10 Easy Ways to Afford College Without Going Broke

Higher education — it sounds so easy when it’s said in such a simple phrase. Everybody should have the ability to enhance their knowledge by attending college, right?

If you’ve ever looked into the cost of a college education, you’ve probably realized that the cost can be expensive. But who’s to say you can’t stretch your fingertips a little further and get creative with funding sources?

After all, you are a creative person!

In light of your innovative and resourceful personality, we’d like to share ten easy ways you can pay for college without going broke.

1. Don’t Skip the FAFSA

Every college-related blog will point you toward the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), and while it may seem a little clichéd, the advice is there for good reason. This is the one application you certainly don’t want to skip out on. The FAFSA can send you towards opportunities you wouldn’t even have known about, including grants, scholarships, and financial aid.

 2. Capitalize on Scholarships

You want to major in something art and design-related because you love expressing your individuality. Capitalize on it by searching for scholarships and grants that appeal to you. There are plenty of sites that will help you turn possibilities into opportunities. If you do the work; the rest will speak for itself.

Don’t stop when you scratch the surface. Write down things that make you different, ways you’re unique, and attributes your family may have that make you stand out. Consider searching for scholarships and grants revolving around:

  • Academic performance
  • Athletic abilities (Athletic students aren’t excluded from artful educations. You just have to find the right scholarship or grant.)
  • Ethnic backgrounds
  • Other factors that could provide you with unique opportunities and access to communities willing to help you further your education.
It may take a bit of due diligence, but that’s what college is all about! 
Dig around the internet and you’ll find different resources that will help with financial support. But be mindful that others will be doing the same so it’s important always put your best food forward when submitting applications or essays. Your target school might have their own private scholarships and grants.

 3. Put Yourself on a Payroll

This may sound like another clichéd piece of advice, but rest assured — we know what we’re talking about. Part-time jobs are great: they teach you how to be responsible, give you an income, and help you understand how to manage priorities.

One thing people don’t often talk about is the skill set you can learn while working a part-time job. As you learn how to network, accept responsibility, and work your way up the ladder, you’re simultaneously making contacts that could bolster your career when you’re out of college. A minimum-wage apprenticeship at an art gallery could lead to full-time job once you’ve earned your degree.

Always look forward. The rest will fill in as you go.

4. Sell Your Stuff

As a creative, you have an amazing talent. Use it to your advantage, and find ways to sell your stuff. Network with local coffee shops so you can secure showcases. Befriend neighborhood stores that sell products within your realm. Use sites such as Etsy.com to help the world know how wonderful you are.

5. Get a Job On Campus

Want to work without having to worry about a long commute? Academy of Art University offers on campus employment opportunities for enrolled students in areas such as Dining Services and Housing. You’ll get to know your campus community and fellow students better, which could lead to collaborative opportunities down the road!

 6. Start a Class

You have a talent; now put it to use! When you’re in school, you’re learning how to be a better artist every day, but there are plenty of people who weren’t born with the talents you naturally possess. BUT, they’d love to learn from the best!

It doesn’t matter what your artistic talent is — be it graphic design, photography, music composition, or anything else — you’re talented. That’s what matters. As you embark on your educational career and learn to hone your craft, consider offering classes to people who are just now beginning to enjoy the “thing” that makes you… you!

7. Pay Rent to Your ‘Rents

Do you really need an extra bill? If your parents are willing to foot the mortgage while you pay a small portion, take them up on the offer. The more costs you can cut while you earn your degree, the better off you’ll be. If you stay at home, the amount you pay for rent will likely include:

  • Internet
  • Utilities
  • Water
  • Food
  • Rent

When you add up these simple items, even the most barren of living situations can cost you a bundle. If your parents are willing to negotiate adult living arrangements, take them up on it! You’ll definitely thank them for it later.

 8. Go Social

If you’re feeling super crafty or have an amazing way with words, you could certainly go social. In this era of digital mastery, it only makes sense to put your entrepreneurial mind to work. If you know you have the power to deliver to your audience’s expectations and leave people wanting more, this is your time to shine! Embrace the digital age with something that’s totally you — and totally unforgettable. Then, let your social network take care of the rest.

Socializing your online experience properly takes a bit of preparedness and plenty of fruitful followers. A great social experience isn’t likely to happen overnight (despite what the headlines may have you believe), but there’s plenty of gold to be found if you mine your lists correctly.

9. Tutor Your Peers

Everybody needs a little help sometimes, and if you’re great at something, share your talents! Look for community boards or online requests appealing to your particular talent. If you understand how to translate ideas into objects, that’s awesome! If you can transform thoughts into impeccable photos, do it! Be your best, and help your peers be their best, too. You’ll be amazed at the outcome you and your students achieve.

 10. Reach Out to Your Religious Institution

If you’re a member of a church, synagogue, mosque, or another religious institute, schedule a meeting with your congregation’s leaders to see if there are scholarship opportunities offered for your community.

If you’re ready to start your academic endeavor, it’s always a good idea to be backed by a team of educational professionals who understand what you’re going through. When art is your passion, there are no finite lines; there are only fine lines that need to be finalized. Visit our Academy of Art family, and let us help you get started on creating a successful future!