5 Ways to Creatively Pay for College

I paid $44,670 for college. Cash. My two biggest secrets? I didn’t take loans and I took my time.

I’m a believer in staying in the positive financially as much as possible, especially when it comes to college. And I have some advice for you on how to do it creatively.

  1. Use your gifts – Everyone is good at something. For me, I loved cartooning so I taught cartooning lessons and I was studying photography in college, so I took portrait photos. I was able to earn a little experience, while earning a little cash. Babysit. Design websites. Repair cars, or computers. Use your gifts to benefit your education.
  2. Have a virtual yard sale – Is your closet full of a bunch of clothes you don’t wear? Maybe some furniture you won’t need in school? Sell it! Use social sites like craigslist and facebook to spread the word. I sold a car and made $700 for school.
  3. Don’t buy stuff – Also known as everyone’s least favorite word “budgeting.” Give yourself an allowance each week or month and don’t go outside of that for spending cash. Be disciplined and watch your savings account grow!
  4. Get local scholarships – Ask your boss about tuition reimbursement options, many large companies have something in place. If yours doesn’t, have your parents ask their employer. Also check with your state and places like banks and community organizations that may offer essay contests. I earned $2 an hour through my summer/holiday job and won a contest for $500.
  5. Do the math – Sometimes it’s worth it financially to take a class or two at a community college or online in order to save paying large fees at your school of choice. I saved $1,054 by taking two classes someplace else!

Get creative. Make it happen. It is possible to pay cash for college, I’m living proof!

You can read my full-blown story (along with TONS of tips) here:

Steering Clear of College Debt I

Steering Clear of College Debt II

And the newspaper article version of my story in the Cincinnati Enquirer here:

College Connection

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