College is expensive, and we’re not just talking about tuition. You probably want to make money while you're in college, because there are bills to be paid, weekends to spend out, and supplies to be bought. While we can’t promise to make you rich by the time you graduate, here are five solid ways to make money, college-style.
If you’ve filled out a FAFSA (and all college students should) and you qualify for work study, jump on it. Most colleges have limited positions available for students who qualify. These jobs are great because they’re designed not to interfere with your course work and are always close by, so there’s hardly a commute involved.
Work study won’t bring in a ton of cash, but if you budget carefully, it can help you make ends meet each month.
Have a knack for physics? Happen to be a great writer? Know more than the average student about classical music? Put your skills to good use and start earning by tutoring your classmates. One of the best parts about being a tutor is that you decide how much you make by setting your own prices and hours. Some colleges offer training programs for student tutors, so be sure to ask around.
Find out what other tutors charge, do a little advertising at your Student Union or on your university's intranet site and get to it. You’ll be surprised by how many of your peers can use the help, and you’ll earn some extra money to keep the end of the month from being too tight.
Wherever there’s a college, there are local businesses who need employees during the school year. But you probably won’t find part-time gigs around town on the big job websites. Instead, pound the pavement: visit the stores near your college and ask the manager for a job application. Even if they aren’t hiring at the moment it’s a good idea to fill one out so that, when they do need help, your name is at the top of the list.
Adventures in babysitting
Many colleges and universities have lab schools set up for local kids and the children of professors. All of those parents need babysitters from time to time. If you have experience in child care or if you’re studying education, all it takes are a few flyers around campus and, if they have one, on the local services bulletin board at a lab school to get going. When families find a sitter they like they’re usually very loyal, which could mean a steady stream of income for you.
University science, psychology, and sociology departments often conduct experiments that require volunteer subjects. In exchange for your time, they’ll often compensate you with pay. The bigger the commitment to a study, the more you’ll make. Keep an eye out for advertisements in the university press and flyers around campus. While being a lab rat may not be your calling, it can be a great way to pull in quick cash.
No matter how you choose to make extra money in school, remember the reason you’re in college: to get an education that will help you for the rest of your life. Although it’s tempting to pile on the hours at a part time job and sacrifice study sessions in the name of pocket money, keep your eye on the prize of graduation. Earn enough to pay your bills and cover your necessary expenses but never take on more extracurricular work than your grades can handle.