Although she's very excited, she is very aware of finance. McNeill was accepted to seven schools, but because of the economy, she chose UNC Wilmington.
"A lot of my college money was in the stock market, so when the stock market went down, there went my college tuition," McNeill said.
Professional stylist Suzanne Libfraind says the first way to save is to shop in your own home for free.
"Because if it's not broken it can go to college," Libfraind said.
Almost everything McNeill has gathered -- bins, a book bag and school supplies came from her home.
If you have to purchase some items, prioritize your budget. Libfraind says discount retailers like Target offer checklists and competitive prices.
A mom of college students herself, she says invest in deep pocket sheets for dorm beds.
Another great way to say is to talk to your roommate and split the bill on items to share.
The dorm room should feel like home. Photos and posters cost next to nothing, can help your dorm feel like home away from home and are priceless.
Here are some lists of items you should consider as you prepare: