Things are shifting in the world of education. With the pandemic, learning is moving largely online. You’re adapting to a new routine and trying to figure out how to stay productive despite it all. And if you’re prepping for college, you also have to worry about how you’re going to pay tuition in a world where those prices just keep going up.
Saving for your higher education can be a lot of work—you might be working while studying or maybe even taking on some side gigs to make ends meet. If you’re in need of extra savings for school, there are a handful of painless ways to add to your stash with minimal effort or time.
Clean Out Your Closet
If you’re like most people, you probably have a lot of old clothes, books, or other knick-knacks that you really just don’t use.
Sort through your stuff, clear out the clutter, and put it up for sale on Facebook Marketplace or eBay. Not only will this earn you some extra cash, but it will also give you more peace of mind to avoid excess junk and have possessions that are better organized.
Alternatively, if you’re the creative type, try crafting some clothing accessories, jewelry, or decor and put it up for sale on Etsy to earn a little extra change doing something you enjoy.
Review Websites and Apps
When companies create a new website or app, they need customer feedback to ensure those platforms are really performing their intended functions. It’s so important to them, in fact, that they’ll often pay for such services.
If you’re able to test things out and give an honest assessment of your user experience, this may be worth a try. Start here for a list of sites you can work through to conduct such reviews.
Cut Back on Spending
In addition to earning extra money, spending less money is a smart way to save toward your college fund. Use simple strategies like eating in, shopping secondhand or clearance, using the library and other student resources, and opting for services that offer student discounts.
If you’re willing, choose public transportation to avoid payments on a car and gas (and to gain some extra study time while you commute).
And finally, never pay full price for textbooks. College books can get pretty pricey, but you can avoid those expenses. In fact, you could save around $300 on textbooks every semester by using the following BooksRun tactics.
Appeal Your Financial Aid Package
Many students neglect this tip, either because they don’t think it will make a difference, or they aren’t even aware it’s an option.
After you’ve been offered acceptance to a school and a financial aid award, approach the financial aid office to appeal (or negotiate) your aid package. Inform them of any changes to your financial situation that have occurred or of better offers you’ve received from other schools. These bits of information will help the office know what they can do to better support you so that you’ll choose to attend their school.
Saving for higher education can be overwhelming—especially if you’re a brand new freshman. With these strategies up your sleeve, you’ll be saving chunks of money toward tuition that otherwise would’ve just added to that dreaded student debt.
Use a simple tool like Mint to keep track of your income and expenses. If you stay on top of your budget, the prospect of college becomes much less daunting and much more enjoyable.
Seek Out Scholarship and Grant Awards
Applying for scholarships and grants can take a bit of work, but in the end, it pays off in dividends. It’s definitely worth the bit of extra effort to apply. Be on the lookout for scholarship opportunities that match up with your special interests, hobbies, and talents.
Or if you need awards that are super simple and quick to apply for, try looking for easy scholarships, such as those from Bold and WiseGeek. Scholarship and grant awards are essentially free money, so be sure not to miss out on such opportunities.
PS: Check out other fun tips on how to earn money as a college student.
Author: Tiffany Park