How can creative youth earn money for college?

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Answered by: Kelsey, An Expert in the Information About College Category
Long gone are the days where all one had to do was get a part-time job for a summer or two to save up all the cash they needed to afford college with little debt. With college tuition being between $20K-$50K and increasing, it's nearly impossible to go to college without some sort of debt. Even with familial assistance, loans, and scholarships, college is one sure-fire way to drain your bank account fast. However, there are plenty of ways for creative, innovative youth to earn money for college while they are still in high school.


Though it can be hard to break the ice and fall into the world of freelancing, many young people are writing and earning cash by writing for companies, blogs, and businesses every day. While most job boards are looking for experienced writers, finding jobs that are more available to young writers with little to no experience is as easy as going on Twitter and scrolling through tags like #WritersWanted or by making connections with other freelancers. Facebook has many open and closed groups for freelancers new and old that often post many jobs unavailable elsewhere and offers the chance to build connections with freelancers who may know of jobs that would suit you. There's nothing like being recommended to an old client in order to get a job!

-Stock Photography

Most young people have a camera of some sort today and learning how to use one is a cinch in this digital age. With some practice, time, and creative editing, one can become a worthy photographer easily. Many companies today rely on stock photography websites to supply them with photos for their various campaigns and articles. These companies will often pay to have the rights to these photos so that no one else can use them. The best part is that anyone can submit their photos to the various stock photography companies online and earn a commission when they are purchased. While it isn't a lucrative business, every little bit helps.

-Art Commissions

Art is a little more difficult as it's more of a talent niche, but for those with a talent in art, it's becoming more and more popular for people to pay for art online. Commissions in particular. While it can be a little bit boring after awhile since most of the commissions are for fanart and one may end up drawing the same character time and time again, it is not a field to snub your nose at. Websites like DeviantArt are the easiest to begin offering to do commissioned work (though typically you have to show some samples first), but if you have a wide followership, it can be just as easy to offer it to friends on social media platforms like Facebook and Tumblr.

-Etsy Shop

Etsy, the online shopping center where creatives of all different types come together to sell their goods. Etsy is not for the faint of heart, but for those willing to put time and energy into marketing their store and products, Etsy can be a wonderful resource. From paintings to ceramics to homemade cards and jewelry, Etsy sells a little bit of everything handmade and usually for a high price. But it's worth it for something one of a kind, right? At least buyers seem to think so. Be careful with this one, though, as you do have to pay a small fee in order to list each product. Be confident in your ability to sell the product and earn your money back.

-Creating a Brand

Create your own content and earn money working for yourself. This is possibly the most involved way to earn money on our list, but it can be well worth the effort. While people watch and read blogs, Vines, and YouTube videos every day, few people realize that you can get paid to create them. By developing a style and a fanbase within a niche, one can begin to earn money through running advertisements, sponsoring companies, reviewing products, or selling their own merchandise. Think of your favorite YouTuber--he or she sells their own branded products, correct? While it's probably going too far to say that a high school student can be making a full income off of blogging/Vining/YouTubing, it's safe to say that it is an option for some additional income.

No matter how discouraging looking at tuition prices may be, there are always fun, alternative ways for young people to earn money for college out there. All it takes is a little searching, innovation, and a dash of creativity.

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