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How to Make Money in College

how to make money in college

College can get pricey. You’ll need money, not just for books and tuition, but for entertainment, dining out, and much more. Beyond just needing more money to pay for everything, there are lots of reasons that working in college can be beneficial. There are lots of money-making scams out there, but how do you know who to trust? Instead of trying to “get rich quick,” make the most of your time and find a worthwhile job to prepare for the future.

Here’s how to earn some extra cash and build your resume in college:

Ask yourself some questions.
Before you start the job search, figure out what you want to do. Identify your gifts and abilities, as well as what kind of activities you enjoy. Make a list of the skills you offer potential employers. Determine what you’re willing to do and how much time you’ll work. Here are a few questions to get you started:

  • What are my unique gifts?
  • What are my passions?
  • What am I willing to do or capable of doing (lifting heavy objects, cleaning, babysitting, etc.)?
  • How will I get to my job (car, bike, public transportation, walk, etc.)?
  • How many hours per week can I work?
  • How much money do I want or need to earn?

Look for work on campus.
There are lots of opportunities to work for your college and gain valuable experience. Love your university? Consider an RA or college tour guide position and gain excellent communications and interpersonal skills. Great at taking calls and getting things done? Work as a receptionist and gain administrative skills. Interested in teaching and/or research? Ask a faculty member if you can work as a TA. Know how to use a shovel? See if campus services needs help when the snow hits. There are tons of different college jobs available.

Work on campus to avoid a long commute to work, build relationships with faculty and staff, and gain important experience and skill. On-campus jobs are also great as most supervisors are willing to be flexible and work around your class schedule.

Look for work off campus.
Can’t find anything on campus? Look for a local job or paid internship. Internships provide professional experience and training. If you’re an education major, work at a daycare center or as a teacher’s aide. If you want to be a youth pastor, intern at a church. Whatever your major is, there is probably an internship or opportunity available if you look hard enough.

Gain experience in an area that you’re interested in, and make money while doing it. Internships come in handy when you graduate, as you’ll stand out from the rest of the pack when applying for jobs. You will also develop a network of professionals who could provide references or connect you with future employers. Sometimes, internships even lead to full-time job offers upon graduation.

Be an entrepreneur.
Start your own business. You have been gifted in many ways, whether you’re crafty, tech-savvy, or bilingual. Think outside the box, and use your skills to make a profit. Many great business leaders started their new ideas in college!
Work as a tutor.
Working as a tutor can be a great on-campus job. If you’re a math whiz, help someone ace their calculus exam. If you love grammar and syntax, assist someone in communicating their ideas on paper. In college, someone is always studying for an exam or writing a paper. With tutoring, you can hone your own skills, help someone else academically, and make some money all at the same time. See if your school’s academic resource center is hiring tutors.
Find freelance work.
Businesses and organizations often hire people for specific tasks, and they often hire freelancers they find online. Look for freelance jobs like these:

  • Editing/proofreading
  • Coding and programming
  • Graphic design
  • Data entry
  • Telemarketing
  • Translating services

And if you’re really strapped for cash, look for jobs babysitting, mowing lawns, shoveling snow, or selling old belongings.

Working in college isn’t just for your financial benefit. It’s also a great way to learn vocational skills, establish  professional relationships, and get your foot into the “real world.”


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