Work-at-Home Jobs: Can They Get You Through Journalism School?

The Internet is awesome. I think we can all pretty much agree on that.

If you’re old enough to remember life before the Internet, you can probably also remember all the predictions about how it was supposed to unleash us from corporate slavery — or at least let us telecommute a lot. And while that’s happened to a lesser degree — lots of people work from home, including me — the freeways still seem to be choked with people going to work every day, and that’s not going to change anytime soon.

To that end, Stefanie would like to join the ranks of us work-at-home people in order to chip away at some of her tuition.

Dear Judge Josh,

Like the majority of your subscribers and readers, I am a poverty-stricken college student struggling to pay a hefty $44,000 college bill. I will be attending Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts as a transfer student to pursue a career in Broadcast Journalism. I know that Emerson has the best connections to the industry (outside of L.A.) which is why I am willing to deal with the expensive price tag and uncertain residency.

Well, if you’re still on the fence and open to other places, let me disagree with that assessment of Emerson. There are outstanding journalism schools out there with cheaper price tags that have even better broadcast connections than Emerson does. I’m going to assume, for the sake of this discussion, that by “connections” you mean that it’s easy to get a job once you graduate from there.

I have an M.A. from the University of Missouri School of Journalism, the only school in the country where the school owns and the students run the network affiliate station (KOMU, NBC). Indiana, North Carolina, Illinois and even Missouri’s arch-rival and ticket-scalping kingpins University of Kansas have excellent journalism programs — and they’re all public (read, cheaper than Emerson). Top-flight private journalism schools like Columbia and Northwestern also match Emerson in employable graduates, although they’re private also and won’t save you much dough.

Emerson requires transfer students who have graduated from high school in 2008 and 2009 to live on campus for their first year. However, there is no guaranteed housing even after you submit your $500 enrollment deposit and housing interest form.

That’s disgusting, and nothing but a money grab, as are all university policies which require you to live on campus at any time. Make no mistake about this — in the name of “optimizing your university experience” or whatever such bullshit line they use to justify the policy, they’re purely strong-arming more money out of you.

Universities should be able to make you perform to a certain standard in the classroom; forcing you to accept their decree about where you lay your head at night and put on your clothes in the morning is nauseating.

I am basically between a rock and a hard place. I live in Chicago and will not fly out to Boston until August 29th. I have to wait until mid-summer to find out if I have a home on-campus, which after speaking with an admissions counselor, is “highly unlikely.” So I must resort to finding and trying to afford an apartment.

Well, I’m sure you can find a way to make that work if necessary. You should be able to find a roommate(s) in similar circumstances and team up to make life affordable in an apartment. Whether you’ll actually be able to stand living with one another is a different question entirely, of course.

I currently work as a pool attendant in the afternoons five days out of the week. I am determined to find another position for the morning shift, which I usually have no trouble finding, but it seems as if everyone has fallen in dark times (it always scares me to see college students with Bachelor’s degrees reduced to working for $10 an hour.)

I can haz apartment?

It should, and with that being said, let me again encourage you to re-think your choice, but this time based on your profession. You’re aware that broadcast journalists make some of the lowest salaries of all college-educated people, correct? Let’s put it this way: High school teachers make a lot more money than broadcast journalists. A LOT. And they get summers off.

This is how it usually works for new grads in broadcast journalism: you graduate and go to a low-paying market. Even the highest-ranking undergrads aren’t going to crack a job in the top 100 markets. If you’re LUCKY you’ll make $20,000 per year, and the lower the market you go to, you could very well make less.

Now, to repeat an oft-repeated theme around here: If you love the work, then the fact that it’s low-paying isn’t a deal-killer, I know. BUT, low-paying work and the giant student loan payments that come from them are not sustainable with a job that pays as badly as broadcast journalism. An Emerson education could easily stick you with loan payments of $700-$800 per month when all’s said and done. With a $20,000 job, you’ll be taking home around $1,500 per month TOTAL. Time to get a bartending job!

Yes, it’s true that you can move up the ranks in journalism just like you can elsewhere. But it’s a crowded profession, and if you want to make the big money at TV stations and still be on-camera, you need to be an anchor. And unless you’ve got an anchor at your station who’s on his deathbed, you have to get really, really lucky to get one of those jobs.

And even if you do get an anchor job, honestly, we’re still not talking about walk-away money. If you’ve been a news anchor for 5 years, at most markets in the U.S. you might be making $50k, $60 tops. In top-25 markets, it’s a different story. But remember, every one of your broadcasting brethren is gunning for those jobs, too.

That being said, I keep coming across all those “easy and fast money” jobs. Are these “work from home” ads a legitimate source of income or just another irritating scam? I personally have not met anyone who can say that they work from home, if that is any indication.

Desperate times call for desperate measures,

Well, it’s true that some people do work from home and make decent money. I’m one of those people, but I own a business that I’ve built for 10 years and I’m the boss and I can decide whether I work at home or in the office. Most people aren’t in that same situation.

There aren’t any EASY work-at-home jobs. If there were, everyone would do them.

Most successful people doing work-at-home jobs have usually started a viable business that many others do at an office. This is where you have the most opportunity. If you really want to try and work from home, join up with freelancer services like and Those sites match workers (you) with buyers (someone who wants to hire you), and you bid on jobs you think you can do. You do them, and then you get paid.

Now, unless you have a really rare skill that’s in high demand — you’re probably not going to make tons of money this way. It’s OK for occasional gigs, depending on your talents, but I don’t know anyone who makes a full-time living off freelance work from these sites.  Furthermore, it takes a lot of time to put together coherent bids on enough projects that would make you the money you need. And that’s assuming you win them all, which you won’t (there’s tons of competition).

Anything promising riches is usually bullshit or illegal.

Anything promising extremely high incomes with Google is usually bullshit, and even when it’s not bullshit, it requires either expertise or startup cash (usually both) that most people just don’t have.

It’s rarely easy to get rich, so don’t let ads fool you into thinking it is.

And don’t go to Emerson. Just my two cents. 🙂

41 thoughts on “Work-at-Home Jobs: Can They Get You Through Journalism School?”

  1. Oh man — glad I found this one, and I hope I can offer some words of advice.

    I currently make a full-time income from freelance writing. (For the sake of truth, I’ll mention that it isn’t yet a *cushy* full-time income, but it’s as much as my best friend makes with her 40-hour-a-week retail job.) Mostly articles, but I’m also working on books, ebooks, and websites. It’s my dream job, I wouldn’t do anything else!

    That said, there are a LOT of scams out there, so please be careful, Stefanie! I sometimes mentor newbie freelancers looking for advice and I’m willing to take on another mentee, so if you want advice, please contact me through my website (I’m including it with my comment) and I’ll help you out more.

    I’m leaving another comment with the URLs of some sites I find great, in case the anti-spam filter tries to smack me down.

  2. Here in California Apple offers part-time positions to students to work at home doing tech support. I have a few friends who do it and they love it. Its convenient, pay is good and you get all the perks for being an Apple employee. Not I am not sure if they have it outside of Cali but I would imagine they do, and I agree with Josh here, don’t go to Emerson :/

  3. Okay, some resources.

    Frankly, I hate freelancer websites like Josh recommends. They tend to encourage undercutting, dirt-cheap pricing, and a hell of a lot of burnout. Here are some well-known websites that have been running for quite some time and offer advice on freelance writing, breaking in, charging higher-than-dirt-cheap rates, and so on:

    I’m also planning on launching my own website complete with free training videos and resources soon, because I just don’t have the time to help everyone get started, unfortunately! It just breaks my heart to see people struggling with “normal” jobs or falling for work-at-home scams when they could do so well freelancing online if they had a little guidance and knew where to start. My site isn’t up yet, though. If anyone wants to be notified when I put it up, drop me a line here (just format it into a normal email address): xdmuch (at) gmail (dot com) If there’s enough interest, I’ll work on it sooner rather than later.

    I’ll check back here in a while, and if people are interested enough, I’ll put up some kind of basic site quickly just to give an overview of the process.

    Just FYI: I’ve been writing online since February 2009, full-time since June 2009, and I’m starting to make a full-time income as of around February 2010. It could have been much shorter if I’d had more time to work on it and guidance, but it isn’t *instant* cash.

    Another FYI: If anything offers you “instant” cash, a “secret formula” or “huge profits without effort” then it’s probably a scam. Googling the program name plus the word “review” can sometimes help, but not always. (Affiliate programs are often set up so the owners sell more, and the affiliates get a cut of the sale so they’re interested in pre-selling the program to you and reviewing it well.)

    Okay, enough rambling, I’ve got work to do so I can *make* that income. 😀

    Stefanie, you can drop me a line through my website anytime and I’ll help you out.

    To anyone else: I’m sorry, I really have limited time to mentor people, but let me know if you’re interested in a website to help you learn how to write freelance from the very basic stuff to a full-time income through the email I provided above. I’ll let you know when I put it up.

  4. I am graduating from an accredited Medical Transcription program in a few weeks. Medical transcription is a valid work-from-home field, but choose your school carefully. If MT interests you, go to (.com?) and choose from their list of accredited schools. I chose Exact-Med because they are going to help find me find a job after graduation. This is important because it’s hard to break into the field. I’m also discovering that speech recognition technology is indeed beginning to take jobs away from medical transcriptionists, so competition for jobs certainly exists. Medical transcription is worth checking out, just don’t get ripped off by schools that undertrain and leave you unemployable.

  5. I am currently studying to be a doctor and do work from home for a reputable company that is across North America. Any company that promises you a get rich quick thing is not for real. I work a company who pays me like an employee and as such I have to act like one and keep my hours and work up to par. Many companies now are doing the work from home thing in order to keep their over head low. They are out there, but NONE promise a get rich quick thing. As a normal job doesn’t get you rich (unless you have degrees to back up your profession) so why would an internet one. Just search them before you sign up.

  6. Another note because I’m still turning this over in my mind while I work, haha.

    I’m not saying that everyone can, or should, get a job writing. In fact, it’s probably best that they don’t! However, for a talented writer or someone who has a passion for an English-related field like journalism, it’s an awesome, easy way to make a living.

    For someone who hates English and has trouble writing emails of 100 words, it isn’t an awesome or easy way at all. It’ll feel like torture. Don’t be lured by the promises of “easy” money. Check out other ways to make money, though — is one of the best internet marketing forums, lots of helpful people and enough info for you to become a millionaire if you take advantage of it and use the Search function whenever you can’t figure out what something means.

    If you’re the entrepreneurial type and you have the sticking power to make it in an online job, the info in this post (especially the link) will be enough. If you aren’t, all the coaching, ebooks and training in the world won’t make you a success.

    Ultimately, it’s up to YOU to succeed.

  7. I was accepted into Emerson for a different program and was really excited about it! However, the lack of financial help and constant forcing to pay more fees and tuitions without garuntees. I started asking questions about jobs after I graduated, pay rates and the industry and got nowhere fast.

    I say run fast from Emerson and find something closer and cheaper to home.

  8. hello there ,
    From where your standing i suggest you evaluate whats at stake. Look at the life of a broadcast journalist at least 20 years ago , and then look at it now and extrapolate and try to determine whether its really a worthwhile profession to work so hard using stay home jobs to get you through college. Because whereas you may not raise the money it may not be worth it to even put yourself through it. Be open minded and think of what else you have a passion for and have the desire to bring a change to the world through and that will in addition earn you a good some of money. You definately do not want to be a frustrated college graduate so follow your heart . If there’s anyone we listen to or talk to more it is really ourselves.
    So, be informed better before you make a decision and for Emerson have a back up plan for how you plan to put up if your application does not pull through and budget for the possibility of renting a room in a house and then perharps when you earn more money off a part time job you can upgrade to sharing an apartment with a friend or two.

  9. I’m part of 2 sites that I get money from. Its not much, but every little bit helps.
    The first is Just sign up to be a chegg champion. They’ll give you a coupon code for you to hand out. Everytime your code gets used, you get $5. Go to Chegg’s website to learn more about them. Its pretty simple.

    The second, is Become a ChaCha guide. I’ve been doing it casually for about 2 weeks and I already have $106. You can join my team by using my email as your referral when you sign up. My email is

    You won’t get rich doing either one of these, or both, but it’ll give you a bit of extra cash every month.
    Good luck!

  10. The industry standards website I wrote about in by previous post is (NOT .com – I don’t know what the .com website is). is the website for Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity. Anyone interested in learning medical transcription would be smart to choose from their list of schools, because credentialing is becoming more important for employment. Go to education/training tab, then New MT, then list of schools. There are a bunch of schools listed.

  11. I am a senior Public Relations Major at Kent State University and I work from home and it is easy and in no way is it illegal. It can be done. I live in my own apartment and my bills get paid. My sister is in college and has 4 kids and works the same job I do and averages $600 every two-weeks working part-time. I just want you to know that it is possible. BTW the company I work for is called Live Ops.

  12. I think that if it’s the choice you want to make and feel that it’s where you have to be, then go for it. sometimes we do need to take big steps. I know that living on campus is not cheap, but if it’s going to be better for you to live on campus and do good in school, then go for it. last year i commuted to my college and sometimes when you have so much work to do, you don’t feel like stopping and when living at home, you have to think about stop working, going home and working again, and at times when i get home, i don’t have the energy to work again. And this is about college, no one can really afford it and you’re making a sacrifice that is going to pay off at the end.

  13. Living on campus is NOT a scam. It is a legitimate way to help you make connections and have a much fuller college experience. I recommend to every college student that goes to college live at least one semester on campus. It is worth your while. You don’t have to worry about rent, or food while you are on campus. You just get to be a college student. You also learn valuable life lessons (how to deal with people, etc) while living on campus- stuff you won’t learn as much off campus- you get to pick you who room with.

    It is not a money grabbing scam: most college barely make enough money off of their housing (if they are even running it) to keep it open. Many actually operate at a loss. Living on campus is an essential part of going to college. While it might be cheaper to live at home, most of the time it won’t be to live off campus- most rates will be as expensive or higher for less room.

    However, that said- Emerson’s policy about the $500- purely a ripoff. That is a scam no matter what way you look at it. Are there not any good broadcasting jobs near you? Or any networks that are hiring for anything- to get your foot in the door?

  14. @Cassie: I’m not saying that there’s no merit to the claim that living on campus can, in fact, do many of those things for you — help you make connections, for example. I’m saying that FORCING grown men and women to do this is beyond what a university should do. Big boys and girls can make their own choices, and if the case for living on campus is so strong, let universities *persuade* students to do it — not coerce them.

    Students come from all kinds of different backgrounds; some do want the traditional college experience you speak of. Millions of others just want the education and skills, minus the dorm room and meal service and wifi lounges, etc. What if the transfer student has a child? What if she’s caring for an ill relative, or working a full-time job far away from the campus? Policies like Emerson’s are a big middle finger to all of those students.

    And let me add, with all due respect, that you have it backwards on the “learning valuable life lessons” issue. Living on your own, off-campus, and working for the money to pay your monthly bills and standing or falling based on the decisions you make will teach you much more about life than having a university look after your every need in a dorm. It’s not even close.

  15. @Cassie: Just following up here — I didn’t mean to come off harsh with the life lessons comment, because I do see your point and agree that being assigned to live among a collection of strangers is indeed a learning experience that can bring one a great benefit that can’t be realized by renting your own apartment. I just see the benefits of the latter outweighing those of the former. As always (to Cassie and everyone else), thanks much for all the comments!

  16. Yes, I have also faced much trouble regarding freelancing on the internet but the thing it really needs is time and effort. Good luck to you!

  17. Glad to get this! I like your post. There is good career in Journalism. If you are open minded and think of bringing changes to the world. Then this is right field for you. This can help you get the education you need to get your foot in the door of this rewarding career.

  18. Hey Josh and Cassy, there is a middle ground you are not seeing that can teach you both the sets of life lessons you are talking about. There is a thing called a group house, where strangers (mostly students and young professionals) get together and rent a house. Everyone has their own room, and must come up with a share of the rent.

    It is cheaper than living on campus, forces you to learn how to care for yourself and pay your bills, and teaches you how to get along with strangers and deal with complex problems. It is also quieter, and can facilitate a better support system for those of us who go to college and have larger responsibilities.

    I have lived in a group house for 3 years now, and during those 3 years I have held down a full time job while going to school full time and taking care of sick relatives and their children. My house is walking distance from campus, and easily commutable to everywhere else I need to be. In addition, we have to problem solve each spring because someone always graduates and moves out.

    I figure it is the best of both worlds, with all the life lessons both of you discussed. And Josh is right, those policies (and many more on campus) are like a huge middle finger to those of us who actually have to grow up and aren’t being taken care of by the college.

    As for Emerson, Stefanie, please do yourself a favor and don’t go there. If the school is already trying to screw you, it will continue to do so. My school also treats it’s working student body like shit, and I see no reason for you to have to go through that. Also, if you are concerned about tuition now, wait until you get there; schools like Emerson don’t care how much money they are extorting from their students, and are liable to raise tuition every semester (my tuition increases at least $1000 per semester). Can you financially handle that?

    Please do yourself a favor and go somewhere else.

  19. Just to show you the math:

    The average cost of room and board on campus is ~$10 000 for 2 semesters. That means you have to move out over the summer, winter, and spring breaks. You don’t have a kitchen, and you have to buy the meal plan which at my university costs ~$8000 for 2 semesters. That is approximately $18 000.

    Living off campus for a year (that is all 12 months) in Washington DC costs around $7200 per year ($600 per month), and I can get away with only grocery shopping once a month and spend only $100 for that month on groceries. Which totals approximately $8400 to live for one year off campus. This assumes a roommate/ house mate situation, which you would almost certainly have in a dorm; but you don’t have to move out in the summer, winter, or spring breaks.

    If daddy is footing the bill, living on campus is fine, but not everyone’s parents have that kind of cash, and my parents haven’t paid for anything since I turned 18. Just food for thought to add to the on campus/ off campus debate. Living off campus is around $9000 cheaper, and I go to a state school.

  20. My school had no dorms, so we all had to pick and choose from some of the millions of apartments in the area, some of which were just as big a rip-off as most on campus housing. And I agree with Josh’s last comments, it was an invaluable experience to have to pay bills and conserve energy on my own, well, with my two roommates. I’ve been through several iterations of roommates in the three years I’ve been at school so far, and we’ve all worked out kinks together. The other big plus on the apartment side is that apartments have an image to keep up, and so they’ve fixed everything I’ve asked them too, from broken stoves to unclogging drains, all without an extra charge.

  21. It’s a relief to know there are legit jobs out on the web. I’m a parent and my son is quickly breaking the bank attending Columbia in Chicago. He had his heart set on going to Columbia and believes them to have the best video gaming program across the country at this cost level. We are from Texas and wanted him to apply to our state schools and a nearby private school. Well, he lied to us about applying to other schools. Columbia was the only one he applied to. Aside from our disappointment in his actions, his father warned him that we would run out of money sooner than later if he followed this path. Peter insisted on Chicago and two years later we’ve had to tell him we cannot take on any more debt. If we do, we are jeopardizing our future (which is more finite than his). I don’t think students truly understand how heart-breaking it is for a father to say “I can’t send you to school.” My husband is a proud man who believes providing for his family is paramount.

    I appreciate reading everyone’s comments, cautions and suggestions and I’ll certainly pass them along to my son as he tries to find a job this summer. He’s been looking online and is drawn to scams, I suspect the lure of easy money is hard to resist. I have to remind him to trust his gut and if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is a scam.

  22. While I don’t really have an opinion on whether it is better to live in a dorm or not, since this is my first year and I have only lived in a dorm……I do think that Jane’s numbers are way off. My cost for room and board, including food, is about $8400/year at a state school. I have one roommate and can eat as much and as often as I want. (And we also have kitchens available to us). While the food is not my mom’s cooking and can get old after a while, there is always a great variety of healthy foods to choose from. I fear that with my cooking skills, or lack of, I would be subsisting on mac and cheese and cereal every day if I didn’t live in the dorm. And I like going home on breaks and summers, so I don’t want a year round apartment.

  23. Regarding colleges that have a requirement that (usually, freshman) live on campus, I have heard that studies show that a student who lives on-campus in his or her first year does better than a student who does not. If those results are the case, I would think that those colleges are trying to get first-year students off on a good footing for their college career. I have found that living on-campus, if you are away from home, is cheaper than living in an apartment. When I attended a college away from home, I almost had to get an apartment because I was put on a waiting list for a dorm. I remember the one in which I probably would have ended (having been found after calling around to different apartment complexes in the area) would have been $700 a month, which I would not have been able to afford for long. My dorm was paid for by my financial aid and probably some of my parents’ money as well. Although, I am not certain which one, on account of all of my expenses being on one bill.

    Regarding Stefanie’s choice, it does not seem like Emerson College would be the best choice for you. You may have to settle on something less spectacular. I think you would be operating at a loss from the moment you set foot there. A piece of advice for people who want to pursue an education degree is not to go to a private school if they will have to use student loans because the same degree can be received more cheaply at a public school and the job does not pay a lot. Considering that broadcast journalism pays less, you may want to heed that advice too.

  24. I agree with you Judge Josh- however, Emerson aside, most colleges have a “Housing Exemption” form that you can fill out. At my school you have to be over 26, married, or with dependents other than that you have to live on campus. You can always appeal the decision. So It doesn’t hurt to look into a school’s exemption policy and see what it is if they require people to live on campus.

    Don’t get me wrong- I’ve lived on campus, at home, and off campus over my college career. On campus was the least stressful, and facilitated the best grades.

  25. This is one of the best articles I’ve ever read on this website!!! Expect an email from me soon Judge Josh! 🙂 Thanks!!!

  26. I live off-campus the moment I started college and do not regret it. The “experience” that they are talking about are just a bunch of terms used by the university to impress young undergrad and charge them more. If you are looking for the “experience” find a roommate (hopefully you guys will get along) and start paying for your bills (electricity, rent, etc) That will teach you about responsibility, time and money management. I like living off campus, sometimes you just feel saturated with on campus living and need to get away.
    I also got to say that with the cost of living and the economy, I would think twice about studying anything that would make me struggle constantly financially. Being a college graduate who could barely pay her bills is not funny.
    With all that said, thank you Judge Josch! Your blog is heaven sent!

  27. I don’t even know you will read this comment, but journalism is a crappy field if you want to make money. You better love it to death before you commit yourself to that kind of debt. I used to work at a news station that was in the top 100 and those kids were taking home $20,000 a year. He’s right about getting lucky and anchoring, but even that’s pretty hard to get. Emerson is way too much to pay to get paid nothing for at least five years. If you really want to go to Emerson, maybe you should consider a different major.

  28. Maryum (again)

    Also, you can get a job at a local news station without a college degree or even a high school diploma. I did last summer when I was 17 and I filmed the morning show. It was a great experience and if you want to be on the inside it’s a great opportunity. It’s a hard job, but the people who did it loved it. So check around and get a job doing whatever at the news station and meet people and get connections.

  29. So heres the thing. I LOVE to write. Its the one thing im both good at and love doing. Im fully aware that a career in journalism isn´t the best idea for money, but its the job i want. Ive been getting advise from my teachers in the english department and all have told me the same thing, even my journalism teacher. If its what i love, do it. But that after college its going to be hell getting a job that pays. Is there a way to get a decent job? some secret technique im not aware of? I´ve considered becoming a journalism teacher for college or high school students, but i´m not sure how many years of college that would take. I also don´t know if it would change my major or if i would simply have to double major in both education and Journalism. My counselor suggested I major simply in Liberal arts or english. but that seems to broad to me. Im aware that teaching isnt exactly going to pay big bucks either according to my teachers, but its a comfortable enough living. Someone above pointed out vacations too, where the pay is spread out over the vacations. What should I do? (also forgive all the typos and grammer errors im on an ancient latop with faded letters and faulty keys so im going basically on memory) Ill be attending Hollins University on Sept 1, an all girls private school in Roanoke Virginia on almost full scholarships. Ill only be paying for $6,000 for four years, which is only a part of the normal ten thousand for housing. THANK YOU!


  30. I just want to say to Stefanie, if a school asks for your money, and cannot guarantee you a place to sleep at night, then maybe it is not a good school to go to. Also, $44,000 for a journalism school is way to much, maybe you can find other schools for less that will provide a more secure educational value than Emerson. Lol I am just saying. Of course it is your choice 🙂

  31. Joe Normandin

    Not sure what’s up with all the Emerson bashing here. Yeah, it might be expensive for some, but I got my Masters in Print and Multimedia Journalism from Emerson for just $44,000. $22,000 a year, not $44,000 a year.

    Just a year after graduating, I now make over $50,000 a year building websites and shooting newscasts for PennWell, one of the largest B2B publishers in the US. My post-graduate education at Emerson was invaluable–without it, I probably would be a whipping boy Ed. Assistant making $12 an hour to run around town getting Dunkins.

    My advice is this, if you love journalism and digital media, then Emerson is an excellent school that will train you to excel in the real world. HOWEVER, do know that journalism is NOT a field that will translate to a big salary. I’m very lucky to make the salary I do now, but then again, I’m not writing or speaking in front of a camera. Do what you love, so if that means a career in journalism, then go to Emerson or some other great journalism school. That’s all I can say.

    Lastly, no school is perfect.

  32. This discussion has been a major help. In the community college I will be attending, there is a deadline for applying to live in residence. Nor will they allow you to apply if there is a waiting list. I appreciate the opportunity to check out some of the links you all have included. I have begun to start a site and am finding I am such a newby that all the help I can get to sort out and experiment is certainly a blessing. Thanks, all!

  33. Oh boy. The on campus-off campus discussion. Joy.

    When I went off to uni in 2005, students had a choice whether to live on campus or off, but the same restrictions that applied to some of the other posters here applied to the rest of us–you had to be married or have a significant hardship to move off campus. Unfortunately I didn’t have that choice (I wasn’t able to get around much–hence my decision to live on campus), but there were apartments and places for rent around the school (it’s a small uni too–4,300 students).

    As for Stefanie’s aspirations for a career in broadcast journalism, I’d say go for it–far be it from me to say otherwise. But I would advise her that there are other ways to get the same education for less or even free. As a way of killing two birds with one stone, try doing some freelancing on the Web. There are a lot of outfits that are starving for part timers and volunteers. At least this way you get some experience and time to figure out if it’s really for you. I won’t lie to you–it won’t be pretty, but if you string together enough gigs you may be able to get by or even supplement your income.

    Best of luck to you.

    Jack W.

  34. Charlotte Hyatt

    Hi Stephanie,

    Have you considered whether a BA/BS will be enough to get you a job in journalism? If you will need a masters, wouldn’t it be better to go to a state school and then apply to Emerson for your masters?

    If all you need is the BA/BS, and you can pick up some web-work maybe that will carry you through/supplement your income but consider that they will raise your tuition at least twice before you graduate and financial aid has limits.

  35. Surveys That Pay Money

    If you want to get paid to do things online, I recommend you start with free trials. Surveys aren’t usually the best place to begin because there’s a real gray area around them. Like you complete a survey only to get told that you didn’t qualify. That’s happened to me before. Other than that there’s not much you can do, but just down get your hopes down.

  36. jobs in atlanta georgia

    As we’re on Work-at-Home Jobs: Can They Get You Through College?, Have someone look over your resume to see where it can be improved. One of my pet peeves is to look at a resume and see an e-mail address like, princess@ This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Create an e-mail address that is professional. Do you really want your potential employer to know you are a “princess?”

  37. I used to do medical transcription from home. I got my certificate from, finished in about 9 months and had no problem getting a job. I saw someone else mentioned transcription but I don’t think it is good idea for college students because although the program can be finished in as little as 4 months, you can online finish in 4 months if you are putting in full-time hours studying. I wasn’t working or in any other type of school while I did transcription school, but it still took me 9 months. I did transcription before I decided to go back to a real college. I was just looking for something to support myself and my new baby but I really didn’t enjoy it and later decided to go back to school for languages.

    Good work at home jobs I would recommend for a college student is those independent consultant party sales companies like Pampered Chef, Scentsy, Novica Live, It Works, etc. I’m looking into doing one of these myself for extra money while I’m in school. It may not be a lot of money at first, but I have heard of some people who have been doing it for awhile who have made good money from it.

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