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8 Creative Ways to Pay for Your Education

Updated By Staff Writer on December 7, 2020

You want to continue your education, earn your degree, and design a secure and fulfilling life for you and your family. There’s just one problem:   The cost of college tuition is so outrageous that it feels impossible to manage.   While the cost of tuition, textbooks, and other school fees can be quite expensive, there are several ways to pay for a college education without hurling yourself into a sinkhole of debt and suffocating interest rates from student loans.   Put yourself through college and achieve your life goals with these 9 creative ways to pay for your education.

Follow the Benefits

There are a lot of companies out there that offer tuition reimbursement programs for their employees. Find a job in your field of interest at a company that offers tuition reimbursement. Not only will your courses be paid for, but you will also begin your career, make valuable connections, and add a heap of experience to your resume.   If you can’t find a company in the field you want to end up working in, pick a different one that’s relatively close. You’d be surprised by how many different companies offer tuition reimbursement to their employees.

Use American Honors

American Honors is a challenging two-year college program that will guarantee your admission to a coveted university— so long as you meet their GPA requirements and do your homework. A semester with American Honors is rumored to be about $3k a semester, which is a lot less than the big-time universities.   This corporation also offers a promising educational program for international students who have their hopes set on attending an American university.

Enroll in Cooperative Education

Cooperative education is an advantageous combination of on-the-job experience and academic credit. This program offers paid job opportunities that also count toward college credits for students. Depending on how long you engage in cooperative education, you can acquire a phenomenal amount of experience in your field of interest, as well as earn money and college credits simultaneously. This program operates within individual universities, so you’ll need to find a school that offers it and contact administration to apply.

Apply to FAFSA

FAFSA (or Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is a no-brainer for some future college students, but you’d be surprised at how many students don’t apply for financial aid through FAFSA’s free application process. Even if you think you won’t qualify for a grant, you should still apply. It’s worth a shot and even if you aren’t eligible for a grant, the application will likely refer you to some scholarships, loan options, and other programs that you may qualify for.

Turn to Your College

Despite what others may think, your college isn’t entirely powerless to the amount you pay for course tuition, books, etc. Schedule an appointment with your counselor to discuss financial aid options offered by the school you’re attending. If you already received financial aid, you can request an increase in the amount you were given from your college. What have you got to lose?

Find Your Grants

If you thought grants only applied to financial situations, think again. Just like scholarship programs, there are plenty of grants out there for all sorts of situations. Are you a first-generation college student or a single mother? There’s a grant for you. All you have to do is find the right grants and take the time to apply to several.

Ask for Help

There is nothing wrong with asking your close friends and family to help you pay for a continued education. Create a Go Fund Me account, send out high school graduation announcements with a nudge and a hint, or offer oddball services in exchange for college funding, like mowing lawns or walking dogs. A few bucks here and there may not seem worth the effort, but it will all add up and stack onto the scholarships and grants you should be applying for. The sad and simple truth is that the life you want for yourself is probably going to require a lot more money than you currently have in your bank account—not to mention a lot of hard work, too. Fortunately, you don’t have to foot the entire bill yourself. 

Seek Out Unconventional Scholarships

Did you know that there are scholarships based on a vast variety of different factors and offered by a number of different organizations that reward different kinds of people, interests, and accomplishments? Scholarships are not exclusive to the honor students! Here’s a whole list of unique and weird scholarships worth applying for. On this list, you’ll find a scholarship for the most creative sandwich (held by Jif) in addition to 99 others. Scour the web to create a list of scholarship programs that fit you best and apply to as many as you can to cover a chunk (if not all) of your education.

Bonus Tip: Join the Federal Work Study

If your college offers it, look into the federal Work Study Program. The Federal Work Study provides job opportunities to college students (both undergrad and graduate) to help them pay for their college tuition. If you’re lucky, you might even land a job in your field of interest and score some valuable on-the-job experience to complement your hard-earned degree.

With a combination of the tips and tricks in this article, you can earn enough money from grants, scholarships, and more to help you pay for your college tuition without falling into a suffocating amount of debt.   As you make plans to pay for the cost of your education, check out the career-focused degree programs at Independence University. Explore our website to learn more or request more information today.