Following a life changing event like divorce, it's common to recognize your current career may not be enough to keep your family living the quality of lifestyle they are accustom.  Perhaps, it's more than a lifestyle change and you're forced to get a second job, work overtime or change careers just to make ends meet.

Maybe you simply want to start a fresh new career that suits your new single life.  

Regardless of the reason for considering new education options, there are numerous things to consider before enrolling.  You will need to select a new career, a degree or certificate program and online, day or evening classes. 

But the most common options many working adults consider are related to paying for school and living expenses while enrolled in school.  We have an abbreviate list of some affordable options listed below.   But, first review some related articles that answer additional questions related to all your education options:

How to pay for your education

We have listed a few options related to paying for your education and living expenses while going to school below.  For more detailed information, see our article, "Pell grants, scholarships and student loans".


Money that's awarded to students that does not need to be repaid.  Grants are based on need, education programs with an accredited college/university and/or requirements specific to the type of grant.

Student Loans

These loans are to provide college students funds to pay for education expenses to include: tuition, book fees, supplies, living expenses, etc.  Some loans such as federal student loans require limited to no credit worthiness as a prerequisite to approval.  However, many private student loan providers still consider the student's credit for approval.  Student loans have to be repaid usually within a set period following your completion or discontinuation of your planned education.


Money awarded to students regarding the donor and student in the pursuit of a degree that reflects the values and purpose of said scholarship.  Scholarships do not need repayment but may have specific criteria that must be met and/or requirements post graduation.


Programs most often funded federally that assist college students attain part-time jobs. 


Sometimes you may need to pay for some portion of your education independently and/or you may need to make additional money to supplement your income until you graduate. 

Some ideas to make additional income without investing too much time away from your current career, family and education:

  • Ride sharing jobs such as Lyft® and Uber® are perfect secondary income options.  If you live in a busy area you will be able to work on your school work or be home with your family until rides are available.
  • Retail or fast food jobs are usually pretty easy to get and some pay exceptionally well.  Even 10 extra hours per week could bring $400 to $600/ month!
  • Overtime with your current employer is usually your best option if the pay is hourly, mostly tips and/or it will not affect your current hours.
  • Find options for passive income, assignments or unique income producers such as Airbnb, investing in rental property, selling plasma or clinical trials.
  • Consider changing your current job to one that you can do from home to save time and money on commuting.  
  • Sign-up for survey jobs and earn gift cards to be used instead of cash for holiday and birthday gifts or use for daily purchases.
  • Sign-up for coupon apps or grocery savings apps to save 5-10% annually on food and household purchases ($100/wk in purchases could save nearly $200 year).
  • Consider places like Amazon® to buy used text books for significantly less than your college offers them.

Your financial aid advisor will have most of the information relevant to paying for your education with the least amount of repayment options presented first.  It's important also for you to research all options related to grants, student loans, work-study and scholarships independently.  

For more information on ways to make or save extra money or ways to pay for school read some of our related articles:


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