Unique Ways to Pay for College


College is expensive – and it gets more so every year. The average in-state price for tuition, fees, room and board at a four-year public institution in 2014-15 was up 3% from the previous year to $18,943, according to the College Board. The average price for a four-year private nonprofit school rose nearly 4% to $42,419.

More and more families are turning to student loans to fund higher education. Over the past 10 years, student loan debt has climbed from less than $500 billion to more than $1 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. However, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Editor Janet Bodnar has argued for years in Money Smart Kids columns that despite the rising cost of college there are ways to avoid the student-loan debt trap.

In fact, we talked to several people who found some unusual ways to cover some (or all) of the cost of going to college. As a result, many of these people avoided student loans altogether. Here are nine ways they earned or were given cash to help pay for school.

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SOURCE: Cameron Huddleston, Online Editor

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