Getting Paid to Go to School ( 5 Ways – 2023)
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So you want to get paid to go to school, do you? Well, you’ve come to the right place. There are ways to earn money while you learn, from scholarships and grants to work-study programs and beyond. The truth is, college isn’t cheap and the costs keep rising every year. But don’t worry, you don’t have to resign yourself to decades of student loan payments or drop out of school altogether. With some searching and persistence, you can find opportunities to make money for college that fit your needs and schedule. In this article, we’ll explore several options for getting paid to go to school so you can earn while you learn. The best part is, the more you look, the more you may find. So start searching and you’ll be earning money for your education in no time!


Types of Programs That Pay You to Go to School

There are a few ways to get paid to go to school. Two of the most common are:


Scholarships are free money for college that you never have to pay back. There are scholarships for practically everything – good grades, athletics, community service, unique hobbies, and more. Do some research to find scholarships you may be eligible for. The key is to apply to as many as possible to increase your chances of winning.

Tuition Reimbursement

Many companies offer tuition reimbursement programs that will pay for some or all of your college expenses. The catch is you usually have to work for the company for a certain amount of time after graduating. If you plan to stay with a company long-term though, tuition reimbursement can be an attractive benefit. Some companies may require you to study a field related to your job to be eligible. Tuition reimbursement is really a win-win – your company invests in your education and skills, and you get to go to school for free.

With some time and effort, you absolutely can get paid to go to school. Don’t miss out on opportunities to earn a degree or advance your education without taking on student loan debt. Between scholarships, grants, tuition reimbursement and other programs, college may be more affordable than you think!

University Jobs

Most schools offer jobs for students right on campus. Things like resident assistants, teaching assistants, tutors, and research assistants are all options. These jobs typically offer flexible hours that work with your class schedule. Some may even provide additional benefits like free housing or meal plans.

Online Surveys

If you have spare time, completing online surveys in your spare time can generate some easy cash. Survey companies like Survey Junkie, Swagbucks, and InboxDollars allow you to earn money for sharing your opinions and insights. You won’t get rich but you can earn enough for coffee, books or other small expenses.

Every bit helps when you’re trying to avoid drowning in student debt. With some time and effort, you can find ways to get paid and pay for school. The opportunities are out there, you just have to look for them.

Legitimate Programs for Getting Paid to Go to School

  • Federal Work-Study provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing you to earn money to help pay for college expenses. The jobs are often on campus and flexible enough to fit around your class schedule.
  • Teach for America is a program where you teach in low-income communities for two years while earning a salary. You get loan deferment during that time and may qualify for loan forgiveness after completing the program.
  • AmeriCorps has a variety of programs where you can volunteer to gain work experience, earn an education award of up to $5,815 and student loan deferment. Some programs also provide a living stipend during your service.
  • The military offers programs like the Montgomery GI Bill and tuition assistance that provide funding for college in exchange for military service. You can earn a degree while gaining valuable work experience.
  • Healthcare programs for nurses, doctors and other healthcare workers often provide tuition reimbursement, loan repayment and scholarships in exchange for a work commitment after earning your degree.

These legitimate programs provide a proven path to get paid to pursue higher education. Do your research to find the right opportunity that matches your interests and needs. An investment in knowledge pays the best interest, as the saying goes, so take advantage of a chance to earn while you learn.

Finding Scholarships and Grants That Pay Tuition

Finding ways to pay for college without going into debt can be challenging, but there are options out there if you look. Scholarships and grants are money for school that you don’t have to pay back. While student loans must be repaid, these funding sources are like “free money” for your education.

Merit-Based Scholarships

Merit-based scholarships are awarded based on your grades, test scores, talents, skills, or field of study. Many private organizations, nonprofits, and schools offer merit scholarships. Do some research on websites like FastWeb, Cappex, College Board, or Peterson’s to find opportunities you may be eligible for. You’ll need to provide transcripts, test scores, essays, or work samples as part of the application. While competitive, merit scholarships can be worth up to full tuition.

Need-Based Grants

Need-based grants are awarded based on your financial need, typically determined by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA form. This includes federal grants like the Pell Grant, as well as state and college grants. To qualify, you must demonstrate an inability to pay for school based on your income and family’s financial situation. Grants do not need to be repaid and can provide several thousand dollars per year for school.

Private Scholarships

Many organizations, nonprofits, religious groups, community organizations, and employers offer private scholarships. Do some research to find programs in your local area or that match your background, talents, field of study, or interests. These may require essays, applications, interviews or other criteria to apply. While more competitive, private scholarships provide another avenue for receiving free money for your education.

Finding and applying for scholarships and grants does require work, but the reward of being able to pay for school without loans is worth the effort. With persistence and patience, you can find funding to help make your college dreams a reality.

Paid Apprenticeships That Cover Education Costs

Paid apprenticeships are a great way to earn while you learn. Several programs will cover the costs of your education or training in exchange for working for the company after you graduate.

Trade Schools and Unions

Many trade schools and unions offer paid apprenticeships in fields like plumbing, electrical work, carpentry, and welding. As an apprentice, you’ll earn a wage while receiving on-the-job training and taking classes. Once you complete the program, you’ll have a path to becoming licensed or certified in your trade.

Trade apprenticeships typically last 2-5 years. Popular options include electrician, plumber, welder, and carpenter apprenticeships. These programs are a fantastic way to learn specialized skills without going into debt.

Healthcare Apprenticeships

Some healthcare organizations provide paid apprenticeships for careers like medical assistant, lab technician, and nurse. For example, the SEIU Healthcare Apprenticeship Program trains medical assistants and surgical technologists. Apprentices earn college credits, receive mentoring, and are paid during their on-the-job training.

Tech Apprenticeships

Major tech companies like Microsoft, IBM, and AWS offer paid apprenticeship programs. As an apprentice, you can learn skills like software engineering, UX design, and data analysis while earning a salary. Apprenticeships usually last 1-2 years and may lead to full-time employment after completion. These programs provide an opportunity to break into the tech field without a traditional four-year degree.

In summary, paid apprenticeships in various industries enable you to earn money and gain experience while pursuing education or job training. By completing an apprenticeship, you can kickstart your career without accumulating student loan debt. For many, an apprenticeship is a perfect path to a well-paying, skilled career.

Internships: Earning Money and Gaining Experience as a Student

Internships are a great way to gain valuable work experience while still in school. Many companies offer paid internship programs for students, allowing you to earn money to help offset your education costs.

Look for internships in fields related to your major or career interests. Reach out to companies you’re interested in and inquire about possible opportunities for students. Some may advertise intern positions on their website or via your school’s career center. Internships can be part-time during the school year or full-time in the summer.

As an intern, you’ll get hands-on experience in a professional role. You can learn skills that complement your studies and gain exposure to a particular job or industry. Some interns are able to turn their internships into job offers after graduation. At a minimum, you’ll build your resume, expand your professional network, and possibly earn college credit.

The compensation for internships varies but may include an hourly wage or stipend. According to Glassdoor, the average pay for an intern in the U.S. is around $17 per hour. While the pay may be modest, the opportunity to gain experience in a role directly related to your career goals is invaluable. With some internships, you may also receive additional perks like free meals, transportation stipends, and mentorship from company executives.

Pursuing an internship is one of the best ways to prepare yourself for life after college. You’ll develop useful skills, gain career clarity, and open doors to new opportunities—all while earning money to fund your education. For the motivated student, an internship can lead to a rewarding career path.

Resident Assistant Positions: Making Money on Campus

Being an RA, or resident assistant, is a great way to earn money while going to school. As an RA, you get free or reduced housing in exchange for helping students in your dormitory or resident hall.

Duties and Responsibilities

As an RA, your main duties revolve around helping students in your building. You provide guidance and help enforce the rules. You may have to mediate conflicts, assist students who need help, put on social or educational programs, and do administrative tasks like room inspections. The specific responsibilities will vary depending on your school, but usually include:

-Helping students adjust to college life

-Planning social or educational events

-Enforcing residence policies

-Mediating conflicts between students

-Providing guidance and counseling

-Admin tasks like room inspections, paperwork, etc.

The job typically requires 10-20 hours of work per week. The hours are often in the evenings and on weekends. You need to be available in case of emergencies.


The main benefit of being an RA is free or reduced housing. At most schools, RAs get a private room for free and may get a meal plan or stipend. Some schools provide additional pay, usually a few thousand dollars per semester. The total compensation can be worth $10,000 or more for the school year.

The RA position is a great way for motivated students to gain valuable work experience, make a difference in their community, and earn money for college. While challenging at times, being an RA provides opportunities for leadership, relationship building, and personal growth.


Tips for Finding Programs to Get Paid to Go to School

Getting Paid to Go to School

Do your research

The first step is to do some research on programs that offer funding for students. Check with your school’s financial aid office to explore options like grants, scholarships, student loan forgiveness or tuition reimbursement programs. Local organizations like charities, churches, and nonprofits also offer scholarships. Search online for programs like the TEACH Grant, Pell Grant or government loan forgiveness for jobs like teaching, nursing or public service.

Look for work-study programs

Many schools offer work-study programs where you work part-time and in exchange, receive funding for your education. This could be assisting in a campus office, library, dining hall or for an academic department. Not only do you gain valuable work experience, but you earn money for tuition at the same time.

Consider tuition reimbursement

Some companies offer programs where they reimburse or pay for a portion of your college tuition, especially if it relates to your job. This is more common with large companies. You will need to work for the company either during your education or for a certain period of time after graduating. Make sure you understand all requirements before accepting funds.

Apply, apply, apply

Once you find some good opportunities, apply as early and as often as you can. Many programs have deadlines, funding limits or other criteria to qualify. The more you apply, the better your chances are of finding ways to get paid to go to school. Be prepared to provide things like transcripts, test scores, references and an essay on why you deserve the funding.

With some determination, you can find ways to earn an education without accumulating a mountain of debt. Do your homework, explore all options and don’t get discouraged if it takes applying to many programs before finding the right ones for you. Staying persistent will pay off!

Managing Your Finances as a Student

Managing your finances as a student can be challenging, but with careful planning it is doable. Here are some tips to help you stay on budget:

Make a budget

Sit down and calculate your income from student aid, jobs, etc. and list your necessary expenses like tuition, rent, food, and transportation. See what’s left over for discretionary spending and stick to it. Review and revise it regularly based on your situation.

Look for ways to earn extra money

If you find your budget is tight, explore ways to earn additional income around your school schedule. Things like online surveys, tutoring, freelancing, and task-based work are good options. Babysitting, dog walking, retail work or waiting tables a few nights a week can generate some cash without a major time commitment.

Take advantage of student discounts and freebies

Students are often eligible for discounted movie tickets, public transit passes, gym memberships, and more. Check with local businesses, your school, and national chains like Amazon, Apple, and Best Buy which frequently offer student deals. Make the most of free campus facilities and events as well.

Keep expenses low

Some easy ways for students to save money include: living at home instead of on-campus, buying used or older edition textbooks, cooking meals instead of eating out, and brewing coffee at home. Walk, bike, or use public transit to avoid vehicle costs like gas, insurance, and parking fees.

The college years are meant to be formative and fun. With prudent financial management, you can enjoy this special time without being burdened by money worries. Focus on your studies, participate in extracurriculars, build new relationships – and let the budget you’ve created guide you to financial freedom.

Work-Study and Part-Time Job Opportunities

College is expensive, so finding ways to earn money while you learn is key. Many schools offer work-study and part-time jobs right on campus that can help pay your way.

Work-Study Programs

Work-study programs provide part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need. The jobs are often located right on campus and work around your class schedule. Types of jobs can include research assistants, tutors, resident assistants, teaching assistants, and more. The pay is subsidized by the government, so the positions typically pay higher than a standard part-time job. Check with your school’s financial aid office to see if you qualify for the work-study program.

Campus Jobs

Even if you don’t qualify for work-study, many schools hire students for various part-time jobs on campus, like those in the library, cafeteria, bookstore, fitness center, and administrative offices. The jobs typically have flexible hours that work with your class schedule and the commute is non-existent. While the pay may be slightly lower than an off-campus job, not having to worry about transportation to work or changing schedules around exams is worth it. Ask your school’s career services office or human resources department about openings and the application process.

Additional Options

You can also look for paid internships, research assistant roles, resident advisor positions, teaching assistant roles, and regular part-time jobs off-campus. Build your resume with relevant work experience in your field of study. Networking and making industry connections now can lead to job opportunities after you graduate. Any job you take, on or off campus, will help offset the cost of your education while preparing you for your future career. The perfect job for each person depends on your needs, skills, and interests.


That’s it, the secret to earning money while getting your education is out. Now you know there are many creative options to fund your schooling. Whether it’s applying for scholarships, becoming a research assistant, tutoring other students, or freelancing in your spare time, the opportunities are there. With hard work and persistence, you can find ways to get paid to go to school. Now get out there, explore the options, and make it happen. An education is worth the investment, and earning while learning will make it that much sweeter. You’ve got this! With the drive to succeed, you can accomplish anything, even getting paid to go to school.

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