It often happens that someone dreams about getting a higher degree but does not have enough money to do so. The situation is even worse now when the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the United States’ economy so negatively. Many Americans lost their jobs or have to deal with medical costs stemming from the virus.
Of course, there is FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, opening doors to various financial aid solutions. However, almost one-third of college students’ families did not complete the form for 2019-2020 and potentially missed out on funding. No worries – there are many other ways to get funds for higher education. For example, if you already have your Master’s degree, you can see what the experts from Online-PhD-Degrees say about Ph.D. funding. But what if you are at the beginning of your academic journey? We have prepared a list of clever tips to cover the costs of your college education. Keep on reading!
On many campuses, there is a possibility to cover the cost of attending college by working on the spot. It can be anything from taking care of the paperwork in a department office to cleaning the cafeteria. Typically, you can look for such jobs through the financial aid office. In some cases, the money will be transferred to the student’s bank account, while in others, it will be sent directly to the college employee who is in charge of your particular finances.
People tend to think that scholarships are only for star athletes and whiz kids, while in fact, there are many programs that can be associated with your school type, major, or even ethnic background. Numerous companies, clubs, foundations, and organizations offer scholarships as well. All you have to do is search for them at the public library or on the internet. What is more, you can talk to your high school guidance counselor and get a lot of precious information on various ways to get a scholarship.
Back in the old days, students had to visit their grandma to ask for money. Nowadays, you can easily do that online – many people start crowdfunding campaigns to collect funds for a particular purpose. Many platforms are often used to help students get the money they need to pay for higher education, such as GoFundMe, Indiegogo, or Scholar Match. After creating such a campaign, you can use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or other social media to spread the word and get support from family and friends. Also, you may ask them to share the link on their profiles as well, so that you can reach a wider audience.
As tuition fees are getting more and more expensive, it can also be an excellent idea to attend a community college for the first two years before transferring to a four-year university. Most of the classes you will have there are the same as those in standard universities, but they cost you much less.
It is worth knowing that some community colleges have particular arrangements with four-year universities located nearby because they want those students to attend their institution afterward. You can be offered an automatic entry if you take particular classes and earn a required grade point average. Also, keep in mind that you can save some money due to living at home for two years instead of paying for a dormitory or a rented flat thanks to attending a community college.
In those challenging pandemic times, some new solutions to help students have been developed as well. For example, you can try to get an emergency grant as a direct response to the spread of coronavirus. They can be even federally funded by the CARES Act, the Relief and Economic Security Act, or the Coronavirus Act. In the future, even more, money may be spent by the government to support students having hard times because of the pandemic.
Driving for Lyft or Uber
If you have a car, and it is clean and dependable enough, you can consider becoming an Uber or Lyft driver. It is an excellent part-time job for a student because you can freely choose your working hours so that they will not overlap your university or college schedule. In most cases, you will not have classes during the weekends, and that is the time when such services are the most necessary – people are going to the parties and returning from them, and due to alcohol consumption, they do not drive by themselves, even if they own a car.
Getting Paid for Note-Taking
If you are a careful and dedicated student, who always attends all the classes, pays attention, and takes precise notes, you can start making additional money on that! There are many universities and colleges that have disability resource offices allowing students to provide such services. In this way, people who cannot take notes for themselves do not miss anything from the course, and they can prepare for the exams thanks to the notes that someone else took for them. Hence, you will both do something good by helping a disabled person and get paid by your college and university!
In a nutshell, there are many smart ways to get money for higher education. You can, for example, try to apply for a scholarship offered by a company, foundation, or organization or a special emergency grant dedicated to helping students whose financial situation suffered due to COVID-19.
Apart from that, it is popular nowadays to start a crowdfunding campaign and share it on social media channels, so that many people can support you with a small amount of money. What is more, a community college can be a great start before proceeding to the four-year university, as it allows you to take some initial classes at a lower price. You can also think about taking some part-time jobs suitable for students, such as note-taking or driving for Lyft or Uber.
These are just some chosen examples, but students tend to be amazingly creative and often come up with even more innovative solutions. Do not let anything stop you from pursuing your dreams!