1. Sell your hobbies
Online marketplaces make selling homemade items quite easy. If you have a hobby like knitting, painting, or photography, you can try selling some of your artwork online for an extra source of income. Many people prefer to buy items that are one-of-a-kind, rather than mass-produced items in large stores, which means your unique work may sell faster than you think!
2. Submit your FAFSA
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the single most important thing to help pay for college. After filling out information about your income and your parents’ incomes, the government then reviews the document to determine what kind of financial aid you are eligible for. A few months after filing your FAFSA, you will receive a notification from your university stating you have financial aid offers to be reviewed. Grants offered are money assistance from the government based on your economic need and do not need to be paid back. Loans also offer assistance but need to be paid back, with interest, starting sometime after you graduate. It is important to know that you do not need to accept all financial aid that is offered—especially loans you don’t need.
3. Fill up those free hours
If you have some downtime, try adding another job to your schedule. Working an extra 10 hours a week at a coffee shop or restaurant will add up and help pay some of the billable hours for your education. Working multiple jobs may seem intimidating, but there are many college students who do it.
4. Apply for scholarships
Scholarships are free money toward paying for your education and are well worth the time and effort. A few hours invested into applying can transform into hundreds or thousands of dollars toward your tuition bill and help you steer clear of loans with high interest rates.
5. Make it a challenge
Everyone loves a good challenge, and why not start one that reduces stress and financial difficulties after graduation? Challenge yourself to put a small amount of money into a tuition savings account each week. At the end of a year, take that money out and put it toward your next semester. You may be surprised at how much you saved!
6. Look for alternatives
Research ways to make college cheaper. Can you rent textbooks instead of buying them? Are you able to save gas money and bike or walk to class? Small changes to your lifestyle may lead to larger savings over time and help you put extra savings into your education.