Ideas for Making Money While Going to College

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Tuition, fees and other costs involved in attending a university increase every year. The financial challenge of getting an education is daunting for many, particularly low- and middle-income students.

One way to make ends meet is to earn money before or after classes. Although most students cannot fit full-time jobs into their schedules, there are many other methods of raising some much-needed funds.

At School

University offices, cafeterias and libraries frequently offer part-time positions, which are ideal for students looking for work with flexible hours that does not require time-consuming commutes. Among the jobs are residence assistants, who help other students in their dorms; professor’s assistants, who grade papers and conduct research; custodians for campus buildings; and housecleaners at fraternities and sororities.

Some students earn cash by selling their class notes, taking prospective students and their parents on campus tours, or leading freshman orientation sessions. Others provide tutoring services to college or high school students. Firms like Sylvan and Kumon match student teachers with pupils, based on the subject matter.

Off Campus

Some shops and other small businesses in college towns rely on student labor for part-time duties. It is helpful to create an impressive resume and brush up on interviewing skills before applying for these jobs.

Stores are always looking for sales representatives, cashiers, stockers, janitors and other types of employees. Restaurants need cooks, food servers and dishwashers. Many employers are willing to work around a student’s class schedule.

Local newspapers, shoppers and news websites contain advertisements for jobs. Sites like Craigslist also post positions, and some employers announce openings by putting flyers on bulletin boards around town and on campus.

Students deliver newspapers, donate blood, babysit children, walk dogs, paint houses, mow lawns, shovel snow, rake leaves, deliver groceries and give people rides. Some get paid internships at local businesses or enroll in work-study programs. 

On the Internet

Websites pay people to review products, write articles and create other content. Some of them buy pictures and videos, while others need help with web design or programming. Market-research jobs include filling out opinion surveys, taking part in focus groups and conducting research as a “mystery shopper.”

Other Possibilities

Students with possessions they no longer want can hold yard sales, put up flyers, or advertise the items on Craigslist or eBay. They might want to go to other people’s yard sales and garage sales, as well as second-hand stores, to find things they can resell online at a profit. An option is to sell someone else’s possessions in exchange for a percentage of the proceeds.

Tips

Students are more apt to enjoy their work experiences, and keep doing them, if the jobs take advantage of their strengths and reflect their interests. Different personalities are suited to different positions. For instance, those who like dealing with people might thrive in sales, while less gregarious people may prefer computer jobs. The lucky ones find jobs that augment their studies.

The working hours and pay rate are key factors. Students must balance classroom and studying time with their employment obligations, while earning enough money to make the effort worthwhile. It is vital to not become overly burdened, as that could affect a person’s health, grades and attendance record.

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