Many people rely on taking out student loans to pay for their tertiary education. But with the recent spotlight on the problem of long-term student loan debt, people are reluctant to take out a student loan. 

Many people can turn to their parents for financial assistance, or acquire a scholarship. However, there are other creative ways to finance your degree! 

From crowdfunding to content writing, let’s take a look at some unusual ways that people have funded their degrees.

Top Unusual Ways People Have Financed College

Student loans are easy to apply for and have helped countless students pay for their tuition. But, there are many student loan horror stories out there. Many people are unable to pay off these debts for years to come. 

Are you considering paying your way through college? If so, you might be in for a busy few years. However, it can be a good step to take to ensure you start your professional life off with as little debt as possible.  

Loans, parents, and government financial aid aren’t the only way to go! Let’s have a look at some of the top interesting ways that people have 

House-Sitting And Pet-Sitting

Higher education fees don’t just include the cost of education. There’s rent, food, and other expenses. But what do these terms mean? 

House-sitting involves moving into someone’s home and maintaining it while the homeowner is away. When the care of pets is also involved, it becomes pet-sitting, too.

House-sitting or pet-sitting can solve two problems at once. It offers income and accommodation. So if you are not able to, or don’t want to, move into student accommodation on campus, this can be the answer. House-sitting has saved many students money through rent-free accommodation. 

For this to be sustainable, you’ll need a continuous run of house-sitting jobs. This can be hard to organize, but it’s not impossible! Recruiting long-term clients can go a long way in providing you with rent-free accommodation. 

In addition to avoiding rent, house-sitting and pet-sitting students have found that this gig can pay handsomely. 

This is one of the more pleasant ways to finance college tuition without a loan. It doesn’t take up too much time, and you can pursue other odd jobs at the same time. Just don’t forget to feed the dogs! 

Participating In Clinical Trials

Partaking in clinical trials may not be for everyone. However, they can pay well! Higher education institutions tend to be focused on research. There are probably opportunities to getinvolved in clinical trials at your school of choice. 

Students of pharmaceutical chemistry or the health professions are often exposed to participant opportunities.  But while this income stream is well-used, it cannot guarantee long-term income. Taking part in clinical trials may also expose you to side effects, depending on the nature of the trial. 

However, these trials will all be legal and approved by the necessary bodies. Even if you can’t fully fund your degree by participating in these trials, you might be able to contribute to your rent, food, and other expenses. It can be a supplementary form of income while paying your way through college.


Crowdfunding is yet another of the unusual ways that people have financed tertiary education. Crowdfunding is the practice of raising money from a large number of people via the Internet.

A struggling Master’s Degree student at Oxford raised her tuition fee with this method. She promoted her campaign by reaching out on social media. Although this 23-year-old law graduate had been denied a scholarship, she didn’t let that stop her. 

In just eight days, she managed to raise the £11,000 she needed to supplement her savings. This story is not unique, as more and more students across the world are turning to this alternative way to finance their degrees.


Tutoring is a great way to finance your degree. Several enterprising college students have turned to tutoring first-year undergraduate students to supplement their tuition fees. This benefits both the learners and the tutors and is an excellent example of the ingenuity of students.

Online tutoring is also possible, and many students choose this path. Online tutors can earn between $5 and $15 per academic hour, although it is possible to earn more.

Content Writing

Many students use online content writing jobs to supplement or fully fund their degrees. This is because these jobs tend to be remote and freelance. You can pick the amount of work you’re willing to take on, and write the content in your spare time, around your class schedule. 

While a job like bartending is a common, fairly lucrative student job, it can leave students tired. Many odd jobs, or part-time jobs, also have set hours that can conflict with studies. 

Content writing allows students to work when they have time. This might mean at night for a few hours, or early in the morning before classes. All you’ll need is good writing skills, a laptop or computer, and self-discipline! 

Promotional Work

Marketing students may take a particular interest in this one. This work entails promoting products in-store or at public events. You might need to wear a costume, usher people into concerts, or convince customers to taste a new product.

Promotional work can pay fairly well and can be a consistent source of income. If you have a sense of humor, and love meeting new people, you may enjoy this unusual way to pay for college. 

Final Thoughts

Are you eager to study further (or even start), without resorting to a student loan or help from your parents? 

Many students work part-time while they’re studying. This can be hard, but it allows them to accumulate as little debt as possible. 

There are many unusual ways that people have funded their degrees! It might seem daunting, but if it’s what you need to do, it’s not impossible.