Guest Post from across the Pond: What income can you get while you’re at college?
20 January 2023
If you are considering going to college, you may feel concerned about how you will financially support yourself as well as achieving the grades you need for your chosen career – by Faye Harper
Coming up with a large amount of money can feel overwhelming, but there are ways to ease the pressure and help fund the education you need. Here we explore various methods of achieving an income during further education.
Apply for support
Even if you don’t think you’re eligible, it is worth filing a FAFSA form, which will be the first step to applying for federal grants, student loans and other financial aid whilst you study. Eligibility is based on your financial need and a few other factors such as citizenship, but don’t assume you won’t be granted funding without researching the specifics of your chosen school.
Bursaries and grants can be awarded as methods of free-funding, where you aren’t required to pay back the money. These are in place to help those who have grown up in certain less fortunate areas, have a disability, long-term health condition, or a multitude of other reasons why they may be disadvantaged.
Aside from federal aid, some schools will award scholarships to students who can demonstrate extraordinary achievement, either academically or even through a hobby. So if you have a talent, get as good as you can, whether it’s with chess, a musical instrument or even a sport. Join the local group and club and enter competitions to maximise your chances of being recognised. With a solid background of achievements, your application for non-repayable funding will be hard to refuse.
Start saving as soon as possible
If you aren’t lucky enough to have parents who could afford to save a college fund for you, then the best time to start saving is now. Put a percentage of everything you get into a savings account and resist the temptation to touch it. Though growth may be slow to start with, it’s pretty incredible how quickly you can save a decent amount of money over a few short years, especially if you can get a savings account with a good interest rate.
Some bank accounts have a feature where the leftover money will be rounded up and put into a savings account automatically, which can be a slow but steady way to save without even realising it.
Get a part-time job
Although most of your time will be spent studying, many students find time to hold down a part-time job throughout college. Most supermarkets offer shift work which could fit around your timetable, or you could work at a bar on the weekends. Whilst it’s important to remember to prioritise your studies, working part time is a great way to not only help pay the bills but also begin to repay the interest of any student loans you’ve been granted.
For a more eccentric pursuit, why not try creating your own blog, vlog or video channel? Some people make a generous income from creating their own content, and whilst you probably need a creative streak to get started, with some followers and a social media presence you may be able to make a decent amount of money.
Sell unwanted items
It’s amazing how many possessions people acquire, even as young adults. Do you have five games consoles, four of which you never touch? Or a wardrobe full of branded clothes with the tags still on that you simply couldn’t refuse, but are never going to actually wear? Why not sell them and put the money to good use. Unwanted items can sell for a good price on online marketplaces or even at a yard sale, but don’t be reckless and sell any family heirloom items or things that aren’t 100% yours.
Items such as old CDs, books, comics, video games and even DVDs can be sold through sites online, where they can not only earn you some money but also get recycled rather than collecting dust under your bed.
If you have a knack for mathematics or are a skilled guitarist, why not advertise your services to help others? Tutoring can be an easy way to earn a little extra money, plus you can set your own rates. From the neighbourhood kids to other students, put the feelers out via word of mouth and on job advertisement boards to see who you could help.
Hopefully this guide has given you a few ideas and helped inspire you to find ways of funding yourself throughout college. However you choose to do so, have fun and study hard!
Growing up in a family home that struggled to put food on the table, I very quickly learned how to creatively generate income streams
Since graduating from university, I have worked as a teacher and a life coach, and now enjoy working from home writing informative posts to help others achieve their goals in life.
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