Taking advantage of GW for less!

High costs have become an inescapable part of college life, especially here in Foggy Bottom. The tuition is always rising and so is the price of living in a city. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to keep your cash and get the most out of your time at GW. Here are just a few ideas:

Events with free food – A lot of student organizations hosting events offer complimentary food as a way to boost attendance. There are a wide variety of happenings to choose from almost every day, ranging from free DVD screenings to multicultural cuisine showcases to fraternity rush season. Who knows? You might end up joining the group or making some friends along the way.

Landmarks, parks and monuments – It is touristy, but there is a reason people travel thousands of miles to stand in front of these things and smile at a camera: Most of them are pretty cool. Walk by the White House, take in the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Wall or see an illuminated Washington on a nighttime visit to the Kennedy Center roof. Just make sure you don’t inadvertently walk into anyone’s photos.

Museums – Unlike most cities, the District boasts a handful of significant museums that cost nothing to enter. All of the Smithsonian museums on the Mall are open to the public free of charge, including the National Archives, the Air and Space Museum and the Museum of Natural History. Take an afternoon and check out the Constitution, the Hope Diamond or the giant panda family at the National Zoo near Adams Morgan.

Fall Fest, Spring Fling and Fountain Day – These three concerts are a great, free opportunity to see some live music performed by big artists. This year’s Fall Fest is on Sept. 6 in University Yard, followed by Spring Fling and Fountain Day second semester. Admission is free with your GWorld and the festivities often include other attractions and free giveaways. Recent headliners include Common, Gym Class Heroes, Ben Kweller and OK Go. Okay? Go.

Protests – Besides the high cost and location, GW is also well-known for its political awareness and activism. Whether you want to bring home the troops, throw bricks at popular clothing chains or carry posters of dead babies, the city surely has a protest for you and your convictions.

Guest speakers and special events – Your inbox is probably so packed with announcements about the latest panel discussion, documentary screening or Kalb Report speaker that you’ve tuned it out at this point. But you shouldn’t. These events are generally free to attend and are often very worthwhile experiences. Somethings you’ll end up earning extra credit for class or appearing on CNN or C-SPAN (though GWTV is more likely).

GW sports – The games are free – yes, even basketball – and they are relatively easy to attend as well. The Mount Vernon Campus facilities – used for soccer, tennis, lacrosse and softball – are a shuttle ride away, and most indoor sports are played at the Smith Center in middle of campus. Need more freebies? You may even catch a T-shirt or win some food at the basketball games.

The Hatchet – It’s totally free! But hey, you already know that.

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