Thinking Outside the Scholarship Box…
Paying for college is never easy, especially with the prices going up every year. Scholarships and grants can certainly cut down the cost of college, but they may not be enough to pay for your degree. Luckily, there are other alternatives that may help you cover your costs in school. Here are some creative ways to pay for college so you can start planning for your future.
Work Study Programs
Work study programs are essentially internships that have scholarships built into them. In this setup, you promise to work for a company for a certain length of time in exchange for having part of your education paid for. Some work study programs are simple jobs you can hold on campus, and others are actual positions in large law firms, insurance offices, corporations, etc. The amount of education they pay for will vary, but you can at least get some sort of break with one of them. You just have to be willing to work “for free” at that point.
You don’t always have to apply for scholarships to get money for college. You could enter contests to do that instead. The money from these contests may not be specifically designed for school, but you can use it for anything you want. Essay contests are the most common competitions you can find, but there are others to choose from. If you’re a talented photographer, look for a photography contest. If you’re a great duck caller, look for a duck calling contest. Just find something that suits your abilities, and you’ll have plenty of money to pay for school.
If you have to literally work to pay for college, you might want to consider getting a job online. This will give you the flexibility you need to maintain your class schedule and still make money on the side. Simple data entry jobs usually pay minimum wage, and all you have to do for them is copy and paste information from a spreadsheet, website, etc. If you have decent writing skills, you may want to become a freelance writer. If you know how to program, you could be a web developer. Whatever the case may be, doing your job online will provide the perfect balance between earning an income and earning a degree.
Start a Blog
If you have a large following on the internet, you might want to consider starting a blog. This won’t cost a lot of money to do, and it may turn out to be a lot of fun. Once you have a lot of people coming to your blog, you can contact websites to see if they want to advertise on it. You could also sign up for a pay per click advertising program, which would allow you to get paid every time someone clicks on an ad on your site. Furthermore, you could sell something called a backlink to interested websites, which is pretty much just a link in a post of yours that mentions their site (not necessarily by name…just in the link). The more backlinks a website has, the more visible it is in search engines. Some sites will pay big money just to benefit from the traffic you get.
Once you have the right setup in place, your blog will provide a passive income to help you pay for college, and whatever else you might want in the future.