reasons College is Probably the Most Dangerous Atmosphere You’ll Ever Be In

Studying college

College is invaluable. It’s also a great path to take for many people in the world. Education and knowledge are two major catalysts for success. Of course, college isn’t for everybody, and there is much controversy surrounding operations, finances, politics within the system of education, and many other departments, but used correctly, university and schooling will help you in ways other things can’t.

However, just because there are many good things about school doesn’t mean that it isn’t filled with bad, as well. College is likely the most dangerous atmosphere you’ll ever be in. Sounds a bit far-fetched, right? Well, here are reasons why it’s true:

You’re In A Very Important Stage of Life

In recent years, the age range of college students has diversified. Once upon a time, college was only for rich folk and people of higher class standing were the only ones who could afford it. Thankfully, that trend changed and it became common place for people of all walks of life to attend school beyond high school.

Over the years, it’s been popular for students to move on to college directly following high school. That means the age range for college students has been between 18-23. Today, those stats are different even still. The average age of a college student today is 25. Regardless of exact age, 18-25, or even to 30 is a very important stage of life.

What happens in that time determines how your life will turn out. College is dangerous for this stage of life because many in this age range don’t know who they are. This leads them to make decisions that have negative consequences. They’re more likely to try drugs or change their belief systems based on the people and atmosphere around them. College is a heightened experience. It’s intense and fast moving. What you surround yourself by in that time will shape who you are, so choose wisely.

Everything is New

While exciting and stimulating, college is a period of time in which everything is new. Some people don’t handle change well. Amidst the stress of the lifestyle and the social pressures you face, at the same time, you’re learning what it means to be an adult and pay for yourself in the world. You’re taking in different philosophies about life, you’re meeting new people, trying out the dating scene, going to parties, studying, working, and doing a lot of other things.

So much new in one season makes transitioning hard. College will consist of the hardest times in your life, and the best. It’s what you make of it. In the end, it’s a dangerous place to be. You have to learn to protect yourself from the bad, choose to embrace the good, and you must learn to thrive in a cesspool of controversy. It’s dangerous…but danger also makes you step your butt into gear.

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Five Tips For Focusing On Studies Rather Than Fun


College, for many, is the first long-term time away from home, which makes it a time for experimenting and having fun. However, for many college students, that leads to failed classes, debt, and dropping out. Considering the importance of a college education when it comes to acquiring gainful employment it is really important for a college student, no matter what their age or what year of college they are in, to focus on studies and get through college with flying colors.

You can still make new friends while you are in college, but it’s important to keep your eye on the prize. What is important about college are your studies, and what you learn, not the parties and people you meet. Here are some ways to work on focusing on what’s important while you’re spending your days in the dorms.

Skip The Parties

While partying in college may seem like fun and a great way to let off steam, it’s also a great way to start down the wrong path. Alcohol abuse and drug use can lead to addiction, which can start with an innocent college party. Plus, college and frat parties are high-risk places for binge drinking and alcohol poisoning.

Unless the party is happening in your own dorm room and there is no way to avoid it, skip going to parties. If you do need an escape from homework go, but don’t drink and don’t stay long.

Wait For Dating

You’re going to meet a bunch of new people while you are in college so there is no reason to jump into relationships too soon. Sooner or later you’ll graduate and you will both go back to your hometown, or moving on to wherever your future career takes you. There is no reason to risk broken hearts while you’re trying to plan your career future.

Have A Dedicated Work Space

Having a dedicated study and workspace in your dorm room can be a great way to help you keep focused. Studying in bed isn’t going to be conducive to learning, so having a desk can be a great asset.

Make Study Buddies

Having some good friends in your different classes that you can study with can also be beneficial. Study buddies can be motivational and they can help you keep on track and fill in on any areas you are lacking in.

Have A Creative Outlet For Breaks

When you need a break from homework and studying skip the party and find something more creative to do with your time. Embracing creative hobbies can actually help give your brain a good workout. Take up journal writing, go for hikes, do yoga, or take an art class.

Don’t let college stress you out, but don’t make things even more difficult by neglecting your studies!

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5 Fair Warnings About the Transition To College Living



The transition into college life can be dramatic and drastic, especially if you’re younger and just getting out of high school. Being on your own is a huge shock to the system if you haven’t experienced it before, and it seems as though that movement from safety to freedom is becoming more worrisome in more recent generations.

So, although going to college can be an amazing experience, and one that sets you up for a successful life more quickly than various alternatives, it’s important to listen to warnings, especially regarding things like drugs, sexual assault, frats and sororities, freshman-level classes, and putting yourself into the job market.

Be Aware of Drug Information

In the realm of hindsight, you’ll find that many people who deal with drug addition later in life started out some of their behaviors when then were in college. Though college is arguably the best time to do some of this experimentation, there are lines that can get crossed if you aren’t careful, and it’s not hard to get into the wrong kind of crowd when it comes to harder drugs that can distract you from the purpose of your university studies.

Read Between the Lines Regarding Sexual Assault Statistics

For women especially, understanding sexual assault potential on different college campuses is extremely important. There are lots and lots of unreported crimes of this nature, so you may believe that a particular school is safer than it actually is. Before blindly believing that a school doesn’t have a problem at all with this kind of behavior, talk to various women’s advocacy groups on campus to see what they have to say.

Research Frats and Sororities

A big part of the college experience for many people is the frat and sorority experience. And for many people, the attitudes and the events fit with their general demeanor. However, more transparent sets of information in the last decade or so have shown problems in the fraternity communities that can really color a person’s experience poorly. Know what you’re getting into!

Get Good Information About Freshman Classes

There are a few different ways to get information about Freshman classes, and not all of them are good. You can find out which ones to take in order to skip, or which ones to take because they’re easy, or which ones to take because they’re actually valuable. Choose wisely!

Get a Job As Soon As Possible

Too much free time is a problem during the college experience as well. Add to that, not much money, and it’s a conundrum. So, to that end, find enough time to study your material, but then also get a job, even a part time one, to fill your time responsibly and make money simultaneously.

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Hunter College

3 Study Tips to Help You Ace Your First Big Test of the Semester


While a lot of college revolves around parties, dating, sports and more, you’ve still got to do well academically in order to remain at school and off of academic suspension. But for those who either struggle with studying or have test anxiety, passing classes can be a huge ordeal. So to help you feel more confident in your abilities to do well in your classes and maybe even make the Dean’s list, here are three study tips that will help you ace your first big test of the semester and all semesters to come without developing bad habits like using study drugs.

Switch Up Your Study Spaces

Many students find a location or method of studying that they think works for them and then stick with that one formula for their entire academic career. While this may prove to be useful in the beginning, the Huffington Post shares that actually switching up your study spaces may make you a lot better at studying and recalling that information come test time. They claim that memory is strongly tied to location, meaning that it could be difficult to recall the information you’ve learned in a testing center if you’ve been studying in one location for an extended period of time. To combat this, try studying in a few different spots to help those memories to not associate with any one place and be easier to recall when you need to.

Avoid Cramming Before Tests

Time management is one of the biggest reasons people come into tests feeling unprepared. When you haven’t managed your time well to study for a test, that’s usually when you end up cramming in the few precious hours before you’ve got to take your exam. But according to, pacing your studying over longer periods of time makes you much more likely to really retain and understand the information you should be learning. Try studying a bit after each class instead of doing it all in one sitting. This strategy also helps you to not get burnt out from going over your notes time and time again in just a few hours before your test.

Don’t Fly Solo

There may be times where you feel you’re going to get the most out of your study time if you spend those hours alone. However, Randall S. Hansen, a contributor to, reports that studying in groups or even with just one other person can increase your understanding of the material. This also makes it easier to split the work of studying between multiple people so you can learn both through your own studying and through the learning-teaching process of sharing your knowledge with others. This could be especially helpful if your test involves short answer questions.

By planning ahead and taking your studies seriously, you can see big improvements on your test scores in no time. Use the tips mentioned above to find easier academic success today.

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Drive Smart: 3 Ways College Students Can Be Safer Drivers

Driver takes the car key

College students have a bad reputation as drivers, and it’s unsurprising why: the leading cause of death for teenagers is car accidents. Because of statistics like this, young people have very high insurance premiums, and that can be hard to afford. Parents also tend to be very worried that their kids will be hurt while driving, especially once they leave home.

How can you stay safe and set your parents’ mind at ease when driving? While your mom will always worry, these 3 practices can make you one of the most reliable young drivers on the road.

Turn Off Your Phone

Distracted driving is a very common problem among college students – it’s just hard to put your phone down. While you’re driving, fight the urge to chat or text, even at stop lights, by turning your phone off or setting it to do not disturb mode. Be especially careful about texting – dialing a phone to make a call nearly triples the likelihood of an accident, but drivers who are texting are over 23 times more likely to be in an accident. Distracted drivers are a danger to themselves and their passengers and a risk to everyone else on the road.

Know Your Safety Features

Many college students own used cars, which is great from a financial standpoint, but not always ideal when it comes to safety. Make sure you’re familiar with your car’s particular safety features, such as whether or not it has side airbags and how many seatbelts are in your car. Some small cars don’t have a third seatbelt in the back; if your car doesn’t have one, keep your car at capacity. Just because you can fit a third person in the back, doesn’t mean you should when they can’t ride safely.

Take A Class

Sure, you might have only finished driver’s ed a few years ago, but that’s not the only class available to drivers. You can take refresher courses if you haven’t driven much since getting your license or even schedule a special highway driving class if you’ll be doing more long distance trips now that you’re out on your own.

Another useful class to consider is a defensive driving course. These classes are meant to teach you important driving strategies for avoiding accidents and they go above and beyond the basics learned in driver’s ed. Much of the time you can even get a discount on your insurance premium if you take a defensive driving class and present your insurer with evidence of completion.

Having a car as a college student can provide a lot of freedom, make it easier to live off campus, and even free up your parents when you need to come home from break, but you have to prove your responsible enough to drive without supervision. Follow the laws, drive smart, and put safety first whenever you’re behind the wheel and you’ll be on the road to success.

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Dealing With Drug Addiction In College

college drugs

The college years can be a stressful time, for many reasons. You may have moved across state or even across country to go to your school of choice, which means that you are far away from your family that you are used to be with all the time. Depending on what you are going to school for, you may have a lot of tough courses and an extremely busy schedule ahead of you.

Many new college students will also be spending time working while they are going to school. That means even more stress and even longer day. All that stress in college can quickly lead to substance abuse. Most times, there is an underlying issue when it comes to addiction, from a brain disorder to using substances as self-treatment.

Don’t Even Experiment

While it can seem a benefit to take a pill that can give you more energy so you can stay up later and study, any kind of drug can lead to addiction. Plus, each time you take a drug, even if it’s a prescription one, you risk your life. Even if it is your prescription, if you are taken it different than recommended you could be harming yourself and you could risk overdose.

You may think that taking speed once, because you have midterms due, will just be that one time thing. However, once you’ve felt the effects it can be hard to say no the next time you “need” it. Instead, try to set better hours to work and study so that you have time for everything.

Be Careful At Parties

Rape is something that is far too prevalent on college campuses, and 80 percent of college students that are roofied are women. When it comes to parties, it’s simply part of the college seen to go and have some fun and have a drink or a few. However, you need to make sure you have a buddy with you when you go partying, and you also never want to accept a drink from someone else, or leave the one you have unattended.

By have a buddy, even if someone does slip something in your drink, they can be there to see that something is wrong and make sure that you get home safely.

Get Help

For some college students a few nights of parties and drinking each week is simply normal, and not a problem. However, if your drinking or drug use gets out of control, and becomes something you need just to get through the day, then it’s time to look for help.

If you become addicted to alcohol or another substance it can be detrimental to your college career. You may get kicked out or drop out. Things could be much worse than even this, from jail time to death. Get help, and if you have a college friend that has a problem, get them help as well.

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