This article was written by Kat Tretina, a freelance writer based in Orlando. Focused on personal finance issues, she’s dedicated to helping people pay down debt and boost their income.
It’s no secret: college students are often short on cash. Whether you’re paying for school yourself or are relying on student loans to foot the bill, you likely don’t have a lot of money to go around.
Getting a job while in school can help offset your college expenses and give you some much-needed spending money. Depending on your schedule and interests, there are many different options out there to earn money — and not all of them require you to work on campus. Here are 12 ways you can make money while still in school.
6 Jobs You Can Do On-Campus
If you want to start earning money quickly, getting an on-campus job can be a smart approach. Schools almost always have open positions, and you’ll have a pretty reliable schedule you can count on. If you fill out the FAFSA early, you may even qualify for work-study positions which will help offset your tuition costs. Six positions you may not have thought of include:
Join campus security
While colleges tend to have their own security teams and trained officers, they often hire students to do extra patrols of the ground and buildings. Or, they’ll hire students to check IDs at dorm or building entryways. Members of the student security team look for anything out of the ordinary and alert officers if there’s a problem.
Become a tutor
Most colleges have learning centers that offer to tutor students. If you excel in a particular subject — such as calculus or psychology — you can tutor your fellow students, helping them get through those courses with a passing grade.
Offer writing assistance
Similarly, if you’re a skilled writer, you can help your fellow students with their papers. Many schools have writing centers that help students develop a thesis statement, build out an outline, and understand MLA, APA, or Chicago Manual styles.
Work in dining services
Nearly every campus has cafeterias on-site, and most of them rely on student workers to prepare and serve food. These jobs tend to be some of the easiest to come by, as there is a constant demand for workers.
Become a department assistant or man the front desk
One of my best school jobs was working as a building assistant. I signed out equipment to students and checked on the facilities from time to time, but most of the job was just sitting around. I was basically paid to do my homework.
Many departments will have openings for assistant or lab assistants that sign out equipment, offer help to students, or simply man the department front desk. Check with your department head to see if there are any openings.
Act as a resident assistant
If you’re willing to make a serious time commitment, working as a resident assistant (RA) can be a great job. It’s a demanding role; you frequently have to attend weekly meetings, have set “office hours”, and be available to residents all day. As a tradeoff, you frequently get free or discounted room and board as compensation.
6 Jobs You Can Do from Your Dorm Room
While on-campus jobs can be convenient, they tend to not pay very well. If you’re looking for a job with more flexibility and earning potential, there are gigs you can do directly from your own dorm room. Even better, they can help you build your portfolio and give you experience or your desired industry.
Become a freelance writer
Freelance writing can be a lucrative career. You can write content for blogs, websites, and even print publications. As you build up clips, you can use those pieces as your portfolio to apply for jobs after graduation.
Offer graphic design help
If you enjoy designing brochures, websites, or advertisements, you can make a profitable living from acting as a graphic designer. Businesses always need help designing attractive materials and are willing to pay for professional help.
If you’re a good typist, you can make money transcribing audio recordings into text. The quicker you are at it, the more money you can make. There are many websites that hire beginner transcriptionists.
For those who enjoy working with children, you can make up to $23 an hour teaching English online. Most sites provide you with the curriculum and guidance you need to get started. You just need a reliable internet connection.
Sell things on eBay
If you have old textbooks or clothes you don’t wear anymore, you can turn that clutter into cash by selling them on eBay or PoshMark. You could even sell your friends’ things, too, and take a cut of the selling price as a commission.
Offer your services as a virtual assistant
If you enjoy things like scheduling social media posts, managing calendars, and making appointments, you might enjoy working as a virtual assistant. In this role, you help busy people with their to-do lists.
Balancing Work and School
As a college student, it’s easy to be constantly short on cash. Taking on a part-time job while in school can help you earn extra money while also building up your resume. By exploring your options, you can find a job that works for your schedule.
However, before tackling more work to boost your income, make sure you come up with a balance between work and school. College is an expensive investment, and you shouldn’t shortchange your education just to get more hours at work. If at all possible, cut down on extraneous spending so you can focus more of your time on your coursework.