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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 17 ways you can make money while still in school, before your full-time job after graduation.
6 Online Jobs You Can Do Remotely
While on-campus jobs can be convenient with flexible hours, 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 in your desired industry for your future job search.
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.
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.
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 freelancers for help.
Many companies are looking for support in tasks that just require putting your head down and organizing a spreadsheet. Data entry is an easy remote job to pick up and put down for a fair hourly rate. You can also seek out roles at companies, or within industries, you would like to work in after graduation to help pad your resume.
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.
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.
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:
Campus tour guide
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.
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 on your own schedule, helping them get through those courses with a passing grade.
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.
Fitness instructor or lifeguard
Many college campuses have a gym or fitness center that is staffed primarily by students. If you aren’t already a certified lifeguard or yoga instructor, you could always apply to work at the front desk. One of the perks of working at a gym could be free classes!
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.
One of my best school jobs was working as a building or administrative 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 assistants 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.
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.
5 Jobs You Can Do Off-Campus
Looking for a flexible role that isn’t online or on-campus? There are a number of jobs that many high school grads can do before earning their college degree to shore up more savings.
Being a babysitter can be a widely varied job description, from one-time events to cover date night, to reoccurring jobs after school every day, to live-in caregiver. Many parents near your school might be looking for a responsible babysitter, especially those majoring in education, pre-med, or special education. While you might be able to find babysitting gigs through campus message boards or community members, you might also want to sign up for an online job board like Care.com.
Working in a coffee shop can be done both on- or off-campus, depending on where your school is located. Working in a coffee shop is also a great experience because you can apply this skill in any city in America after graduation for income stability while searching for the right career.
Many high school students get their first minimum wage paycheck by working in retail, but this can also be a flexible option for college students looking to juggle classwork and bills. There can also be an opportunity to be a shift-lead or store manager if you excel in retail.
A great way to stay active while also making some extra cash is to sign up to be a dog worker. Generally, pets have a much more flexible schedule than children, so you will have a window of time when you need to take them out during the day while the owner is out. You could also consider signing up as a pet sitter if you have been missing your dog or cat while living in the dorm. There are studies showing that pets can help relieve stress around finals season, so you may even consider this an investment in your health and savings.
Drive for Uber or Lyft
Looking for extra cash on your own time and have a car? College campuses can be a great place to drive for a rideshare service during peak hours. You could also look for carpool organizations on campus if you have a long drive home over the holidays and could use extra gas money.
Balancing Work With Your Class Schedule
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 for your future career. By exploring your options, you can also get 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 your job opportunities 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.