Charmaine’s Top 4 Ways to Pay for College

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Guest Blogger Charmaine Ng

After college, we will emerge with four years of unforgettable experiences, a group of lifelong friends, and a very expensive piece of paper. Tuition is rising across the country, and most of us resort to taking out loans, landing us in debt for years. Here are my top 4 ways to help you pay for that diploma.

by AMagill

1. Open up shop.

You don’t need business expertise to run with an idea. Just dedication and passion! One afternoon, two sophomores at my college, Erika Welsh and Keely Tillotson, ran out of peanut butter and decided to experiment with a bag of raw peanuts and a food processor. Soon, they were whipping up a wacky variety of peanut butter flavors, from “Sneaky Cinnamon” to “Pretzel Pizzazz.” By spring break, their Flying Squirrel Peanut Butter business regularly received over 100 orders a week from all over the country! By charging $4 per 8 oz. jar, they’re definitely making a profit that can go towards their tuition. Etsy and Shopify offer easy ways to set up online shops.)

Did you know you you can open your own custom book rental site? Check out the Stores Lite opportunity here: BookRenter Stores Lite

2. Display advertising on your blog.

Fancy writing for an online audience? Start a blog, create a following, and partner with businesses to sell advertising. You can even partner with BookRenter as an affiliate.  A simpler route: the Blogger platform allows you to easily arrange advertising with a Google AdSense feature that delivers targeted ads to your site. If your blog becomes popular, the pennies will add up!

3. Apply for scholarships.

People want to help you. You just have to find them. Talk to your university’s financial aid offices, and see what they offer in terms of scholarships based on merit, ethnicity, desired profession, financial need, and athletic talent. Also look beyond campus. The College Board and College Scholarships both offer national search engines. Be patient!

*You can Apply Now for BookRenter’s Rock the World Scholarship!

If you’re in the Bay Area, give ScholarMatch a shot. By posting select profiles, ScholarMatch hopes that potential donors will personally connect with a student in their community and support his or her education.

4. Sign up for tests, studies, and focus groups.

My school’s Psychology and Human Physiology departments are always conducting studies that need participants. You can receive over $100 for spending time in an MRI lab or hooked up to an exercise machine. You may not feel comfortable with the idea at first, but think of it this way: you’re contributing to science AND getting paid for it! Another option is donating plasma, the liquid portion of your blood cells. My friend does this regularly and can make up to $200 a month. Head to your nearest Talecris Plasma Resources location, and see if you qualify for donation.

College doesn’t have to be as expensive as it sounds. While none of these options will completely solve your tuition woes, they can help you along the way. Don’t flounder in debt, and use your imagination!

By Guest Blogger Charmaine Ng I UNIVERSITY OF OREGON: Ambitious and talented, honest and human, this tri-lingual social media strategist and curator is also a published author. Harbors a secret desire to one day have a multi-hyphenated title

2 Responses to Charmaine’s Top 4 Ways to Pay for College

  1. anne says:

    people forget but there is still the ROTC program or military reserves. it’s not much but over time it does all add up.

  2. Juliette Wiles says:

    Nice post and some great ideas!