Being that working and going to school at the same time is about as easy as training a weasel to perform ballet, we’ve been expounding all month on the mainstream ways to obtain college financial aid. But since necessity is the mother of invention, I wanted to take this end-of-year moment to enlighten you on some more creative (i.e. extreme) measures you can take to save up money for school. Call it your own personal financial aid plan, if you will, but in any case always consult your tax professional before you invest in anything that sounds even remotely profitable.

And as to where you should stash your money while saving, well, my great grandmother always favored empty coffee cans stored in the back of the pantry, or under a brooding hen in the chicken coup. But since most of us now get our coffee drinks ready made at Starbucks and chickens are something that come shrink wrapped in the meat section of a grocery store, a combination safe stored in the back of the messiest closet in your house is a good option. And yes, there’s always a bank, but since banks tend to favor rich people, and let’s face it if you’re reading this you’re probably not rich, then you might want to talk to an investment professional about alternative ways to earn interest on your little nest egg.

But in the mean time, check out these radical financial aid options. Even if you decide to pass on them (and if you’re smart you will – pass on them, I mean) then I hope they put a smile on your face and spark an even better creative idea on how to save for college tuition in 2011.

1) Sell an Organ

No, I don’t mean a kidney or your liver, if you’re in college you’ll definitely need those for all the beer kegger frat parties you’ll be invited to. Instead, sell a real organ, with a keyboard and everything. One that’s old and worth a lot of money would be good. The trick is to figure out how to come into possession of such an instrument in the first place. You could always wait until your crazy aunt dies and she wills one to you. Or you can comb antique stores looking for an organ (and other old junk) to sell at ridiculous profits.

Or if all else fails, just sell a kidney.

2) Invest in an Independent Film

Preferably one that will make a lot of money like Napoleon Dynamite or The Blair Witch Project. If you want enough cash to go to Harvard, invest in anything that includes a vampire, a cowboy, a vampire-cowboy, or a Hobbit-like magician in search of some talisman that looks like a junky piece of jewelry from K-mart.

On the other hand, avoid the clunkers. Typically anything with Nicholas Cage wielding a machete or any comic book remake NOT starring Jim Carrey or Robert Downey, Jr., is box office poison.

To find the right movie in which to invest attend the Sundance Film Festival in January, wear all black, sport a beret or porkpie hat, carry around a Starbucks coffee cup, and hold your cell phone to your ear even if no one is on the other end. Within 24 hours several indie writer/director/producers will be chatting you up faster than a spider monkey in heat.

3) Eat Less

Food is so overrated. And weren’t you planning on losing a few pounds in 2011 anyway? True, you could eliminate your restaurant dinners and Starbucks coffees (except when you’re at Sundance), but really, do you need three meals a day? Cut back to one or two and then put the rest in your chicken coup (or bank, if you’re going that route). If you need to splurge, there’s always Pillsbury raw cookie dough on a Ritz cracker. Mmm, yummy.

4) Keep Your Day Job and Invest in a Savings Plan

Yes, it sounds old, boring, and tired, but truly, the best way to save for college is to keep some sort of steady job, work hard, and put your money into something as dull as dishwater—like a ROTH IRA or a pre-tuition investment plan at the college of your choice. Doing it this way may not be as fun and glamorous as being an executive producer on an indie movie, or as slimming as giving up Oreos and eating out once a week at The Olive Garden, but it’s the most surefire way to get the college degree of your dreams.

In the end, there are no free rides and no real shortcuts, when it comes to getting through college. It’s hard work. And the best advice anyone can give you is don’t be a slacker, follow through, stay focused, and stop spending money on things you don’t need.

It’s really that simple.

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