Financing College: 10 of The Weirdest Ways

In case you need to find some cash to keep financing college, here are 10 of the weirdest ways. Not to worry. None go (far) beyond normal. You may have to stretch a bit, but you can do it. See how.

These ideas can jar your memory and give you ideas. Look for opportunities to earn some cash for college, and you can be your own financial aid.

Money for College: A Few Ground Rules

Just a few areas I will skip. I won’t venture into, and I recommend you stay out of as well:

- The Illegal, no drugs for example

- Extreme, like some David Blaine freeze-me-in-Times-Square-naked idea

- Luck based, no blackjack teams or lottery investment schemes

- Or totally unlikely to work, like film a new educational video a la The Girl Next Door…

That being the case, I have heard of some seriously strange ways to make money in college. People do this to avoid student loans like a Stafford loan, Perkins loan, or private student loans. Or because they don’t qualify for a Pell grant. If you need a few ideas, maybe this will jog your memory.

1. Pageants, Contests, and Competitions
Don’t laugh! When a great legs contest offers $500 and you qualify, maybe it will work. Or if you can down more hot dogs. Maybe you can enter a stand up competition, or you are a look-a-like. Remember, this is weird list of ways to finance college. Use your imagination.

2. Refurbish Something
You know, pimp out a car and sell it, or just detail your civic. If you are good with wood, you could cruise garage sales and pick up a few dressers, and refinish them. Okay, it’s boring, but it works. With a little help, I turned a car for a $700 profit. Not bad for a $500 car.

3. Paint a Mural
Everybody wants murals these days, on their kids’ room walls and in their houses. I know a guy who used to go door to door and show people his work, and get contracts to paint a mural or a family photo.

4. Buy Out a Failing Business
For instance, a college student bought out a failing bike shop. He offered a lump sum for everything left in the store. Then, he sold everything a little at a time to other bike shops. He made a killing, over $4000. That keeps the tuition paid and the college financed.

5. Clown Around
Or any kind of party performer. Soccer moms always need entertainment for children’s birthdays – clowns, cowboys, princesses, magicians with an assistant. You could even bring in some cool (and safe) animals to show the kids. Charge $100 per party, and keep in touch for next year or the next child’s b-day.

6. Dance like an Egyptian, or a Hawaiian
I went to a friend’s surprise birthday party, and he had hired a dance group of Polynesian dancers for his wife’s party. They also perform at company events and weddings. If you know how, shake your... you get the idea.

7. Private Party
One more on the party theme. You could set up and throw major parties with a cover charge. Yes, you will have to buy a velvet rope and perhaps a red carpet. And be careful to follow all the rules in your area. More than just DJing, you can be the organizer. Book a few local bands. Set up an exclusive area so people have to pay. Get a local celeb to headline. Make flyers on your laptop, and see what happens.

8. Type or write your way
Some people just can’t type. Some want help writing. That could be your strong point. And in case you don’t type so great, remember, you could farm out work to others and make a cut of the total. Also, take a look at speech recognition software that does the typing for you. This could be a good way to finance school, and a business for later you can work from home.

9. Like Sports?
Most universities have some kind of sporting activities. I have known several people who financed college by directing traffic – car or pedestrian – at sporting events. They took tickets. They cleaned the stadium. You could even be a team manager. Could be fun.

10. Smokin' Hot...Baked Goods
Have a stunning recipe for monster cranberry chocolate muffins? Have ever tried to sell them? Try it. You could find a way to get college financed, and a way to start a future bakery. This can be fun and rewarding.

11. The list goes on…
This list can seriously go on for pages. I think you get the idea. Earning money to finance college doesn’t have to be a full time thing, and you have options. Look around, and if you have a good idea, try it out small at first and always legally. I once had 3 jobs to get through college, and I’m not alone. Keep looking for ways, and you’ll find a way to make that tuition money. If you come up short after grant ideas and jobs, consider using a student loan to fill in the gaps. And finish!

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