8 Ways to Earn Cash While in School

Posted May 08, 2014 by
Young college student tutoring an older classmate

Young college student tutoring an older classmate. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

College students truly understand the definition of broke. Although some students attend school on a part-time basis and work to support themselves, the majority of students attend school full-time and seek part-time opportunities to generate extra cash.

Even if financial aid pays for your tuition and your parents give you money each month, these funds might not be enough. This is especially true if you have a car, bills and other expenses you need to cover. But given your school schedule, you may not have a lot of time for work.

Fortunately, several opportunities are available to you. Here are eight ways to make money as a college student that won’t take a lot of your time, or too much of your energy.

1. Campus tour guide

Contact your college’s admissions department and apply as a campus tour guide. In the months prior to a new semester, colleges and universities typically have a surge of people visiting the campus. These prospective students will have questions about the school and they’ll need someone to show them around campus. Offer your services and earn income by simply asking questions and giving campus tours. Compensation varies. Your school may pay a flat rate or an hourly rate.

2. Become a nanny

Parents are always looking for quality care for their children. And working as a nanny may provide the flexibility you need. Since young children are typically in school during the day, you can offer your services in the morning before school starts, and in the afternoons once the children come home. Compensation depends on the services you provide. For example, you might be able to charge more if you’re responsible for picking the kids up from school, helping with their homework or completing light housekeeping.

3. Freelance writer

If you have good writing skills and you’re passionate about a certain subject, you can earn money freelance writing from your dorm or apartment. Freelance writers are independent contractors who set their own hours. As a writer, you can determine how much work to accept, and you can work from any location — your home, college library or the coffee shop.

4. Peer tutor

Check your campus bulletin board and look for tutoring opportunities. This is an excellent way to earn extra cash if you excel in a particular subject. And since tutors are in high demand, you can charge anywhere between $15 and $25 per session. Each session typically lasts one hour.

5. Sell used books

Don’t give away your books after each semester and think twice before re-selling to the campus bookstore. In most cases, your college bookstore isn’t going to pay a fair amount for used books. However, there are still options to get something back for your book investment. One great option to get cash for used books is by utilizing online market places like Valor Books. The money you earn can pay a bill, put gas in your car to pay for next semester’s books. If you are smart, you will go to these resources for buying as well. You are a college student, you are not buying new cars so why buy new books (if there are good used ones available)?

6. Become a dog walker

This is a job you can complete between classes. Create a generic flyer offering your services, and pass out flyers in neighborhoods around your college or university. If you can pick up a few clients each day, you can easily pocket an extra hundred dollars each week.  You can charge $5 per dog for a 15 or 20-minute walk, or $8-$10 per dog for a 30-minute walk.

7. Sell old items

As you upgrade your clothes or electronics, post older items for sale on the campus bulletin board or online marketplaces, such as Craigslist. To protect yourself, never invite a stranger to your dorm or apartment. Always meet in a public place and do not accept checks. Items you can sell include old iPods, computers, TVs, handbags and any other valuable price of property.

8. Offer cleaning services

Since most college students are busy juggling work and school, many don’t have time to clean their apartments or dorms on a regular basis. This is where you come in. If you’re looking to earn a few extra dollars between classes, offer to clean your classmates rooms or apartments. You can offer general housekeeping and charge upwards of $25 an hour. This can include sweeping and mopping, vacuuming, dusting, and cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms.

Some college students look for restaurant and retail jobs; but these jobs don’t always offer the flexibility and pay they need. However, getting creative or exploring your entrepreneurial side can generate the cash you need to survive.

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