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How to Pay for College: Become an Entrepreneur

How to Pay for College: Become an Entrepreneur

Photo courtesy of South Carolina State University.

College is a fantastic life experience, it’s great fun and it’s a great way to get a head start on your career so that you can land the best jobs and start earning a decent salary a little earlier than your peers.

But all that comes at a cost – a very literal and expensive cost as you will have to pay your way through the process. That means not only forking out for the cost of your tuition itself, but also affording a place to stay and all your food and drink with no salary. For some people this is enough to deter them from ever doing a degree in the first place, while for others it can detract from the experience forcing them to struggle through those years that should be so much fun and provide you with so much freedom.

One solution is to take on part time work. That way you can concentrate on your studies throughout the day, but then go out and earn a little income in your free time. This can certainly lighten the financial burden and help you to leave with far less debt, but unfortunately it’s also a very difficult balancing act as you have to squeeze in work around your studies and your socializing (and you need to sleep at some point too!). You can’t have it all, so if you work too much then something will suffer.

The Solution: Entrepreneurialism

How to Pay for College

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons.

But there is a solution – become an entrepreneur. This means setting up your own small business and then making money by selling a product or service. This gives you the freedom and the flexibility to work to a timescale that suits you, and potentially it can also be a lot more profitable and rewarding than working in a Starbucks or a Tesco.

There are many ways that you can make money for yourself if you have the drive and the creativity and many of these won’t take up much of your time or require any investment or particular skills.

What is an Entrepreneur?

So how does one make themselves an entrepreneur? Well an entrepreneur is simply someone who goes about earning their own money through a business idea – and this can be incredibly simple.

So for instance if you know how to cut hair, then you could offer other students cheap haircuts. Students love saving money and it will be a great way to meet new people as well. On the other hand, if you play a guitar then you could give guitar lessons which would once again be both a social event and a perfect way to raise funds doing something you enjoy that’s relaxing for a few hours in the evening. Like crafts? Then make and sell some of your own jewelry or decorative plant pots – again the student body will provide the perfect market for some quirky and cheap items.

Of course working online is also a very tempting offer for young entrepreneurs and there are lots of ways you can earn money on the web. The most common method is probably blogging, which will allow you to make money from advertising or from the sale of the affiliate products if you can generate enough readers.

Alternatively though if you want something a little more immediate, there are plenty of easy services you can provide online, none of which will require you to even leave your room. For instance you could always provide writing services for webmasters, marketing services (look into SEO), or coding/web design if you have those skills. Building software or apps can potentially even make you rich if you come up with a winning idea and have a little luck on your side…

Taking Advantage of Your Environment

Running your own business through university makes a lot of sense because you will have the need to raise that cash. At the same time though it makes sense because you will have access to so many useful resources. The student paper for instance will likely cover any enterprise you come up with which will win you immediate exposure and instant customers. Likewise you may find that your university is able to help you get off the ground with a grant, and through clubs and societies you can meet many other people who will be happy to help you with your project (some units even have entrepreneur societies!). So what are you waiting for? Start putting your idea together right now and don’t let this golden opportunity pass you up. Imagine if Mark Zuckerberg had gone to work in McDonald’s…

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Gregory Fisher
Written by Gregory Fisher

Today’s featured writer, Greg Fisher, is the founder of Berkeleys Sourcing Group. He has a strong manufacturing and engineering background, and is proficient in Mandarin. In his leisure time, he enjoys hiking with his friends and family.

1 Comment responses

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    March 04, 2014

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