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5 Creative Ways to Save Money on Your College Tuition

If you're currently in college or in the application process, you've probably realized by now that college is a serious financial investment. Many students depend on scholarships, grants and financial aid as a way to afford those four bank-breaking years of higher education.

"Scholarships often aren't enough to cover the high costs students are faced with."

However, scholarships often aren't enough to cover the high costs students are faced with. Many students take matters into their own hands and come up with clever ways to save money on their own. Check out these 5 creative ideas for saving money on college tuition and give them a try!

1. Scholarships

Of course, we couldn’t talk about saving money for college without the mention of scholarships. Scholarships are the best way to accrue money to pay for your tuition, supplies and housing.

While most scholarships require you to write an essay as part of your application, there are tons of unique scholarships out there that allow you to express yourself in ways that are anything but typical. Take the Create-A-Greeting-Card Scholarship Contest, which invites students to submit an original photo, artwork or computer graphics to be used for the front of a greeting card.

There are also many scholarships which award students based on criteria other than academic or sports achievement. For example, the Vegetarian Resource Group Scholarship gives one award of $10,000 and two awards of $5,000 to three students who have promoted vegetarianism within their schools and communities.

We know what you’re thinking: "This takes way too much time!” How do I easily find scholarships that I qualify for?". There are plenty of search engines for scholarships, such FastWeb and ScholarshipOwl, which matches you to hundreds of to apply for with just one application. 

Students sitting around table on computers

2. Start a business

Nowadays, it seems like everyone has a startup. Do you have a new business idea? Well, you don’t need to wait to have an entrepreneurship degree to transform your thoughts into action.

Actually, many super successful startups (cough cough, Facebook) were started by college students. College is a great time to start your own business. Maybe your business won’t bring you a billion dollars, but it can give you some extra money to help you pay for college.

A lot of students make enough money to pay for their tuition and other expenses by starting a food delivery service, a cleaning service or car rental business. So, put your thinking cap on and get to work.

3. Crowdfunding

If your parents missed out on the whole “saving money” for college concept, have no fear, crowdfunding is here! Crowdfunding can be a quick and easy solution for you to make money to pay for college.

The only thing you need to do is set up an account, write your personal story and wait for people to contribute money to your fund.

There are a ton of different crowdfunding websites you can use, including GoFundMe. Making an account is free of charge, however, the site charges a transaction fee between five and ten percent. The site is linked with your social media, so all of your friends and family will be able to see the campaign right away and start contributing.

Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see thousands of dollars coming in. Remember, every little bit helps! 

"Remember, every little bit helps!"


4. Cooperative Education

Cooperative education can be a great way for students to get a college degree, gain experience, land a great job after college and even make money while doing it all. Co-op combines education with work experience.

If you decide to follow this track, you will be working while you are still a student, in a job that relates to your major or career goals. Many students who are involved with co-op during college can earn up to $40,000.

5. Armed Forces’ Military Tuition Assistance Program

Joining the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, National Guard, Navy or Reserve is also a great way to get free education. Through the Armed Forces’ Military Tuition Assistance Program, students can get up to 100% of their college tuition covered. Serve the country without drowning in debt? Sounds like a good idea!

On the hunt for scholarships? We're offering a €5000 scholarship to students studying abroad for their master's degree in Europe. 

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About the author

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This article was contributed by Kenny Sandorffy, the CMO of ScholarshipOwl. simplifies the process of searching and applying for scholarships by matching students with scholarship opportunities that suit their personality, grades, lifestyle, and more. 

Last update: 26 Apr 2019

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