10 College Essentials Under $10

Back to school season is officially in full swing and it’s time to start preparing for the next year of classes. No matter if you’re a freshman heading off to college for the first time or you’re a senior ready to get your diploma, these 10 items are essential to your success. Plus, they’re all under $10!

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Pilot G2 Pens – $9.88


These are my absolute favorite pens! I’ve been using these pens for years and they’ve never let me down. I love that they come is such a variety of colors – they make my note pages look beautiful! I also love these Paper Mate pens

Mechanical Pencils – $5.46


It’s extremely important to have pencils for exams and homework! You don’t want to show up to a scantron test and only have a bright pink pen – uh oh. Store a couple in your backpack for just in case moments. 

Divider Sticky Notes – $6.49


These are a life saver if you use a large notebook for multiple classes. I even enjoyed using them on my loose leaf paper that I keep in binders! They’re perfect for keeping sections organized while providing an extra space to put important notes. 

College-Ruled Notebook – $3.43


Five Star notebooks have always been the notebooks I gravitate towards. They’re plastic covers never rip off and the pockets inside always come in handy. I personally use a combination of 1 and 3 subject notebooks for all of my classes.

A Stapler – $5.98


Don’t get caught turning in your homework without the papers being stapled – a stapler is a must! I also suggest getting a mini stapler to carry around in your backpack for emergencies.

Basic Scientific Calculator – $10.99


Depending on the types of classes you’re taking you may need both a graphing calculator and a basic scientific calculator. Some professors don’t allow graphic calculators during exams due to their increased computing abilities.

If you’re an engineering student, I highly suggest this graphing calculator – it was a lifesaver for Calculus III and Differential Equations. 

(and yes I know this one is over $10… just round down and you’ll be fine)

USB Flash Drive – $8.49


Whether you need to print something at the library or are working on a project in a lab, having a flash drive is essential.

I actually recommend having more that one in case one dies – this happened to me twice in college… moral of the story? KEEP BACK UPS OF ALL YOUR FILES. 

Notecards – $2.89


Notecards are the bomb for studying. Plus, having colored ones helps to study different types of information. Always have a stash on hand for those quick study sessions.

Scissors – $4.79


Having a pair of scissors on hand is not only great for group projects, but also helpful to have around your dorm room. They’re especially helpful when you’re doing craft projects or decorating with your dorm friends! 

Highlighters – $4.36


Never again should you be caught studying without a highlighter! These are perfect for creating study guides, reviewing notes, writing cheat-sheets, and reading papers or case studies.

Although some of these things may seem like basic school supplies, it’s important not to overlook their value. Having these essentials can help make college less stressful and easier to manage. What are some other college essentials you use that are under $10?

  • penspenspens

    I HIGHLY recommend a stapler than can handle 40+ pages at once. As an English major who takes creative writing classes, I have profs who LOVE handouts. Last term I had over 300 pages of handouts, revisions, you name it, and my heavy duty stapler was amazing.

    • Oh that’s a really good point! I think the most I ever had to staple was 25 or 30 pages. Getting a three-hole punch is also a great option when you get a log of handouts!

  • Katie Sandlin

    I despise those Bic mechanical pencils, well any mechanical pencils except the Paper Mate ones pictured below! I would be feverishly writing notes in Calculus last Fall and the lead would break numerous times and I’d miss notes because I was clicking the darn eraser!! I tried the Paper Mate ones and I’M IN LOVE!! I literally hand one to people when I see their lead break and tell them to keep it and then go buy some more when they fall in love 🙂


    • I never had a problem with the Bic Mechanical pencils, but I only ever used them during exams. I always wrote my notes with pens like the Paper Mate Flair! 🙂

  • Katie Sandlin

    I also highly recommend the Paper Mate Flair Felt Tip Pens, Medium Point. The following is the review I wrote on Amazon after purchasing them.

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE these! Pens/markers bleeding through so that you see the writing on the back page seriously irritates me to the point that I’ve always used pencils in my planner, textbooks, etc. I recently decided to try color coding my planner since I am a very visual learner. I assigned each class, personal activities, work, etc. a different color. I wouldn’t have believed it unless I saw it for my own two eyes, but THESE MARKERS DO NOT BLEED THROUGH!

    P.S. I don’t work for Paper Mate or know anyone that does 😉


  • Katie Sandlin

    This is my last suggestion and then I need to get back to deep cleaning and organizing my room to get ready for school to start back next week!

    If you purchase either of the products I recommended below, you’ll need something to put them in. I bought these pouches on Amazon and they’re currently listed for $9.40. This is the Amazon review I wrote after purchasing:

    Similar pouches on Amazon cost as much as these do but you get FOUR here instead of one! I could easily fit 20 or more pencils, pens, and markers in an individual pouch. They are good quality and super cute!

    Link: https://www.amazon.com/Wenmeili-Adorable-Memories-Pastorable-Stationery/dp/B01J1483YK/ref=cm_cr-mr-title

    If the link doesn’t work, search for this on Amazon: Wenmeili Adorable Animal Memories Pastorable Canvas Pen Pencil Stationery Pouch Bag Case, set of 4

    P.S. I don’t work for these people nor do I know anyone that does. I simply enjoy sharing products that I found to be extremely helpful 🙂