In Denmark, students get paid to go to school by their own government.
All 18-year-old Danes and above are eligible to get funds from the state for around six years to complete their post-secondary education.
Those who don’t live with their parents anymore are paid around $900 each month to attend college and complete the courses they want.
Denmark isn’t the only country doing this.
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Other countries are investing in their own people to increase human capital and eventually have better-skilled citizens raising the economic value of their country.
Aside from educating an entire generation, giving college-level kids the opportunity to complete higher education, especially if they’re not financially able to, balances the scale of students who are rich, middle-class and poor.
Meanwhile, in the United States, tuition fee increase aren’t letting up and would-be college students are opting to skip getting degrees to avoid going in debt from student loans.
They try to join the workforce immediately because the prospect of making money is way better than going bankrupt as soon as you begin working.
If you’ve always wanted to continue higher education, but your financial situation has been keeping you from your dreams, maybe you can follow this guide on how to get money for college.
It won’t be easy.
But it’s good to know there are options for smart kids who would rather say no to a life-long of student loan debt.
5 Ways to Get Paid to Go to School
If you’re interested in getting paid to go to school, you have several options to choose from, including scholarships, grants, tuition benefits, reimbursement of school fees, and more. Find out which fits your situation best:
1. Tuition Reimbursement from Your Employer
Those who decided to work after graduating from high school could still change paths, especially if you discover that your employer has a tuition reimbursement program.
Not sure if they do?
Check your benefits package – this is often included on the document you signed on when you joined the company.
I wouldn’t know what’s involved in your company’s tuition reimbursement policy since they vary significantly between companies.
Some employers allow you to take any course you want, while others would only shoulder a degree that could improve your skill, which will eventually help you do your job within the company more effectively.
The amount a company pays for will also differ. Rules, such as the grades you need to maintain, will also be different between companies.
The good thing about tuition reimbursement is that you can ask around before joining a particular company.
2. Join the U.S. Military
The U.S. Military isn’t for everyone, but if serving your country or joining volunteer services is something that appeals to you, you have a couple of options, including:
- Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) – This education benefit is worth around $72,000 (as of 2018-2019), divided into 36 months of $1,994 payments. In order to qualify for this benefit, you’d need at least 2 years of military service.
- Dependent Educational Assistance Program – Veteran family members can get tuition reimbursement through this program.
- The Peace Corps – Aside from the training you receive from a 27-month assignment, those who volunteer to join the Peace Corps also get a stipend and $8k payment. The local counterpart (AmeriCorps) also pays a living expense stipend and potentially help you pay for college if you spend up to 12 months volunteering.
Also, the military has tuition assistance of up to $4,500 per year, if you’re qualified.
Be sure to check eligibility and other benefit details for the particular branch of military you’re in.
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3. Get Financial Assistance from Schools of Your Choice
If you’re lucky to choose a public college that offers financial assistance, you might be even be able to skip up to 100% of the fees.
This also refers to those considering earning two-year degrees at community colleges.
Do note that your eligibility and the amount of financial aid given will depend on how much you need them.
4. Find Scholarships
Scholarships are called “gift aid” because unlike student loans, you don’t need to pay it back.
It is very similar to grants, but scholarships are given to students based on merit.
There are tons of sponsorships available and the qualifications will vary based on your record of achievement.
For example, those who excel in sports like basketball or football are actually discovered by different colleges and offered sponsorships so they could play for them.
It isn’t exclusive to sports too! Those who have a special gift in mathematics, technology, or other subjects can be awarded sponsorships relevant to their fields.
State scholarships are also available to those who excel in high school, but these are often called as “state grants” as well. Check with your local government to see what scholarships are available.
5. Win a Grant
Grants are need-based financial assistance.
Like scholarships, those awarded with grants do not need to repay them. It is offered as either full or partial tuition coverage and given by the government, private companies, associations, non-profit organizations, and so on.
- Federal grants – Handled by the US Department of Education, the government awards about $150 billion to more than 12 million students. You have to fill up the federal financial aid form— the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to be considered. This isn’t just a single grant though, you’ll find hundreds of public grants, such as Pell Grants (pays an average $2,500) and a lot more that’s usually named after a politician.
- Private grants – Companies like Pepsi give grants to the children of their employees, or even the spouses and employees. These grants are usually under the company’s foundation and are publicly available on their websites. Coca-Cola’s Scholars Program, for instance, has a budget of over $3 million annually for the scholarships of 1,400 college students.
- Professional associations – If you’re studying to become a nurse, or a computer programmer, you can find industry-related associations that may be willing to support your studies through grants. You do have to research a lot more to find these associations, but they exist.
- Institutional grants – These types of grants are given by private universities. You can find information about these grants on enrollment pages of these colleges. Or better yet, ask someone from the school in person when you get a chance to visit.
You can find grants that would fit your skill set on websites like CollegeGrant.net or Scholarships.com. These grants can even go beyond “skill” and offered based on a student’s gender, ethnicity, physical condition, and so on.
There are grants for students who are hoping to become a teacher, grants for students who are interested in in-demand science and math subjects, grants exclusive to a specific university department, and more.
How Much Can I Get Paid to go to School?
The amount you can get vary between funding you’ve chosen to apply for.
Scholarships and grants can give you as low as $1,000 to over $35,000 each year with an average of $5,000.
The amount of cash students receive vary on a case to case basis.
But it’s good to know that there is ALWAYS money available for students in need of assistance.
Students assume that getting grant money is impossible that not enough people try their luck. In fact, in 2014, almost $3 billion in federal grant money wasn’t rewarded to anyone because of the lack of applications.
Do You Have a Chance?
There’s no harm in trying to apply for higher education funding.
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This is your future we’re talking about, so apply to every applicable scholarship or grant you can find.
Most of these funding sources have been doing this for decades, so expect them to have calendars already put in place.
Scholarship applications have a fee and deadline that you need to meet. In most cases, grants should have been awarded to students already at least 3 months before the start of school year.
And after you’ve submitted your application, you can always look for online jobs for college students to keep yourself busy while waiting for a response.