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Setting up the room
Setting up the room
The damage. Almost all colleges send out a suggested shopping list that adds up to several hundred dollars, although if you pony up for high-quality stuff you can easily spend twice as much.


The fix. Buy used. Some campuses have a Goodwill-like depot where upperclassmen leave dorm furnishings. Ask a resident adviser.

Coordinate with roommates: One person brings the TV, the other can tote the mini-fridge.


By Kim Clark, Beth Braverman and Zain Ejiofor @Money - Last updated March 29 2012: 9:23 AM ET
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Pay for college and get a trip to Hawaii? Six college students and their families share strategies for cutting the cost of higher education.