9 things not to buy your college-bound kid

College is expensive, so parents should save money any way they can. Here are nine items they can cut, without anyone noticing.

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Jul 25, 2014 9:58AM
Sorry, I disagree--Printer is still necessary because the universities often charge 10 cents a page to print, and printing facilities outside of the dorm or the library are hard to find on campus when you are in a hurry.  No professors I know prefer an electronic copy--most professors are crusty old guys, and they don't like change. also, a mini fridge is damn convenient when you are getting up for an early class and the dining hall is too far away to get to in the winter...also, where are you going to store your snacks??
Jul 24, 2014 7:49PM
1. Disagree.

A Printer is still necessary, and I've *never* seen a school that offered free printing to all students. Get a laser jet, much cheaper per page.

2. Agree.

They can get their own tablet. Not at all required unless a class specifically demands one.

3. Sort of agree.

 Sure, you don't need really expensive bedding, but I'd suggest getting  one of those anti-bedbug bags for your mattress if you're living in a dorm. (I still have nightmares about the bedbug infestation we had in my 3rd year.)

4. Agree.

Your kid can work to get his/her own TV. If the students in question can't afford it,  they should get used to the idea of not always being able to get what they want.

5. Disagree

If you plan on getting a job while in school, keep yourself neat. Get an iron/ironing board, or borrow one at least.

6. Meh

You still need clothes.

7.Your mileage may vary.

 Whether or not you need a good laptop depends on your major, and housing situation. You can build a very high end desktop for a fraction of what a lower powered "high end" laptop is going to cost you. Even more so when compared to how badly you'd get ripped off with apple computers.

8. Disagree

I'd never, ever trust the communal fridge in a dorm. And being able to store ingredients and cook my own stuff saved a ton of money that would have been wasted eating out.

9. Disagree (Sounds like an attempt to get more subscribers for Microsoft...)

External hard drives can be pretty useful, and might not be subject to network/power outages, and bandwidth/access limitations that you could run into. The idea that students won't back things up is pretty stupid as well. Everyone I knew always saved their stuff in multiple places if it was important.

10. Agreed

No real need for a smartphone, although they are very convenient.

Aug 9, 2014 3:07PM
The refrigerator is just stupid. A Communal fridge? Where the hell did you go to college? And yes...college kids DO go to grocery stores. Not all the time, but enough. And even if it is just to put soda in, a small refrigerator will pay for itself many times over when they can get a couple 12 packs of Coke at 25 cents a can compared to the $1 in the vending machines.

I cant think of anyone that didn't have a small refrigerator when I was in college. And there is nothing about the difference in the last 20 years that would make THAT change.
Jul 24, 2014 8:46PM
Jul 25, 2014 11:58AM
I'm guessing whoever wrote this hasn't been to college in a while or only did a pure liberal arts degree I came with all of these except for maybe the sheets and the iPhone and Iron (but I wish I had had the Iron early on).  
Aug 9, 2014 3:40PM
This post was ****. I don't know anyone who doesn't need a printer for school. As a biomedical science major I need to print out PowerPoints all the time. Most professors, even the young ones, do not like students using their computer in the classroom. Plus I have lab reports, lab handouts, 20 page articles, and all other sorts of things to print out. And professors DO NOT want assignments via email or paperless unless it is an online class. Most teachers want a hard copy. 

Also, it definitely isn't free to print. My school has $8.00 of printing money put on your campus card every semester but that comes out of your own tuition. I use all of the money within the first few weeks. For as much as I print, I can't imagine having my own printer, especially when the school ones only print in grayscale and often have issues so what you print comes out messy. 

Also, the type A side of me likes to have my macbookpro. I use it for much more than school though. And an external hard drive is definitely nice to have because then I don't lose all of my pictures and things I have saved on my computer from the last 10 years of having a computer. Ugh, seriously, I don't know who let this article be published, definitely needed the feedback of ACTUAL current college students.
Jul 25, 2014 12:52PM

I completely disagree.  I have my third one in college...

Yes they bought their own HD TV with graduation money.. and get a lot of use out of it.. not only does their Hi Tech lap top display on it.. but, they can entertain in their room or just be by themselves. gaming. etc.. there is down time, just like at home and common rooms can before a lot of rooms and you may not be interested in what is going on there. no mini frig really.. I have 3 athletes... we need food and water 24/7   there is no market in walking distance.. only some much junk at campus store. No tablet you will need a good lap top.. why would you not by a good one for at least 4 years of use, you need to take Physics Chem etc.. tablets.. 

Aug 9, 2014 4:00PM
Another poorly conceived article from MSN . . .

1. Disagree - school printers are frequently out of ink and paper if they are free.

5. Disagree - most college career fairs expect suits and ironed clothing.

6. Disagree - I actually lost a few pounds my freshman year because the food is not very good.  I lived on cereal and salad for a while.  You don't need (and will not have room for) an extensive or necessarily new wardrobe, but going to class in your pajamas does not give a good impression to professors.

8. Disagree - it's less expensive to buy a mini-fridge and occasionally buy a 12-pack of soda to restock than to hit up the vending machines every day just to get a cold drink.  Dining halls are not open 24/7.

9. Disagree - when your report is due in an hour AND your computer just crashed AND the internet is down in the computer lab (it happens), you need an external drive to go plug into another computer and print. 
Aug 7, 2014 12:21AM
Printers are still necessary as many professors like to have hard copies of their students' work. Also a mini-fridge is needed, not all kids get to have those expensive meal plans and some have to keep all their food in their room.
Jul 25, 2014 12:00PM

1. You're going to need a printer. I have yet to find a college that you can print for free and you have to factor in distance and time depending on where the rooms were and IF the computers were not all taken. Some schools also do not have wireless printers. Plus, think of it this way: something wrong with your printer? You can go to the library or computer lab and print there for a fee. Something wrong with the printer in the library and you don't have your own printer? Oh, well.

2. Agreed.

3. Depends. I had 2 types of bedding for my extra long mattress; 1 that was good and 1 that was cheaper and sucked.

4. I brought in my tv from home (not bought specifically for college). The common room tv was always being hogged by other people. Plus, it was another convenience if a teacher told us to watch some program that was going to be aired on a certain date and you didn't have to fight over the tv with some suite mates.

5. If you know how to iron and wear things that need to be ironed, bring it. My roommate had one and used it constantly.

6. Buy clothes IF you need it. Everyone needs clothes.

7. Depends on what you plan to do with it. I had my own desktop bought specifically for college and it was powerful.

8. Depends. You have to call the campus and find out what their rules are on this. Some dorms will allow a mini fridge, but not a microwave; the school may rent out a micro-fridge (with microwave attached) to cover both needs. Also, not all colleges have a communal fridge (too many fights over who stole what and accusations).

9. Depends on what you need it for. My roommate had one because she had a lot of data on it involving school work.

10. Agreed. I had a regular cell phone that did nothing special.

Aug 9, 2014 3:39PM

The only time I was asked to submit papers electronicaly was when I had an online class.  Otherwise, everything had to be printed out.

Aug 9, 2014 5:48PM
What bugs me about this "article" is the fact that the author seems to be telling us to "get with it", as this is the modern age, yet the discussion focuses on "sending" items along with young adults going to college, as opposed to letting the kid get settled in and find out what the requirements of individual instructors are, and also what the new roommate(s) already have.  There is only so much space in a dorm room or apartment anyway. If the kid ends up needing a printer you could have one sitting on the doorstep from Amazon in 24 hours, as opposed to packing it off in the covered wagon for the long journey to college. Yet another example of all the commenters knowing more than the writer.
Jul 25, 2014 10:09AM
So first off, I read this as a list of things that college kids need, not necessarily who should be paying for them.  If your kid has a job and savings, then absolutely he/she should be pitching in to buy a lot of these things.  

But to say that they are not needed in college is flat out wrong.  

1)  You can get by without a printer in this age, but it is definitely a convenience.  Honestly I prefer to print out everything and work with printouts that I can write on and take notes on rather than have to use a computer to access everything.  

2)  Laptops/PCs are on the way out and Tablets are the future.  Most online platforms are being redesigned so they are tablet friendly.  We are at a point where tablets can do virtually everything that a PC can, only it weighs 1/10th of what a laptop does.

3)  Bedding - the one thing that I mostly agree with on the list.  Buy cheap stuff that's comfortable but replaceable.

4)  My college did not have free TVs anywhere in any dorm.  We were expected to get our own.  My freshman year I lived with 5 other guys and we did not have a TV.  Halfway through the first semester someone found one in a trash that needed to warm up for 3 hours before it would turn on.  This is what we used.   

5)  I like to look nice, and you should expect your college aged kid to look nice too.  Wrinkled clothes do not look nice.  What is he supposed to do for an interview?

6)Don't buy clothes because they'll get fat anyway?  Seriously?  Is this the state of affairs we're in?

7)  Weakly agree as long as they have a tablet that they can bring to the library.

8)I had leftovers and cheap snacks in my fridge all the time.

9)Cloud storage is cumbersome and unreliable.  It's no substitute for a hard drive.

10)  Who doesn't have  smart phone now.  Seriously?  
Aug 9, 2014 3:35PM

Iron & ironing board are definite necessities. You may not need it often, but quite useful. Board also can be used as a dinner table. Crisp button-downs are de rigeur at many university or frat events & functions, and those teeny closets & drawers keep all your clothes a mess. You need to be able to steam your suit or party dress without going to the dry cleaners.

Mini fridge & microwave are necessary. Never heard of a communal fridge & the thought gives me the creeps.

Printers can be useful; like other posters have said, no such thing as free printing. Some drafting or mathematic or accounting classes require papers to be printed off. Just get a cheapo.

TV is a necessity if your student watches any sports, most of which are not available online. Only 1 per bedroom, tho.

Aug 9, 2014 3:47PM
Paperless is crap and gone out the window.  We still live in a paper world and professors DO WANT HARD COPIES.  Printer - YES.  Communal fridge?  Well maybe in some areas, but have you ever used the fridge at work?  You lose items in there all the time without people asking.  What do you think would happen to your 6 pack of coke in a college communal fridge?  Get real!!  TV=YES. Not everyone enjoys watching what is on the communal TV and you just may enjoy having some alone and quiet time in your own room to watch what you want or play games.  Laptops are necessary, how much you pay is up to you.  You should ALWAYS have insurance on this stuff.  Tablet = agree NO.   Iron = yes for my family members.  They ALL USED IT.  So that depends on who you are and how you present yourself and your taste in clothing.  Plus, we always sent them off with a microwave as well.  People, do what you want and not what the article says to do.  Everyone is different, but if you don't send them with a Fridge, I'll bet come Christmas they will be begging for one!!
Aug 9, 2014 7:05PM
As a current grad student, I can say not getting a tablet can actually COST money in the long run. i got a middle-range priced tablet and download all my textbooks to the Kindle app, that are at times $100+ cheaper than the print versions. They're also much easier to navigate, with search functions and touch-activated note functions. So no, tablets aren't going to replace a laptop at the moment, but they'll do a lot to help you avoid the overpriced campus bookstore.
Aug 9, 2014 6:36PM

Printers are necessary, some professors insist on paper copies. Not to mention info professors post online that students want to print.

I may have hated to iron but there were times when I needed to and was glad to have one.

I love, love, love my external hard drive. The cloud requires internet connection and if the internet is down then you are SOL when it comes to accessing important documents.

Yeah printers aren't going anywhere any time soon, this is more idiotic BS like a "paperless" society. The person who wrote this probably smoked dope the entire 4 years and never bothered to really do anything other than the bare minimum. Not many teachers expect you to email them all your assignments and if they do they should be fired.
Jul 24, 2014 9:18PM
dad,i'm going to a party.would you do my homework for me?
     i'm sorry,kid,but it just wouldn't be right.
     well,maybe not.give it a try anyway.
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