This is an amazing guest post from one of my closest friend and fellow yakezie, Corey who blogs at 20’s Finances. He writes to give young adults the tools needed to conquer financial challenges.
There are many times in a person’s life that are full of struggles, but probably very few that compare to the financial challenges of college. Staying in the black while you are in college is a difficult thing. Not only are you paying lots of money to further your education (in hope for getting a better job), but you are also pretty busy with your homework. Trying to find time to earn enough money can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible.
If you are thinking of using student loans to pay your way through school and figure out how to pay them back after you graduate from college, think again! There are several ways that college students can earn more money and it doesn’t involve going into debt.
While I didn’t go to the most expensive school, I was able to pay my way through college without going into debt. Graduating debt free has given me a lot of financial freedom and flexibility in life. Instead of having to work a job that I hate, I can choose it based on merit.
Earning money while you’re still in school can go a long ways. It may be difficult to know how to earn money while still focusing on school, so here is a list of 10 ways any college student can earn money. The list includes 5 conventional ways to earn money and 5 more unconventional ways. Sometimes you have to be creative.
Conventional Ways College Students Can Earn Money
1. Deliver Pizzas
This may not be your dream job, but it is a great way to pay the bills while you are in college. The traditional evening and late-night hours can make it easy to sign up for any class, regardless of the time it is offered, without having to worry about it conflicting with your work schedule.
While it typically does require you to have a car for the deliveries, it can pay well. You not only have a base hourly wage, but will receive pretty good tips each night. Everyone loves their pizza and big tips are not uncommon (although you will have some cheapskates that don’t give you a tip).
Tutoring is an excellent way to earn money as a college student. If you find a tutoring gig in your field of study, it will allow you to touch up your studies and get paid to do it. This may also be an excellent option for people aspiring to be teachers for their career. Another great benefit is the hours. Most of the time, tutoring hours are arranged around your schedule. This means that your studies can remain a priority.
3. Teacher’s Assistant
Another great way to earn money is to serve as a teacher’s assistant. This means a close connection with a professor and the possibility to get college credit while earning some cash. If you perform well (it would be hard not to), the professor can serve as a great reference for future job opportunities. Again, the hours are flexible and it’s usually not that hard of work. Some grading and other administrative tasks like copying, filing, etc.
4. Office Job
While it may not be the most exciting way to earn money, getting an office job, whether it’s on campus or off, is a great way to earn money while in college. It gives you great work experience that translates to almost every field and helps you pay the bills. Your friends may be laughing now while they sleep in before their first class at noon and you go to work, but you’ll have a much easier time getting a job after college.
Applying for both private and school-funded scholarships is a must as a college student. You may not think that you are smart enough, but there are many scholarships out there that may be perfect for you. The best part about scholarships is that it is a great return on your time investment. It may take 5-10 hours to apply for a few scholarships, but if you are successful, it could mean several hundreds of dollars per hour invested. Try to find a job with an hourly rate that compares to that figure.
Unconventional Ways to Earn Money in College
People may laugh at you at first when you tell them that you are blogging to earn a little extra money, but it certainly is possible. Many people earn a full-time income from blog. It will take a little while to get enough traffic to start earning money, but the possibilities are endless after you are an established blogger.
If you want to start blogging, make sure that you are passionate about your topic because you will need to write a lot about it. The potential income isn’t the only benefit either. On top of paying for your school, it can also develop your writing skills and force you to learn a lot of transferable skills. Whether that is graphic design, website design, marketing, or just basic organization, it will help you with your future career.
7. Donate Blood / Plasma
While some people honorably give their blood as a donation, it is also possible to earn a little money for your blood. Many of my friends in college took advantage of donating their plasma. They were able to get $40 every time they donated and were able to do it multiple times a year. Looking at it from an hourly rate perspective, it is a great way to earn money and help you pay the bills.
8. Online Surveys
People often think this is a scam, but consumer information is extremely valuable to companies. It helps them market their products more efficiently for a larger profit, so they are willing to pay for useful information. It may take a little time to find the best program, but it could be worth the time and effort. It’s also something that you can do from any location and at anytime. How much more flexibility can you ask for?
9. Virtual Assistant
There are many sites out there that will allow you to work for other small business owners as a contract worker. This means that you will be hired to this or that in exchange for a preset price. While you may be forced to accept lower hourly rates at first because you are competing with international workers, with enough references and experience, you can demand a reasonable hourly rate. This too offers great flexibility and could easily turn into a long-term position.
Do you know a second language? If so, translating may be a great option for you. It will help you stay fluent in both languages and give you some easy money to pay for school. A co-worker of mine, who is currently a graduate student, makes some decent income doing regular translation work. While I don’t know how much he makes per hour, I do know that he continually gets faster and it helps pay his way through his graduate studies.
Earning money while in college is not only possible, but easier than it used to be. With the increased use of the internet, more and more options are available to you with increased flexibility in hours and location. While it may be beneficial for you to take a more conventional way to beef up your resume, earning money through an unconventional means can be a nice supplemental income.
Related – 101 ways to earn extra money on the side.
What was your favorite way to earn money in school as a college student?