The solution isn't to give up on getting educated. Instead, look into these options for earning money to earn degrees, rather than going into debt just to get into the career you want.

1. Work for AmeriCorps

This federal program encourages Americans to engage in service work, for nonprofits, schools, and community and faith-based groups nationwide. It's for people with a passion for service, since the stipend you live on while working isn't much, but the work you'll do is rewarding and instructive all in itself. The education benefits are what's really of interest to the collegiate-bound, though; you'll earn $5,000 toward college for two years of work, enough to cover two years of community college at most schools.

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2. Become an Apprentice

Engineer and apprentice planning a project together CNC
Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock
You can sign up to apprentice in anything from electrical work, to pipefitting, to carpentry, and earn a living wage

The United States is sorely lacking workers in certain skilled fields, and the US Department of Labor aims to remedy this by funding apprenticeship programs in which you work (and get paid) while learning a trade. You can sign up to apprentice in anything from electrical work, to pipefitting, to carpentry, and earn a living wage (far more than you'd get paid at a part-time gig in college) while earning your credential from the DOL. After four to six years, you'll be prepared for a career making an estimated $50,000 a year, with no student loans to repay.

3. Get a Paid Internship

Five Young Office People Brainstorming for Ideas at the Table Inside the Boardroom
Many internships are aimed specifically at college students

Many internships are aimed specifically at college students, and as a bonus, you can often earn college credit while working and learning on the job. You'll have to wade through a sea of unpaid internships to find the good ones, but if you're diligent in applying, you could earn thousands a month (and add to your resume).

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4. Join the Military

US Army soldier studying books
Sean Locke Photography/Shutterstock
If you're open to working in the Armed Forces, you can get paid to serve your country

If you're open to working in the Armed Forces, you can get paid to serve your country while also working toward a degree (or earning for college down the road). The G.I. Bill and other programs help veterans pay for college or reimburse them for tuition when they, often along with a housing allowance. The Reserve Educational Assistance Program or REAP and the National Call to Service Program are just a few of the many ways the government encourages veterans (and active members of the military) to get an education, and the skills you learn in military training can be applicable in a civilian career as well.

5. Apply for The Thiel Fellowship

Peter Thiel

It's more of a way to get paid to skip college than to attend

This one doesn't really belong on the list; after all, it's more of a way to get paid to skip college than to attend. But if you can earn one of these, you won't need a degree in the long run. Billionaire Peter Thiel's fellowship program pays promising minds to drop out and pursue an innovative goal through "self-directed learning and independent thought." 20-25 are given out a year, but the process is very selective, so make sure your idea is one that's worth the dough.

Here's how to save up to $700/year off your car insurance in minutes

When was the last time you compared car insurance rates? Chances are you’re seriously overpaying with your current policy.

It’s true. You could be paying way less for the same coverage. All you need to do is look for it.

And if you look through an online marketplace called SmartFinancial you could be getting rates as low as $22 a month — and saving yourself more than $700 a year.

It takes one minute to get quotes from multiple insurers, so you can see all the best rates side-by-side.

So if you haven’t checked car insurance rates in a while, see how much you can save with a new policy.

About the Author

Rona Richardson

Rona Richardson

Freelance Contributor

Rona was formerly a freelance contributor to MoneyWise.

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