Going to college is expensive. You can never have enough money, even if you were lucky enough to get a full scholarship. There are other expenses like books, food, clothes, and travel. For most, it’s more like paying tuition and room and board.
Of course, you can always work. Most students do. They work 20+ hours a week, sometimes jeopardizing their study time to do so; and they usually only make minimum wage while still having to finance a car to travel back and forth.
We have some suggestions for college students to work smart at college that might help you make ends meet.
Work for the college or university you are attending – No! This is not work study. This is actually working for the college. For example, colleges and universities need tour guides and hosts for various campus events and for student recruitment. Also, check in with the alumni or development offices on campus. They may need help with calling campaigns to raise funds or for other promotional work to encourage their development projects. You can make about $9 an hour, a little better than standing at the mall and ringing up the till.
Tutor – Here you are learning and gaining expertise in various subjects at college. Let’s use it. Put your name into local libraries, schools, and community centers and offer tutoring to middle school and high school students struggling in areas that you have been acing: math, English, foreign languages, study skills. You can make about $20 an hour, and some students will come to you. Libraries are always good spots to meet. They are safe, warm, and free.
Become a campus product promoter – Brand name companies like Red Bull will pay students to market their products on campuses. You will have to put up fliers and posters, attend student fairs and run a booth, and even create events that help get the product name out there among people on campus. Depending on your energy and time, you can make hundreds of dollars quickly. Better than flipping burgers.
Work online – Lots of big and small companies will put temporary work and projects out for bid online. One good site for students to find such work is studentgems.com. You can edit, write, do layout work, or do graphic design. Each project can earn you money and the time is flexible because you control the amount of work you take on. You can also choose what you want to do.
Start your own business – This is probably the hardest to do, but also how you can make the most money and for a sustained amount of time. The trick is to look for a niche and to do something that has no real start up costs or overhead. If you are crafty you could sell goods to other students, things they need like scarves or sell note cards or paintings as gift ideas during the holiday. You might start a babysitting or a nanny service. (If you nanny, you could even have room and board for free.) If you type you could type for other students or do research work for other students. You might even become your own temp agency and match students and their skills to the local community or other campus student needs. You won’t have to work; just set up appointments and take in the percentages. But, you have to have some knowledge of business practices, taxes, and accounting to make your business big. Be careful, though, because the more successful your business is the more time you will have to devote to it.
These are ways to make extra money to help you with your educational costs. There is another benefit as well. All these jobs will show initiative and persistence, creativity, and drive on your resume when you go to look for a job in your career life after college. You can also demonstrate real skills in communication, marketing, organization, and general business savvy, all skills you need for any job.