How This Undergrad Earns Enough to Cover His $48,000 Tuition

Do you wish you had more cash for books, travel, or even tuition? You could take out a student loan, sure, but you could also do what this NYU undergrad did – earning more than $48,000 per year.

Making money as an English major

I’m generally a guy who doesn’t live with regrets, but there are two financial mistakes I made as a student:

  • Not paying my bills on time
  • Getting more student loans than I needed

The cause (and solution) to these mistakes is the subject of another post, but they could have been prevented altogether if I understood how simple making money could be in college.

In fact, it’s possible to get great work experience you can later leverage with employers.

How to Earn $48,000+/year While in School

NYU student Eric Hu figured this out. Though he’s studying marketing, not English, there’s so much for English majors to learn from this example.

(It’s not surprising to me that this guy isn’t an English major – the communications/marketing and business departments tend to be much better at encouraging their students to get this kind of experience while in school.)

A video from Business Insider explores how Eric manages to earn enough to cover his $48,000 annual tuition while maintaining a pretty good GPA:

Click the image to view the video.
Click the image to view the video on Business Insider.

You Can Earn Enough to Cover Your Expenses, Too

If Eric can do this in New York City where living expenses are crazy high, you can do this where you live, too.

What can we take away from Eric’s story?

  • Have a clear goal. In Eric’s case, it’s enough to cover his tuition and other expenses. If you set a similarly clear income goal, you’re more likely to make it happen.
  • Be willing to do more. Eric’s classmates likely aren’t working as hard as Eric. If you’re willing to work like others won’t now, you can live like others can’t later.
  • Love your work. One of Eric’s greatest advantages is that he loves work. Learning to love work is like not being bored: it’s a skill that’s learned rather than something you’re born with. When you love work, putting in an extra 10-40 hours per week won’t feel like a chore.
  • Pick good opportunities. Notice how, in the video, Eric isn’t working a fast food job. He’s applying for internships and other opportunities that give him practical experience. This has already led him to 6 clients and a big pile of great job experience.
  • Use good time management. A wise professor once told me, “If you treat your education like job, working 8-5 every day, you’ll have plenty of time to get your coursework done and then have plenty of time to yourself.”
  • Treat yourself. Eric isn’t just spending all his money on tuition; he’s also planning travel. This helps make work feel worth it on rough days.

Since an English degree is so versatile, there are many different jobs you can do as a student – online and offline. Plus, by learning how to freelance now, you’ll have a skill you can rely on when times get rough (such as if you get laid off a job). Don’t wait for permission. Start following Eric’s example now.

(Your checking account will thank you when student loan payments begin.)


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