Going to school should be exciting. Not painful for your finances. Here are a few ways to get paid to go to school.
Imagine graduating from school with your desired degree in hand, you get your first job, and wham!
You have to pay $200-$500 monthly! Sounds depressing? Well, that’s life for more than 44 million Americans today paying off their student loans.
Believe it or not, but US students owe the system more than a staggering $1 trillion. Attributing to the daunting prospect of never-ending debt, some Americans opt to join the workforce early and quit school altogether.
Meaning, they leave their education and start earning money instead of grueling away after a degree that will leave them under a mound of loans.
However, if you want to continue your education but lack the funds for it, you’ve landed on the right page.
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6 Ways to Make Money Going to School
We’ve rounded up some creative ways you can take up and get paid to go to school. You can choose one for yourself and avoid student debt while completing your education.
1. Get Tuition Reimbursement From Your Workplace
The worst part about paying off student loan debt is that you spend your college life broke, and you still have to cut on your expenses after you’ve started a job. That’s why a great way to avoid this scenario is by starting a job early.
There are many companies in the corporate sector that provide tuition reimbursement for their employees. You can search for paid internships or even a permanent job position that offers this advantage.
If you’re looking to get paid to go to school, you should check the educational benefits section in the job description. This way, you can easily spot if a company pays its employees for higher education.
Every company has different policies when it comes to tuition reimbursement. Some may cover all your expenses, while others may have a monthly or yearly limit, and the rest you’ll have to spend yourself.
Besides that, most companies require you to maintain a specific grade point to qualify for their reimbursement policy.
Furthermore, if your employer provides educational assistance adhering to IRS rules, your income will not be taxable until you reach a limit of $5,250. Any amount you receive after this threshold will be taxable.
Remember, not every employer will pay you to learn anything you want. Instead, most of them will only provide support if you take a course that helps you improve at the job you do for them.
So, you should either search for a job in your desired field or check the policy closely before selecting your employer.
2. Sign Up for Scholarships
Colleges and universities offer scholarships to facilitate talented students. These talents range from exceptional performances in mathematics and sciences. Also, some scholarships reach out to athletes and artists as well.
Besides that, if you belong to a minority group or ethnicity, you can find many minority-specific scholarships. You can get the information you need about scholarships and grants from famous universities through your high school educational counselor.
Not all scholarships provide full coverage for your educational needs. However, most of these programs help you pay off a good portion of your university costs. Scholarships are one of the most meaningful methods to make money at college.
It’s one of the best tips for college students to reduce the cost of their education.
3. Attend Online Colleges
It’s not necessary that you only get financial aids and grants if you follow conventional schooling. Many online colleges and universities offer financial assistance for their online programs if you want to get paid to go to school online.
You can complete bachelor’s and associate degree programs in many subjects by enrolling in online programs.
To get into the program you desire, you will need to conduct thorough research. That’s because you’ll have to find a university that offers an online alternative in your field of study and is willing to provide financial backing.
The good idea is to shortlist universities and colleges that provide aid for their online program.
Then, look into each of their course lists to determine whether you can pursue your education through the organization.
4. Enroll Into Community College Education
Enrolling into a community college is one of the easiest ways to get paid to go to school. You can get a bachelor’s degree or a two-year associate degree by studying at a community college.
To get financial aid from community colleges, you can either fill the FAFSA form yearly or sign up for the Pell grant. The benefit of studying in your community college is that it facilitates people who work and go to school alongside.
Moreover, your city or state may have free tuition in community colleges for their residents. Some states provide this facility, and the US government is working to extend it to other states.
Remember, the community college management decides your eligibility upon how much you need the money when you request financial aid.
You should keep your proof of income, asset evaluation, other details ready if you’re asked to present them.
5. Join the Military
Serving in the US military is an honor, but it also brings significant benefits like higher education financing. Each branch of the military has different policies and application processes.
If you’re eligible for the Military Tuition Assistance program, you can receive up to $45,00 per year. Also, the program covers everything, including tuition fees, book expenses, and other course materials.
Besides that, the GI Bill provides full tuition reimbursement for military service members and veterans. This program provides about 36 months of complete educational assistance to people who qualify.
You can check out further details about the military educational assistance from the US Department of Veteran Affairs. They have a full list of payment rates and comparison charts on their websites to help military officers who need educational assistance.
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6. Win Need-Based Grants
Furthermore, similar to scholarships, you can sign up to receive government grants. While scholarships work to bring in talented, bright students into universities, grants help the needy get an education.
The government funds most of the grants. You can find some grants managed by non-profit organizations, or private companies as well. If you qualify for one, you’ll receive monthly or yearly tuition coverage.
Most importantly, the amount given to you in the form of grants and scholarships is not repayable. There are many options you can consider if you want to win a need-based grant.
Firstly, you can try your luck with Federal grants. The US Department of Education puts forward and manages these grants by itself. About 12 million students currently receive federal financial aid through this program.
Secondly, you can target private grants as well. Most of the private grants that massive companies manage only target their employees and their children.
For example, CocaCola provides a scholar program that gives $3 million every year to needy college students. You can check out the companies where your parents work, or search for private grants, in general, to see if you can qualify for one.
Thirdly, there are professional associations that can provide financial assistance if you’re studying for a specific profession. This means, if you want to pursue a medical or computer degree, you can look for associations related to the industry.
Yes, they do exist and even provide complete financial assistance to talented individuals.
See Related: 17 Part-Time Jobs to Earn Extra Cash
How Much Money Can I Get for Going to School?
The answer to this question entirely depends on the program you sign up for and where you’re getting the funding from. If you go for scholarships or grants, they can be worth anything from $1000 to even $40,000 a year.
It depends on your talent, need, and qualification according to their specifications.
The trick is to conduct adequate research and be consistent while applying. Believe it or not, almost $3 billion of federal funds were not awarded to anyone in 2014 due to the lack of applications.
Can I Really Get Paid to Go to School?
Yes, anyone can apply for educational assistance and funding. If you’re passionate about pursuing your degree and making your way in the professional world but lack the budget, this is the ultimate choice for you.
A good practice is to apply for every grant, scholarship, and funding that you know about. Another important aspect is to apply as early as possible.
That’s because most of these funding options have strict deadlines. After all, they need to provide the grants to selected students at least 3-4 months before the school year begins.
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Final Words: Get Paid to Go to School
Concluding our list of ways to get paid to go to school, let’s clear a few things out. Even though most of the US population today is stuck under a massive amount of student loans, there are ways you can avoid that and get paid to get an education.
Whether you apply for scholarships, military funding, or even seek an employer that pays for your education, the trick is to be consistent. If things seem impossible, just remember that millions of students are studying for free, so why not you?
Stay passionate about the profession you’re pursuing, conduct effective research, and apply promptly for any chance you see, and you’ll eventually get what you’re looking for.