Most college students need to make at least some spending money and many need to earn extra money for text books, living expenses, credit card bills, tuition, and other expenses. If you want to avoid the more unethical methods of earning cash such as writing term papers for others, there are plenty of honest ways to earn the money you need.
Part Time Jobs
Restaurants, fast food outlets, retailers, discount stores, and other business are usually happy to work around a student’s schedule and can provide 20 or 30 hours of work a week. You can even become a driver for services like Lyft or Uber. There may also be work available on campus in the cafeteria or administrative offices. Check with the financial aid or student services offices.
Another avenue is temporary employment agencies where the employers hire by the day or the week. Agencies for day laborers usually just have you show up in the early morning and send out whoever is there. Agencies for office workers may be able to work around your schedule.
There is a lot of competition for paid internships, but if you have great grades, relevant job experience and recommendations from professors, a paid internship will help you earn money and looks great on your resume after graduation. You can find lists of internships through an internet search.
You can make a little extra money by selling your old text books and other items you don’t need on auction sites like eBay. You can even buy stuff wholesale or at yard and garage sales and sell them online. If you go this route, you will have to have some start-up cash and wait until things sell to get your investment back.
Jobs selling magazine subscriptions, especially ones that require travel, are usually rip offs so stay away from those. Selling your plasma once a month helps out other people and provides a regular source of income but shouldn’t be relied on. If you take great notes in class and during lectures, you may be able to sell your notes to other students. This doesn’t fall into the area of cheating because they are just notes and will not be passed off as someone else’s work.
If your college is in an urban area, street vending can be a way to make a dollar or two. In hot climates you can buy bottled water and soft drinks and sell them out of a cooler at a slight markup. Make sure that the city doesn’t require licenses for street venders or you could pay more in fines than you make selling your wares. To maintain the legitimacy of your business, you may also want to apply to a bank with free business banking, ensuring that you separate your personal and business finances.
Sell Your Skills
Can you fix cars, computers or other electronics? If you can, you may be able to sell your skills to other students and even college staff. Everyone has stuff that breaks down and they are happy to pay someone to fix it. If you have the talent, you can even help other students install new software on PCs and laptops or set up peripherals, like printers, for a fee.
If you are an online video gamer with mad skills, you may be able to sell your video accounts. You will have to be able to level up your avatars quickly to make money at this, but setting prices and selling at online auctions is a great way to get some business experience.
If you can write articles and sales copy, or design websites, write code or have other skills, check out freelance websites like Freelancer.com and Elance.com. These sites post jobs and members bid on the jobs. If you win the bid, you complete the job and get paid, usually within a few days. Most sites are free to join but you will need a PayPal or MoneyBookers account, which are free to set up. The jobs are international, so if you speak more than one language, you have an even better chance of making money.
Both selling products and services, online or offline, can lead to successful business ventures after graduation. How many start-ups do you know began in college with an entrepreneur testing out a new concept? Starting in college relieves you of the burden of needing to make money immediately to survive and allows students to fully develop their ideas before focusing on monetization. If you need start-up capital, ask your family and friends by presenting them with the idea and requesting their moral and financial support. Otherwise, consider getting approved for a small business loan by having your parents co-sign with you. Pick a commercial bank you or your parents already have a relationship with and apply for a small loan amount. Again, make sure to open a business bank account – this will make it much easier for investors to review your financials and give you money.
Start A Blog
If you start a blog and build a following, advertisers will always pay you for space on your blog pages. Since blogs can be about anything, most students can find an enjoyable topic and get other students to join in the fun. You’ll have the best success with this if you are active on social media sites and have lots of friends and followers.
Psych Studies and Clinical Trials
If you are student at a large university, the Psychology Department probably conducts studies. You can usually get a small payment for participating in one or more of the studies. You’ll need to check with the Dean to find out about current studies.
On the flip side, clinical trials are used to test pharmaceuticals before they are approved by the FDA. The trials usually pay well, but they are not without risk since you are taking unproven drugs that may or may not have serious side effects in humans. As a rule, you can only be part of one trial at a time to avoid drug interactions. Trials are usually advertised on campus bulletin boards or in local or college newspapers. Unless you are desperate, never sacrifice your health for money. You may end up paying 10 times more for recovery in the future, or pay the ultimate price – your life.
Paid Email and Online Surveys
You can get paid to read email and take online surveys. While emails only pay about $.02 each, there are bonuses of up to five dollars for each friend or family member that signs up for the site on your referral. Surveys pay between $.50 and $5.00 and take up to 30 minutes to complete. InboxDollars and SendEarnings pay for emails and surveys and CashCrate and Ipsos specialize in paid surveys.
Sell Your Hobby
If you are the artistic sort and have a hobby like painting, sculpting, woodworking, crochet, knitting or sewing, you may be able to sell your creations on Etsy.com, a website that specializes in all types of handmade goods. They sell pottery, jewelry, clothing and more, and you set your own price. You will need photos of your items and a short description to post on the site.
Making Money As A College Student
There are lots of ways to make money in college and if you cannot think of one that works for you, check out ideas on the internet. With a little imagination you can find a way to make up that shortfall or pay for the awesome party you’re planning this semester.