7 Innovative Ways To Pay For Your College Education

College Students Paying for Tuition

College isn’t cheap, especially in modern times. Many people struggle to cover their tuition and other related expenses. Even if they receive scholarships, it only covers so much. Whether you’re an incoming freshman or a senior trying to pay for your last school semesters, these suggestions can help you pay for college without overwhelming you.

1. Fill Out The FAFSA

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a federal application that gives you access to grants, student loans, and other tuition assistance. These forms of assistance are great for students who may not be wealthy, as everything is based on family income. However, you must fill out the FAFSA before the upcoming semester to qualify for federal aid. 

2. Take Out Student Loans

Although the FAFSA helps with federal student loans, you may need to take out private student loans to cover college fully. You don’t have to repay these loans until after completing school. Even then, they typically come with low-interest rates. 

3. Apply For Work-Study Positions

Many colleges and universities offer work-study programs. These programs require students to work a set number of hours per week somewhere on campus in exchange for a set amount of money toward tuition each semester. Many students find work-study assignments related to their major, which can be a great resume booster.

4. Use A Student Credit Card

Student credit cards typically offer lower interest rates and are more understanding of students’ lack of credit history. You can use these to cover the difference in your scholarships and tuition at the beginning of the semester, then pay it off as you earn money in other ways. A student credit card can also cover rent, meals, textbooks, and other necessities.

5. Get A Job

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, approximately two out of every five students work at least part-time while in college. Retail, food, and customer service positions are great student job options. You can usually request to work around your class schedule and pick up extra hours when school isn’t in session. Just remember you still need time to study, too.

6. Drive for Uber or Lyft

Companies like Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, and GrubHub offer great ways to pay for college. Students can opt to drive during free hours and not drive on days when they need to focus on projects or papers. You usually receive pay based on the number of rides you provide, plus tips. Some people find these jobs lucrative enough to turn them into full-time employment.  

You can work as a driver in the summer and save money for the rest of the year so it doesn’t interfere with school. And, if you don’t like dealing with people, you can always opt to deliver food with services like Uber Eats.

7. Try A Side Hustle

If you don’t have much time to focus on paid work, consider a side hustle. Side hustles can include jobs like freelance writing, tutoring services, or virtual assistance. They can also involve reselling clothing or offering beauty services. Regardless, side hustles let you work when you have free time and focus on school when needed.

College can be costly, even with scholarships and other financial assistance. These seven options help students cover tuition, textbooks, and additional costs. 

Which options would you add based on your experience? Let us know in the comments!

Photo by Keira Burton on Pexels


  1. Great tips, thank you. For myself, I might add:
    1. Buy used books, they cost less than new books/
    2. Use book buyback programs https://booksrun.com/books/sell to use the money you get to pay for textbooks for the new semester.
    3. Take advantage of tuition installment plans.
    4. Get low-income financial aid (if available)


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