8 Surprising Ways to Pay for College

Category: Careers, Degrees, Lists, Moms, Money 1,396

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After seeing the price tag for college some turn to loans or scholarships, while others simply decide to give up. There are a few individuals, though, that get creative. Read on to see how some people are coping with the college sticker shock – from the down right crazy to something you might actually try:


Cash in on Kindness

Just this year, Zach “Danger” Brown raised $55,000 on kickstarter.com to make potato salad. Yes – potato salad. Crowd sourcing websites allow other people – friends, family, or strangers – to donate money to a cause they want to support, good, bad, or otherwise. Websites such as SponsorChange.org, CharityforDebt.org and greennote.com focus on the good, giving donors the opportunity to help others pay for their education.

Name That Price

Average winnings on The Price is Right come in just under $60,000. Game shows like Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy often have competitions just for college students that can bank you up to $1 million!

Reach for the Sky

Though most airlines won’t allow you to cash in your frequent flyer miles directly, you can often trade them in for products which you can then sell. So don’t let those miles expire just because you’re too busy studying, put them to work!

Strut Your Stuff

The Miss America Pageant is the world’s largest provider of scholarships to women. Miss America receives $50,000 in scholarships, while the runners-up receive $10,000-$25,000.

Star in a Reality TV Show

John and Kate of John and Kate Plus 8 reportedly made $75,000 per episode! Thats enough to send all their kids to college and still have some money leftover pay for their children’s therapy bills.

Become a Lab Rat

Want to contribute to advances in science and medicine and earn money for college? Researchers will pay anywhere from $10 to $5,000 for participation in studies, and some medical facilities will pay for plasma, hair, breast milk, and sperm. While it’s probably not a good idea (and perhaps physically impossible) to finance an entire education on the latter, it could be a good way to make a few easy bucks.

Turn your Trash into Treasure

Are you ever really going to wear that shirt again? You may have lots of items in your household that you bought with good intentions but never put to great use, or that are just outworn their purpose in your home. Many clothing thrift stores will actually pay you for some of your unwanted threads or give you a discount towards new ones. You can also sell those used books, old kids’ toys, or questionable gifts from your weird aunt on ebay.com or amazon.com for some easy cash-in-hand.

Turn Someone Else’s Trash into Treasure

The website One Red Paperclip tracks the story of how Kyle MacDonald bartered his way from a single red paperclip to a house through fourteen online trades over the course of a year. While that might be a bit extreme, many people scour garage sales, craigslist.org, and estate sales to find items they can up-sell online. If you’ve ever seen Antiques Roadshow, you know that “random junk” can sometimes be a diamond in the rough.

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