Creative Alternative Financing

Creative Alternative FinancingMilitary veterans, lower-income students and those who complete a national service program, like AmeriCorps, would go to school for free in the new Clinton proposal.

Some less common methods used by students and their families to pay for school:

  • Americorps
  • Work Study Programs
  • Co Op Programs
  • VA Benefits


If you join the americorps and complete a term of americorps service you will receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award. You can use your Segal AmeriCorps Education Award to pay educational expenses at qualified institutions of higher education, for educational training, or to repay qualified student loans. You have up to seven years after your term of AmeriCorps service has ended to claim the award. Here is a list of about a hundred higher educational institutions nationwide that will match the award. (that way you get double the dollars towards paying for your degree)

Work Study Programs

Federal Work Study programs allow the student to earn income while enrolled in school by working a part time job. They are sponsored by the federal government which makes them different than co-op programs which are almost always sponsored by private companies.

The work study program is campus based and the college assigns the student to the part time job. The job could be either on campus or off campus. In order to qualify there again must be a financial aid need requirement. Usually college freshmen are not allowed to participate due to the time commitment and learning to cope with time management while taking college classes for the first time.

Co-op Programs

Co-op education students alternate between full-time work and full time study.They are paid during the work semesters from their job and then can use this money to offset their tuition and fees during their school semester. The co-op program also provides the students with valuable work experience that can be helpful when entering the regular job market after graduation. If you are interested in finding out if you can take advantage of a co-op you can contact the National Commission for Cooperative Education in Boston to see which schools and company programs related to your field of study are available.

VA Benefits

There are several different veterans educational benefits for military members. The Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance Program provides benefits to children and spouses of veterans who died or are disabled as a result of a service related injury. This benefit takes the form of a monthly check at the end of each month of study.

The Montgomery GI Bill is a program available to all active military personnel which the government contributes money to a special savings account for the military member which can then be used to pay college expenses after the service member separates or is released from military service. The GI Bill dollars are often enough to completely pay for two full years of tuition fees and room and board.

The Veterans Education Assistance Program is similar to the GI Bill above but for the VEAP, the military member contributes between $25 and $100 of his pay each month to a special savings account and the government matches that contributionon a $2 to $1 basis.