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Creative Ways to Pay for College

Last updated January 17, 2024

There are many ways to fund a college education! Here are five creative ways to pay for college.

ROTC programs

If you’re interested in military service both during and after college, an ROTC program might be a good fit for you. These programs, which are offered at more than 1,500 colleges and universities across the country, offer many benefits, like special mentorship, military training, and scholarships that cover a significant portion of tuition. Many programs offer these scholarships under the condition that the recipient enrolls in the military after graduating college, so be sure to check in with your school’s program as well as your college counselor to weigh your options and decide what’s best for you.


Around 60 colleges and universities across the country offer co-op (cooperative education) programs. These programs offer a unique mix of a college education with real on-the-job experience, and are excellent ways to gain experience in the workforce, network in your desired career, and help pay for college! Students usually participate in these programs during their junior or senior year of college, where they can work full time in their field of study. This money can be used to cover tuition and living expenses. It’s important to note that co-op programs are not one-size-fits-all; you’ll need to do your research to decide which program best suits your financial, academic, and professional needs.

Tuition reimbursement programs

Did you know that many employers will pay back some of your tuition for you? Companies with tuition reimbursement programs give money to an employee to help cover some of their educational expenses. Some companies may cover educational expenses up front, while others may provide a refund. Be sure to check in with your employer about these programs, if they offer one, and how you can have portions of your education funded!


Work-study is a federal student aid program that provides students at participating colleges with part-time jobs. Eligibility for work-study is determined once you've completed or renewed the FAFSA. Types of work-study jobs offered will vary by college, but some common positions are library assistant, research assistant, fitness center assistant, and more. The money made in these positions can help you cover tuition or necessary living expenses like rent and groceries. 


If you want to do something that’s fun, can help you learn new skills, boost your resume, and pay the bills, AmeriCorps might be a great option for you. AmeriCorps is a national service program that matches people to jobs across the country in education, mentoring youth, fighting poverty, and more. AmeriCorps members typically receive an education award to pay for their college education and student loans, making this a great opportunity for students looking to give back and fund their college education.

Have any questions about paying for college? Text #College to 33-55-77 to chat with one of our advisors. If you're using a mobile device, click here to have the text message set up for you!

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