Entrepreneurship as a college student

How can a student in college get assistance paying for their education as well as gain work experience? Consider starting a business in college.

College offers the opportunity for students to get the type of job or career they are seeking. Along with the opportunity to prepare for a career, there is a cost to attend college. There are numerous ways to help pay for college such as financial aid in the form grants, work study and loans, scholarships, savings plans such as a 529 plan and having a job during college. When a student works during college, they can use that experience in different ways to help prepare for their career. Michigan State University Extension suggests another idea to help pay for college while also gaining valuable work experience for a career: How about starting a business while you’re a college student?

With the responsibilities of studying to pass classes and meeting the requirements for graduation, starting a business can be a challenge. Claire Tsosie in Nerd Wallet explains how to start a business in college with these five tips:

  1. Go to an entrepreneurial college.
  2. Qualify for free money.
  3. Set up a website.
  4. Build your community.
  5. Think big.

Also, Steve Nicastro offers tips for starting a business in college on US News. They include taking advantage of your status as a student, participating in school-sponsored entrepreneurship events, leveraging relationships with your professors, being business-minded and comparing your financing options.

What type of business can you start in college? Eric Basu, contributor to Forbes, offers five ways students can create income to pay for tuition:

  1. Expanding upon a hobby.
  2. Teaching or tutoring.
  3. Seeking opportunities to provide services for students.
  4. Making and selling hand-crafted goods.
  5. Providing services for local residents or businesses.

If you’re a student in high school or college and you’re thinking about starting a business, consider keeping a journal of the positives and negatives of your experience. Also, track the skills you are learning as an entrepreneur. If you’re interested in entrepreneurship after college, you can use your journal to take the steps to help expand your business and become a full-time entrepreneur as a career. At the very least, you can use the journal to document your skills in a cover letter and a resume and express your experience in a future interview.

Consider starting a business to help pay for college and gain experience for a future career.

For more information, check out the Michigan 4-H Youth Development website for entrepreneurship resources or contact your local MSU Extension office for resources that help young people learn how to start their own business.

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