I always feel sorry for people who quit their education just because of the financial burden. With schooling getting more and more expensive, the good news is, these days, students have several ways to get paid to go to school. This way, they can pursue their education without worrying too much about the financial aspect.
Yes, you heard it right. It’s possible to get free education, and in today’s article, I am just going to discuss just that.
Whether it’s a tuition fee waiver or reimbursement, sponsorships or grants, I will cover them all.
Though it won’t be easy to grab these opportunities but with proper guidance, knowledge, and the right efforts, you can surely crack it and save thousands of dollars every year.
So, if finances are restraining your higher education, consider these options to get paid to go to school.
10 Ways To Get Paid To Go To School
While it is unusual that anyone would directly pay for your tuition fee, but there are workarounds to completely or partially waive it off.
I have figured out some cools ways, and you can pick the ones that suit you the best.
1- Look For Tuition-Free Colleges
To make education accessible to all, several colleges and universities do not charge a tuition fee. They offer you a degree or certification free of cost, provided you meet a certain criterion.
These institutes may require you to be from a specific state, be from a financially weak family, or work for a certain amount of hours on campus.
Depending on priorities and interests, you can pick the ones that solve your purpose for free education.
Some tuition-free colleges and universities that can offer you education are:
- Alice Lloyd College
- Barclay College
- College of the Ozarks
- Curtis Institute of Music
- United States Military Academy
- Warren Wilson College
2- Join Online Tuition-Free Colleges
If going to campus doesn’t suit your lifestyle, picking up an online tuition-free college or university can be your best bet. By doing so, you continue your current work and meet other personal commitments.
These online facilities do not lag in any sense and provide an equal level of education and accreditation as the traditional institutes.
So students can get similar learning and knowledge to one achieved in a traditional campus setting and achieve their educational goals in the most comfortable way.
These tuition-free online schools have a certain criterion for acceptance, and mostly it is the financial condition of the family.
Though there are far fewer online universities compared to the traditional ones, they maintain a balance by enrolling more students for their tuition-free courses.
Some online tuition-free colleges and universities to consider are:
- Arizona State University
- Harvard University
- Cornell University
- Duke University
3- Seek Corporate Tuition Reimbursement
You may not realize it, but if you are already working with an employer, they may already have the policy to offer tuition reimbursement.
You can refer to your hiring paperwork or even discuss the matter with your HR. If your employer has it included in your benefits package, why not take advantage of it?
Today, many employers offer tuition reimbursement as a perk. However, their policies can vary significantly.
While most employers allow you to take courses related to your current job, some even permit you to take any degree or certification you wish.
The way the reimbursement shapes also varies. Some companies pay for the entire degree, while others cap a certain annual limit.
While these policies may differ, almost all the companies will require your commitment to stay with the company for a certain number of years after receiving the benefits.
Usually, the companies ask you to pay for your courses upfront and commit the reimbursement later.
If your current employer doesn’t offer such benefits, you can always plan for a job switch and look for the ones offering tuition reimbursement.
Before joining, you can always ask if the particular company offers this perk and then decide accordingly.
4- Look For College Financial Assistance
Almost all major colleges and universities have their financial aid programs. Their policies may vary, from covering tuition costs partly to even 100%.
You can contact your college admissions office to get all the details.
To qualify, you must fill out the federal government’s free application (FAFSA), which has your income and other factors to determine how much financial aid you need.
You can also estimate your aid via StudentAid.gov.
If you qualify, the college will reward you with financial help in the form of grants or scholarships.
Aside from the FAFSA forms, check out the local state programs that may also assist.
5- Enroll Into Community College Education
Getting into a community college is one of the easiest ways to get paid to go to school. You can get a bachelor’s degree or a two-year associate degree by studying at a community college.
For financial aid, you can either fill the FAFSA form yearly or sign up for the Pell grant.
Once you submit the required papers, the community college management decides your eligibility. They also compute how much aid you need.
Besides filling out the FAFSA forms, check your city/state laws, as many states now offer tuition-free community colleges.
6- Win Scholarships
Unlike student loans, scholarships don’t put you in financial debt, as you don’t need to pay them back. For me, this is one of the best ways to get paid to go to school.
Though scholarships are open to all, they are often won by students having achievements in their field.
For example, if you show special talent and abilities in subjects like mathematics, science, technology, you can win scholarships.
If you outperform in high school results, there is every chance you win a scholarship for higher studies
Many students who are exceptional in sports, often win scholarships so they could play for their colleges’ sports teams.
So, if you are one of those exceptional ones, check with your state agency to see what scholarships are available.
7- Find Grants
Like scholarships, you don’t have to pay back the grants. However, there is a big difference.
While institutions reward scholarships to talented and bright students, grants get allotted to the financially weaker section of the society.
Depending upon the type of grant, it can cover either full or partial tuition.
Though most of the grants are government-funded, these also come from private companies, professional associations, non-profit organizations, educational institutes, and so on.
8- Apply For Apprenticeships
Apprenticeship is a system that allows you to get on-job training, learning, and education to make you more productive at work.
For employers, the apprentices are assets as they bring value to the company. They mostly retain apprentices and provide excellent career advancement opportunities.
So I consider apprenticeships an excellent way to start your career and get skilled as you grow.
Though apprenticeships come in various forms, we can broadly divide them into two categories.
A- Trade Apprenticeships
In a trade apprenticeship, you will learn all the expertise to complete your work, such as becoming a carpenter, plumber, electrician, and auto mechanic.
B- Academic Apprenticeships
With academic apprenticeships, you complement your job with a degree or certification program. We see such scenarios in fields like information technology, bioengineering, and healthcare.
If you are keen to get more details, Apprenticeship.gov is an excellent resource to get it.
9- Work For A College
If you already in a work-study job, there is every chance that your college allows you discounted or tuition-free education.
So, getting an on-campus job is an excellent way to get paid to go to school.
You can look for administrative, clerical, and service-oriented positions, including anything from answering phones, taking notes for visually impaired students, tutoring, and doing a variety of other tasks.
Before getting an on-campus job, do check with your institute about their policy of tuition-free education as it can significantly vary between colleges.
10- Serve The Military
I have kept this option at last because not everyone can fit into it. But for those who plan to join the military, getting a free education out of it is an excellent perk.
Each branch of the military has different policies and application processes, so be sure to check your eligibility and other benefit details.
For example, with the Military Tuition Assistance Program, you can receive up to $45,00 per year. The program also covers things like tuition fees, book expenses, and other course materials.
GI Bill Program provides about 36 months of complete educational help to people who qualify. It offers full tuition reimbursement for military service members and veterans.
Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance Program also provides veteran family members with tuition reimbursement.
If you are interested in serving the military, I highly recommend you to check out the US Department of Veterans Affairs that has a Comparison Chart and Payment Rates on its website.
How Much Can I Get Paid To Go To School?
That’s a tough one to answer as the amount you can get paid to go to school varies depending on the aid you go for.
For example, scholarships and grants can get you anything from $1,000 to $40,000 each year.
A tuition-free college does not pay you anything but can save you thousands of dollars every year.
The same is the case if the employer reimburses your tuition fee.
So rather than asking, “How much can I get paid to go to school?” you must focus on choosing the option that suits you the best. Whatever option you pick, it must solve your ultimate purpose of getting free education.
What Are My Chances To Get Paid To Go To School?
While scholarships and grants are difficult to grab, but the good news is, there is always ample money available for students in actual need of financial help.
If you believe that getting grant money is impossible, that’s when you never go for it and end up with nothing.
In fact, in 2014, the government could not give away almost $3 billion of grant money because of the lack of applicants.
So if you want financial help, never hesitate, and go for it. You got nothing to lose. Apply to every applicable scholarship, grant, and other financial aid you can find.
Do remember, scholarship or grant applications have deadlines that you must meet. In most cases, grants get awarded at least 3 to 4 months before the start of the school year or the semester.
So apply timely to increase your chances of winning them.
We can’t deny the importance of education in shaping your career paths. So, never quit it in between only because of a financial crisis. Remember, millions of students are studying for free, so why not you?
Considering the choices you have to get paid to go to school, always stay passionate about your education.
Whether you apply for scholarships, grants, military funding, or even seek an employer that pays for your education, you have several options to pick.
So apply promptly for any chance you get, and eventually, like many others, you will get what you deserve.
That’s it from me. Now, it’s your turn to try these ways to get paid to go to school and share your feedback comments.
If you have questions, please feel free to reach out. I am glad to answer your queries!
Best of luck!