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Creative Ways to Pay for College

Last updated August 17, 2023

Creative Ways to Pay for College

There are countless ways to fund a college education! Here are 5 creative (and underrated) 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, loans, and cost of living. 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.

Companies with 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 the education costs of going to school. Some companies pre-pay up front, while others provide a refund. Be sure to check in with your employer about these programs, if they offer one, and how you can start having your education paid for!


Start making money this quarter or semester through a work-study job! Work-study is a federal student aid program that provides students with part-time job opportunities that can help them pay for their education expenses. To find out if you’re eligible for work-study, complete your FAFSA or state-level financial aid application and answer “Yes” when asked “Are you interested in being considered for work-study?”


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.

Any ideas we missed? Text #Hello to 33-55-77 or leave us a comment on Instagram @GetSchooled! If you’re using a mobile device, click here to have the text message set up for you.

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