Students use side businesses to pay tuition

In lieu of recent cuts in the work study program, financial aid, and grants, students look elsewhere to pay their tuition.  Although many receive financial aid in some form or another, others have resorted to taking out loans to be paid back over the years or working long shifts for wages.


In 2011, President Barack Obama signed the Budget Control Act into law that would result in automatic cuts for nine years totaling $1.2 trillion.  Naturally, student financial aid (including federal grants and loans) has been impacted and as mentioned previously in a FIUSM article, Pell Grant recipients would see an $85,000 cut.  In addition, federal work-study would be hit with a cut of about $142,000 resulting in about 50 less students elected for employment.


Today, students face the very real challenge from these cuts in federal funding.  Thanks to the rise in tuition every year and increasing fees, many students look for alternative ways to make money aside from college employment or simply scholarship refunds.


For some, the difficulty of surviving on wages is all too familiar.  As an employee, you are replaceable and employers know that, of course that’s not always the case.


But, there are other more intuitive and fulfilling alternatives to meet financial needs.


One practice that has become increasingly common is to follow an entrepreneurial route to earn more than you would at an average job elsewhere.


Students at the university, like our own BBC photo editor, Sana Ullah, have started their own businesses to pay for additional tuition costs not covered by scholarship.


Through her own side photography business, SUPhotography, she has had the freedom to control what days she chooses to work in respect to her own business. She’s also acquired a unique set of skills including marketing and photography techniques while interacting with clients at a much more personal level rather than a forced “hello.”


Likewise, junior Adnan Saeed, psychology major, established his own dry-cleaning business after being tired of being mistreated by employers and working long hours for peanuts.


By offering incentives such as complimentary delivery and services, Saeed has been able to keep a competitive edge that led to success. Through his hard work and success, Saeed has refrained from conformity. On the contrary, it’s pushed him to strive for more.


That being said, the alternative of self-employment can help in several ways that otherwise would be unattainable. Most importantly, the freedom to be your own creator and boss provides one with an indelible sense of pride, purpose and accomplishment.  In addition, becoming  much more responsible, organized and timely from an academic standpoint is another added bonus.


Ultimately, it’s up to you what path to take for your future.  There is no right or wrong answer.


Despite the recent rise in tuition and federal cutbacks in financial aid, know that there are options out there.  Know that there’s always a solution and know that there’s always reward for your hard work.


Stick true to your convictions, and nobody can take away your sense of accomplishment.