College Students

Are you one of the thousands of adults looking for unique ways to afford a college degree? Maybe you left school to focus on a job or raise a family, and now you’re ready to finish what you started. Not sure how to afford tuition on your current income? Here are some great ideas to help you prepare and head back to school.

Participate in Focus Groups

While it may seem like an odd choice at first, many people find giving their opinion of a product or service in exchange for money as an excellent way to earn extra income. Although compensation varies as much as the task required — and some companies “pay” in gift cards — it is possible to make $50 to $150 an hour participating in focus groups.

As a bonus, many groups operate online, so you can earn from the comfort of your own home. Just be sure you understand the requirements and have a vested interest in the topic before you begin, which will make it much easier to continue earning money.

Seek Out Special Attribute Scholarships

Every year, tens of thousands of dollars are given away in the form of academic gifts or non-traditional, adult and returning student scholarships and internships. In most cases, these scholarships mean real money to their recipients and range in unique details from a having five-year break in your education to being 60 years or older at the time of application. If a special attribute scholarship catches your interest, be sure to read the fine print on eligibility and be aware of deadlines.

Consider Being a Caregiver

If you’re good with kids or yours have grown and left home, consider working as a family caregiver. In this position; working as a nanny providing daily care, meals, activities, and homework help; the family who employs you may be able to reimburse you for college tuition, fees, and even books — saving you both money over time. You’ll still need to earn at least minimum wage working for the family, but you will be providing them with a tax advantage from being a college caregiver.

Evaluate Student Loan Options

When funding the completion of their degree, many nontraditional students may decide the best solution is to borrow a student loan, which is sensible, as long as all information involved is clear before moving forward. Borrowers will typically need a good credit history without any previous defaults and, when searching for funds, will need to know the difference in the two main types — federal student loans and private student loans. Though it may seem like a daunting task, doing the proper research and understanding repayment options will greatly benefit you after you earn your degree.

Whatever you decide, be sure consider all options during your pursuit of higher education, and remember, there are many ways to make it possible to afford a degree on your current income.