5 Ways to Pay for College Without Going into Debt

5 Ways to Pay for College Without Going into Debt
  • Opening Intro -

    Have you looked at the full cost of college - tuition, housing, books, fees and other related costs.

    The price of a university degree has gotten out of hand.


This is especially true in if you do not possess great athletic skills or have a perfect score on your SATs. As such, you are faced with a choice, either go deep into debt to pursue your college dreams, go to a community college for two years to work on your required courses and then transfer, or find a way to ‘work’ through college.

Granted the cost of a four-year degree has made it almost impossible to work to pay for college. According to a recent article in the New Republic, it would take almost as many hours as there are in a year to pay for one year’s worth of tuition at a private university.  As such, the adage of working through college is no longer an option. However, this doesn’t mean you are without options to pay for university and here are five way to pay for college without going into debt.

Choose Wisely

Ok, this isn’t exactly a way to earn money, but it is an idea on how to control what you are spending as the tuition costs vary widely from college-to-college. As such, you will want to choose the right school for your budget. While this doesn’t that you want to choose a college just because it is the cheapest, you do want to identify which schools offer the best value for money.

Part of this might mean looking at the state universities where you live as these will often allow residents to benefit from a substantial discount on their tuition fees. Beyond this, certain schools have better financial aid packages available to students and this can also be a great way to get money for a degree without going into debt.

Make Money Online

Why go to work for someone, when you could work for yourself? Sure, college tuitions are going through the roof, but the internet has also made it easier for students to earn money. Maybe you could buy and sell goods online or maybe you could even be a remote tutor for high school students.

If you have a beat up car, then you might be thinking “how can I sell my junk car fast?” Sure, you might not have a car anymore, but you can use the money for school instead of slowly bankrupting yourself by paying for gas and repairs.

In addition, you can search online for small jobs to do as this will allow you to put your writing and graphic design skills to work. In this way, you are putting to work what you have learned in school and this will speed up the time needed to earn a return on your investment in a degree.

If you are not sure where to start, then online marketplaces for independent contractors such as Upwork are a good place to look. Granted, you might not have as much experience as other contractors on the site but by pricing yourself at a lower cost than others will help you to gain traction.

Beyond this, you will want to work on your online reputation as this will ensure that you can make enough money on Upwork to help pay for college.

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Take Summer Courses

This is something you can either do at the university where you are enrolled or at your local community college. However, you want to keep in mind that if you choose the latter that you will need to make sure your university will accept the course hours – if not then you will be wasting your time and money. The key things to remember about summer courses is that they tend to cost less per hour than courses given during the school year and they are also shorter in length.

Enroll in a Work-Study Program

Finding a job at your university is a great way to pay for college as these jobs not only offer flexible hours but they also tend to pay more than comparable jobs off campus. In addition, some of these jobs might align with your course of study and this means you will be gaining practical experience on top of what you are learning in books.

Beyond this, you might also be able to take advantage of the Federal Work-Study program. This option can offer expanded offerings both on- and off-campus and as such is something you should investigate when it comes to making money to pay for school.

Employer Tuition Reimbursement

That is a mouthful, but the reality is that more and more companies are offering tuition reimbursement programs. These include Fortune 500 companies who will employees to pay for their master’s degree, tuition payments tied to military service, and even programs offered by Starbucks and other for entry-level employees seeking to pay for their undergraduate degrees.

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