Do you have a child going to college? If so, check out Amazon Prime Student

college students

It’s back to school time. Some students have already returned to school.

Our daughter is in college (she hasn’t started yet) and our son is a senior in high school this year. That means this time next year we’ll have TWO kids in college. Sigh… where has the time gone?

Do you have a student heading off to college?

College is completely different than high school – especially if you have a child who is going to be living in a dorm. There is so much to think about – textbooks, cooking supplies, furniture, bedding, decor, electronics… it can really blow your mind. It’s not so bad after you have already purchased these things, but when you first start off it can be very stressful because you are afraid you might miss something important.

Having to drive from store to store to get everything you need also adds to the stress. What you need is a “one stop shop” for all college essentials (supplies, textbooks…) as well as “must haves” for your child’s dorm room.

Thank goodness for Amazon Prime Student.

Many people are not aware that Amazon has a special prime program with college students in mind – Amazon Prime Student.

I have been a Prime members for years. I love it! I shop on Amazon all the time. Just the perk for FREE two-day shipping on most items makes it well worth it.

Students can shop for all their back to school needs on Amazon including personal needs, decor for their home (including furniture!), cooking supplies, bedding and my personal favorite – TEXTBOOKS!


I dread having to go to the school store for textbooks. I hate having to wait on long lines lugging around super heavy books. By the time you add in other supplies you need a wheel barrel just to lug all the stuff to check out.

With Amazon Prime Student you can shop from the comfort of your own home – day or night. There is no need to wait on long line and have to carry around heavy stuff.

Not only can you buy textbooks from Amazon Prime Student, but you can also rent textbooks. I LOVE that idea! Textbooks are expensive (and that is an understatement!). Having the ability to rent textbooks is wonderful and saves a lot of money.

You could literally sit at your computer and take care of your child’s off to college checklist from the comfort of your home. You can even comparison shop to get the best deals.

Having an Amazon Prime Student account also means that your student can shop for whatever they need throughout the semester and have it delivered to them at school. Or you could shop for them and have it delivered to them.

As a parent, I would give my child an Amazon gift card so that they are able to shop for whatever they need while they are at college.

Amazon Prime Student makes the whole “heading off to college” experience a lot less stressful.

College Students

There are also plenty of “perks” to having an Amazon Prime Student account. In addition to FREE two day shipping on many items, students will also receive exclusive deals, discounts, offers and promotions just for students. You’ll also be eligible for sweepstakes, giveaways, and contests.

Students will also have access to million songs with Prime Music and one free pre-released book a month with Kindle First.

Student can also save money on going to the movies or renting movies because with Amazon Prime Student they will be able to stream tens of thousands of movies, videos and TV shows with Prime Video. It’s compatible with TV, laptop, Fire TV, smartphone or choice of more than 600 devices.

College is all about making memories. That is why having FREE unlimited photo storage with Prime Photos is also a great perk. That way your student can save their favorite photo memories.

Students can refer other classmates to Amazon Prime Student through a special referral. When you refer a friend and they sign up for Amazon Prime Student they get a $5.00 credit and YOU get a $5.00 credit.


Right now you can get six months of Amazon Prime Student for FREE, compliments of Sprint. After that it’s just $49 a year—half the price of a regular Amazon Prime membership. You do not need to be a Sprint member to enjoy this special six month trial.

As a parent I can see the value of having an Amazon Prime Student membership. The perks alone (movies, music, books, free two day shipping) are well worth it, but having access to textbooks and other student supplies makes Amazon Prime Student a “must have.”

For more information about Amazon Prime Student visit Amazon.

What do you think about Amazon Prime Student? Do you think it’s something you’d like to have for your college bound student? Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.



I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Make the Right Financial Choices for College – Tips from a Financial Industry Veteran



As a parent with one child in college and another heading off to college in the fall of 2017, I know all too well about the difficulties of finding a way to pay for it.

Below is a guest post from the CEO and co-founder of College Ave Student Loans that might help some parents to navigate the stressful process of paying for college. This is a guest post. The opinions expressed are that of the author’s and do no necessarily reflect my own.


College award letters have arrived and decision day has passed. Now tuition bills are arriving and many families are thinking: How do we pay for it?  As parents formulate a plan to afford college, private student loans can help bridge the gap between scholarships, grants, and federal student loans.  Here are some tips from College Ave Student Loans CEO and Co-Founder Joe DePaulo on things to consider when thinking about private student and parent loans:

Consider all of your options. Scholarships, grants, and federal student loans in the student’s name should be the first things families look to when budgeting for college.  Unfortunately, these sources aren’t always enough to cover the full cost of college.  A successful college funding strategy takes some research and planning, by looking at all available sources of funding.  For those with good credit, a private student loan or private parent loan might help with expenses not covered by other options.

Understand the importance of good creditUnlike federal loans, private student loans typically require a credit and income review to determine an individual’s anticipated ability to repay the loan. Since many students have limited credit history and income, private student loans typically require a cosigner (often a parent or guardian who has good credit and sufficient income) who agrees to take equal responsibility to repay the loan if the student borrower can’t. Some private lenders, like College Ave Student Loans, also offer parent loans for parents who want to borrow on their own without sharing responsibility with the student. Parents with strong credit may be able to save with private parent loans over the Federal Direct Parent PLUS loan, so be sure to shop around. Not sure about your credit? College Ave Student Loans offers simple and free credit pre-qualification tools at CollageAveStudentLoans.com so customers can quickly find out if their credit qualifies for a College Ave loan.

Make sure your plan goes beyond tuition.There are lots of extra costs of college beyond the school’s tuition and fees. Plan ahead for extra expenses likedorm supplies, books, or a new laptop. If a student is in off-campus housing, you may also need to think about utilities, groceries, gas and more. Schools factor these additional expenses into their cost of attendance. As long as your existing aid doesn’t exceed the school’s calculated cost of attendance, private student and parent loans can be used to cover those out-of-pocket costs. College Ave’s Parent Loan even offers the option for a portion of the loan funds to be deposited directly into the parents’ bank account – so they can control the spending for extra college costs.

Don’t assume all loans are the same.  If you decide that borrowing is the right option for your family, shop around to get a loan that works for you. Low rates are important, but also be sure to look for lenders with repayment options that help you match the loan to your budget. Be on the lookout for any application or origination fees as well. 

If you need to borrow, don’t wait until the last minute. The time from application to disbursement (when a student loan is sent to the school) varies. At a minimum, the process requires participation from you, your lender, and your school.  Even though this can be streamlined, there’s always the possibility that something could slow it down such as your school certifying your loan.  On top of that, there are certain regulatory periods (e.g., right-to-cancel period) that are required by law and cannot be reduced.

College Students

About the author:

Joe DePaulo, a financial services veteran, previously served as CFO, EVP of Banking and a member of the Board of Directors at Sallie Mae. Before Sallie Mae, he was CEO and co-founder of Credit One Financial Solutions, a company focused on debt consolidation. He previously held several executive positions as MBNA, including U.S. Card group executive and member of the corporate management committee.


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Need help paying for college?


Our daughter's high school graduation.

Our daughter’s high school graduation.

I am forever grateful that my father and step mother set up a special savings account for both of my children for college. Living paycheck to paycheck hasn’t afforded us the opportunity to to put aside much money to help our children pay for college. Thankfully their college funds can help pay for at least two years of college.

Our daughter is currently in college. She graduates this time next year. She is already looking into what college to transfer to.

There are many factors she is considering when looking at colleges to transfer to – majors, college life, area, reviews from other students, and the biggest factor of all – tuition.

When I look at the cost of tuition I get stressed out. It truly is a major investment, just like a car or a home. You really have to explore all options to make the best decisions for your family.

Now that our daughter’s college fun from grandpa is running out we need to find other ways for her to afford her college so that she can finish up her Bachelor’s Degree, and ideally her Master’s Degree down the road too.

One of the things that bothers us about most student loans is that their terms are not something we are comfortable with. We want a student loan that has payment terms that we feel are best for us.

Student Loans

I recently learned about College Ave Student Loans.  College Ave Student Loans is a leading online student loan marketplace.

The College Ave Student Loans parent page is loaded with a lot of valuable information about College Ave Student Loans, interest rates and how parents can save an average of $1,000 compared to Federal Student Loans. I’m all for saving money.

Another interesting thing that I like about College Ave Student Loans is that parents can get up to $2,500 direct deposited into their bank account. Those funds can be used to pay for other college expenses like books and dorm supplies. I can tell you first hand that college books are VERY expensive. Just one of my daughter’s books cost $300 – and it was a used book.

With most student loans, parents and students are required to start paying the loan back as soon as the student graduates. With the deferred payment and astronomical interest rates, students are looking at paying back hundreds of dollars each month. That is not that easy for a new college graduate to do.

A co-worker of my husband’s daughter is paying over $400+ per month toward her student loans. When I think about my daughter and how much she makes at her current job, there is no way she can afford that. It’s no wonder many college students end up back and home with their parents.

A unique thing with College Ave Student Loans is that parents and students can start paying the loan off right away. You do not have to wait until your student graduates from college. By paying off the loan while the student is in college you are saving a lot of money on interest.

College Ave Student Loans also lets parents/students to pick their own payment terms, making it easier and more convenient to pay back the loan. Repayment terms run from 5 to 12 years.

College Ave Tool

I was playing around with the College Ave Student Loans qualification tool and found that payment terms and amounts are very flexible. You could easily find something that works for you.

The tool shows you payment amounts for loans from $2,000 up to $80,000. I put in random amounts (thinking abut how much the colleges my daughter is looking into cost) and played around with the length of the loan and how much per month we could comfortably afford.

I found this to be a very valuable and eye opening tool.

If you have a child who heading off to college, and you are still up in the air about how you are going to afford the tuition and other expenses, I encourage you to check out College Ave Student Loans.

College Ave Student Loans also have no origination fees and lower rates than the federal loan for those with qualifying credit.

Let’s face it, paying for college is not easy, but knowing how much you can afford and how long it will take to pay it off makes the process a lot less stressing.

For more information visit the College Ave Student Loans homepage. From there you can you can access tools, loans, refinancing and more.

You can also check out College Ave Student Loans on social media. Their links can be found on the bottom right of their homepage.

Do you have a student in college? Do you have student loans? How are you dealing with them?

Do you have a student who will be attending college in the near future? How are you planning to help pay the cost of tuition and other expenses?

College Ave Student Loans Logo


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Dormco – for all your college dorm needs



Do you have a child in college or heading off to college for the first time?

My daughter is starting college this fall. I was hoping that back to school shopping would be easier and less expensive, but I was wrong. VERY WRONG! College is super expensive. Even the books are enough to make you take out a second mortgage. One book alone is $300! That is more money then I make in two weeks. Sigh…

I went to college but I didn’t live in a dorm or student housing. I was under the impression that a lot of what kids would need would be made available to them through the college like cooking appliances and seating. Little did I know that most college dorms are a clean slate and you need to bring every single item that you’ll need with you – from pots & pans to bedding and from seating to lighting.

I have heard from other parents I know with kids going off to college that they have to drive all over the county looking for everything their child would need for college. Who has time for that? Not only that, that is a lot of money for gas and time spent waiting online to make those purchases. It’s like going Christmas shopping. I avoid going to stores at all costs during the holidays to avoid the crowds and long lines. That is why I prefer to shop online.

Thankfully there is a “one stop shop” for all your dorm needs. It’s called DormCo. DormCo literally has everything you’r student will need when they are away from college – and even things you didn’t think they would need, but probably will.

Since I have a daughter in college, and one that will be starting in a few years, I wanted to see what things I could find at DormCo for them. As a parent I was very impressed with what I found on the site. For example, they have plenty of security and safety products for students. That is something I think A LOT about – my daughter’s safety and protecting her valuables from being stolen. DormCo has pepper spray, door stops, panic buttons, locks for your laptop and so much more.


I personally like the idea of a fridge lock. I think I need that in my house to keep my teenage son from eating us out of house and home. Ha Ha.

Seating is an issue in our home. Because our home is small we lack a lot of comfy seating where the kids can sit and relax, do homework, read or play on the tablet. Their only options really are their beds, the couch or the dining room table.

DormCo let me pick out something from their awesome site to review. I wanted to get something comfy for my kids to sit in (and for my daughter to take with her when she goes). There were so many options to choose from.

Originally I was going to go with the Papsan Dorm Sofa, but then I saw something else that caught my eye – The Coma Inducer!

What is the Coma Inducer? It’s a bean bag type chair that is filled with memory foam, not pellets like most bean bag chairs. That means it is not only incredibly comfortable, it also won’t lose it’s shape over time. The memory foam also gives you better support.

As a parent I like that the snugly fleece exterior can be removed and washed. I especially like that since it’s still in our home because our dog and cats see it as a giant pet bed. LOL!

I was surprised when it arrived. It was delivered in a compact box. Even when we opened the box (my son and I) the Coma Inducer looked like a giant brick – that is until my son started to mush it around and loosen things up.

Here is my son on the Coma Inducer in the living room shortly after we un-boxed it (when he was “fluffing” it up). Notice how our dog Espn seems to think it’s for him. LOL!

Coma Inducer from Dormco

Eventually we moved the Coma Inducer into his bedroom. Although both of my kids are welcome to use it, my son begged me to let him have it. And he hasn’t stopped using it since. He uses it all the time when he’s on his laptop.

Because it’s huge we are limited to where we can put it, but that hasn’t stopped my son from finding the perfect location.

Dormco Coma Inducer

That is our cat Padmé sitting next to him. I also see our dog next to him often too.

The dog and our cats are totally convinced it’s for them. I catch them snuggled up on the Coma Inducer often.

This is our cat Bella blissfully sleeping on the Coma Inducer.

Coma Inducer Memory Foam Chair

I should make note that this chair is HEAVY. Super heavy! It weighs around 50 pounds and it’s not easy to move it around. You either need help or you have to roll it around. I would suggest if you purchase this for your college bound student NOT to open the box it’s shipped in until you are at your child’s dorm room.

I have DormCo bookmarked on my computer and I have already been creating a “shopping list” of items I want to get for our daughter when she moves off to the dorm early next summer. She’s also been checking out the site and letting me know what she wants and thinks she’ll need.

Instead of driving all over town going from store to store looking for things your child would need for college, visit DormCo instead. Everything your child will need can be found there.

To check out DormCo for yourself visit DormCo.com. The brand can also be found on social media. All of the links are found at the bottom (right) of their website.

Do you have a child or grandchild heading off to college in the near future? What have been your experiences purchasing all of the supplies and items they will need?



*I received a free product sample in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Support your back with the Bedgear Back Support Pillow



Do you have a child heading off to college in a few weeks?

Back to school shopping is stressful enough just for regular school. Shopping for a child heading off to college is a whole different thing. There is so much more shopping to do for college students then just books, pens, paper and a backpack. College students need bedding, bath totes, curtains, plates, eating utensils, towels and so much more.

I have a college bound student, but thankfully she opted to stay local and live at home to save money (at least for a couple of years). That gives me time to gather up the things she’ll eventually need when she finally lives on campus.

Students do a lot of studying and homework. Some choose to sit at a desk or at a table. Others prefer to sit in their beds. Personally I don’t know how anyone can sit in their bed and do homework. That must be very uncomfortable, especially if you had a headboard that you have to lean your back on.

Some kids prop themselves up with pillows, but I have a better idea – a backrest from Bedgear.

Bedgear makes a backrest with an advanced performance features that provide better rest and maximum recovery.

Bedgear logo

The Bedgear Backrests are expertly powered by the exclusive Dri-Tec® fabric, which works to transport heat and moisture away from the body and maintain even heat dispersion, and Air-X® ventilated gusset panels, to facilitate optimal air flow for a cool surface. In addition the backrest features a gel pad cover and latex fill for ultimate comfort and  convenient side pockets.

Some people might think the Bedgear Backrest resemble “husband” pillows. The do but the big exception is that these were created to provide maximum support and comfort. As someone who has used a “husband” pillow before I can tell you that there is a HUGE difference between a “husband” pillow and the Bedgear Backrest.

Just like regular pillows a “husband” pillow can lose it’s shape. In fact with repeated use they can actually lose so much of their original shape that they are uncomfortable to use. In addition they are not made to keep you cool. Heat can build up inside of them making them not overly comfortable to use.

We received a Bedgear Backrest to review. My kids both fought over it because each one likes to do things while sitting up in bed. Our son ultimately won out because he uses his laptop while sitting in bed and finds it so much more comfortable then leaning his back on his headboard.


Regular pillows do not provide any kind of support.


Bedgear’s Backrest pillow provide great support on your back – plus its very comfy too.

My son loves the Bedgear Backrest and uses it all the time when he’s on the computer and even when he’s watching TV. We have to pick up one for our daughter because she’s jealous and she really wants one too for when she’s sitting in bed ready, doing her nails, or just watching TV.

The Bedgear Backrest pillow is available in three color combinations that I would consider “unisex” meaning they are ideal for both men and women. The color combinations include: Grey/Lime Green, Navy/Grey and Black/Grey. We have the Grey/Lime Green combination.

A Bedgear Backrest pillow would also be great for someone who is on bed rest or anyone who finds themselves doing a lot of things sitting up on their bed.

If you would like to learn more about Bedgear’s Backrest pillow visit Bedgear.com. While you are there check out the other bedding and performance products they carrying including pillow, baby crib mattresses, mattress protectors, bedding and more.

I have one of their pillow which I sleep with every night. It’s an awesome pillow. You can read my review here.

You can also find links to their social media pages on the bottom of their website.

What do you think about the Bedgear Backrest pillow? Does it look like a product you would like to have?



*I received a free product sample in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Heading off to college



Our oldest child is a senior in high school this year. In just a few short months she’ll officially be a high school graduate. How did that happen? It seems like yesterday she was performing in her 3rd grade class holiday concert and bringing home the artwork she made in class. Instead of helping her with her ABC’s my husband and are helping her to prepare for the next step – college!

Our daughter wants to go away to college – as in far away. It has nothing to do with us. She would like to spread her “wings and fly”.

We live in a tiny condo. We also do EVERYTHING together as a family – even if it’s not exactly what the kids want to do. I can totally understand why she wants to go away – so she can find herself and become her own person. We also cannot afford to travel. Our vacations are mostly day trips where we are back home by the end of the day. Our daughter is a lot like me – she wants to see the world and travel. Life is an adventure and she wants to relish every moment of it.

When I went to college I was supposed to go away too. No too far – just 3+ hours from home. My parents had other plans. They wanted to see how well I did in college before spending a small fortune to send me away. They told me to attend our local community college for a year. If I did well I could go to any college I wanted to. That sounded like a great deal to me.

I hate to admit it but my parents were right now to send me away.

My first semester I did “ok”. The second semester I pretty much failed every class. I enjoyed my new freedom a little TOO MUCH and barely attended class. I would rather hang out in the lounge or go to lunch with friends.

After that fiasco I quit college and got a full time job. It wasn’t for many years later when I matured enough to return to college and ended up graduating with honors and moving on to an accelerated Bachelor’s degree program. I was simply not ready to go to college when I first graduated. It happens. Sometimes students just need to take a year or two off before going to college.

Our daughter wants to go away to college, but we are making her go to a community college first. It has nothing to do with her not being ready – she IS ready for college. It’s simply a money issue and the fact that she has no clue what she wants to go to college for.

Where did the time go? They grow up TOO quickly!

Where did the time go? They grow up TOO quickly!

If our daughter had her own way she’d go to a college in California when she graduates in June (we live in New York). That is fine and dandy but the problem is she has no clue what she wants to go to college for. She keeps bouncing around ideas…

  • Lawyer
  • Paralegal
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Criminal Investigator
  • Teacher
  • Fashion Merchandising

She simply cannot narrow it down. There is a huge difference between a lawyer and a fashion merchandiser and a Forensic Psychologist and teacher.

Our daughter is currently taking all college classes in her senior year of high school. That means when she graduates she’ll already have college credits and probably one semester of college already done. Therefore she’d only need to attend three more semesters to graduate with an Associates Degree.

Our “game plan” is for her to either go to our local community college for three semesters and then she can transfer anywhere she wants – or – attend the community college where her grandparents live and live with them. That way she’d be away from home but still with people who can help care for her. The only problem is my father has no clue what he and my stepmother are going to do next year. They might move, downsize or ???

Sadly our daughter might not have a choice. She might have to go to our local community college.


Money is a factor too. Our kids have a trust fund from their grandfather and currently our daughter has about $15,000 in her accounts. That is not a lot when it comes to college. Many colleges are double that amount – per semester! And that doesn’t include books or the dorms.

Until she figures out what she wants to go to college for we feel that it’s better if she goes to a community college which is cheaper (about $1,500 per semester) the go away to college and have her get into debt with student loans and have to pay $10,000++ for her to living in a dorm – money we don’t have. If she goes to community college it will give her time to figure it out while she gets the basic classes done and out of the way. She hates that idea but we don’t see any other way around it aside from her taking a year or two off to work and figure out what she wants to do with her life.

If you and your child are having a hard time figuring out going to college check out this FREE download helpful – 2014-2015 KapMap College Planner.

To find out other ways Kaplan can help your college bound student visit www.Kaptest.com/College-Prep. They can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Is your child heading off to college soon? Do they know what they want to major in? Do you know what college/colleges they are looking to get accepted into?

If you have a child currently in college, or recently graduated from college, feel free to share tips, suggestions and advice. It will not only help me but others who have children heading off to college.

You can also check out the hastag #JourneytoCollege to see what others are saying.

College Graduation


*This is a compensated post from She Speaks and Kaplan Test Prep however the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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