Ten Ways to Make Money in College
College students don't need to be told how difficult it is to pay for school. Most students work all summer, saving everything they can to pay for college expenses in the fall. Some students also work during the school year, but it can be challenging to juggle a job with a demanding course load.
If you don't have time to work specific hours at the local coffee shop, there are ways to make money in college - without a job. I can hear my mother's eyes rolling into the back of her head as I write that, but it's possible. Sure, no one will give you a pile of money for doing nothing. But, there are ways to make money on your schedule, possibly without leaving your dorm room, and definitely without committing to a demanding boss.
Write a Blog
You don't have to be an English major to make money in college as a blogger. All you need is a subject you're passionate about. There are blogs for everything these days. Are you a fan of the newest indie bands playing at venues on campus? Are you a wizard with a hot glue gun? Has cramming three seasons of clothing into your dorm room made you an expert in minimalist organization? Blogging is about communicating and sharing. You just need an idea and the passion to tell your story.
Most bloggers make money from ads on their websites. The most popular network for placing ads is Google AdSense. Place a banner on your site, and Google chooses ads relevant to your content. When ads are seen or clicked, you automatically make money. You get paid once you've earned a specific minimum amount.
Build Websites in Your Free Time
This is for more tech-savvy students, but as a full-time student you probably already have the two main ingredients for this side hustle - a computer and a good internet connection. Boost your website design skills with a course or online class.
Designing websites is something you can do without leaving your dorm room, and at any hour that's convenient for you. It's also a great way to continue making money after college or turn it into a full-time career.
Sell Your Instagram Pictures
Make extra money with your smartphone! Sites like Foap let you sell pictures. If you're out taking pictures to post on social media, why not create a gallery of marketable scenery others will buy?
Customers shopping on these sites are usually web designers, small-business owners, writers, and bloggers. Look over the sites to see what kinds of pictures are popular and get snapping!
Foap pays sellers $5 when a picture is sold. For avid users, that could add up to hundreds of dollars a month.
Get Paid to Take Online Surveys
A quick online search will give you thousands of results like Survey Junkie, Mypoints.com, and Swagbucks.com. Join a few sites and fill out surveys in your spare time.
Most sites work by rewarding you with points for each completed survey. After you earn a minimum amount of points, cash them in for prepaid gift cards.
Participate in Market Research
Lots of companies come to college campuses for student opinions. Give them an hour or two of your time and get paid an average of $50-$100.
Join online market research sites like FocusGroup or Respondent to search for in-person, remote, and online paid research studies. These sites do charge a small processing fee after you complete a study.
Become a Resident Assistant
Resident Assistants or Advisors (RAs) are trained student leaders that live in residence halls. They coordinate activities, act as mentors for other students, and enforce residence hall policies. At most schools, you can work as an RA for your junior and senior years. The application process begins during your sophomore year.
This is a great leadership role for undergraduate students and looks good on your resume. At many schools, RAs receive free room and board, and possibly a small monthly paycheck. That's huge! The combined cost of housing and meals at most in-state colleges can be $11,000 or more per year.
Start a Business as a Tutor or Proofreader
Are you good at math? Make money in college by tutoring classmates or local high school students. You can set up shop at a library or coffee shop and schedule tutoring sessions when it's convenient for you. Check school job boards to find out who's looking for extra help.
If English is your thing, put your strong writing skills to work editing and proofreading papers for other students. Your grades are your resume, so be ready to demonstrate why it's worth $25 an hour for you to find and fix someone else's grammar mistakes.
Become a Professional Sitter
Find jobs as a dog sitter, house sitter, or babysitter. Accept work when you have extra time in your schedule and on the weekends. Most of these gigs offer a lot of downtime so you can study while you make money. There are lots of websites and apps dedicated to matching sitters and customers, like Care.com and Rover.com. Check out which sites are most popular in your area.
You can also put the word out on social media that you're responsible and available to work. Your contacts will help generate leads and give you good references.
Sign Up as a Rideshare or Delivery Driver
If you are lucky enough to have a car on campus, put it to work. Working as a rideshare driver is very flexible and easy to work into your class schedule. Earn the most money by driving during high-demand periods, like college football weekends. Make sure you sign up for a reputable service and follow company precautions to stay safe.
If you don't want to drive others, sign up to be a delivery driver. Services like Grubhub and Amazon Flex let you pick your own hours, and work as much or as little as you want.
Make it Your Job to Apply for Scholarships
An hour or two spent filling out scholarship applications can lead to hundreds or thousands of dollars going toward college expenses. If you estimate an hour for each application, a student could easily find and apply to more than $5,000 worth of scholarships in a full workday. Not bad compared to 700 hours working a minimum wage job.
You should never have to pay to apply for a scholarship or to receive a list of available scholarships. Websites like College Board and College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC) are good free resources to start your scholarship search.
Don't forget about free money available to students through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Apply for FAFSA every year you plan to be in school.
When it comes to student loans, NC Assist Loan can help students and parents bridge the gap between college expenses and the amount received from other financial aid. Loans are available to students who are North Carolina residents and to students who reside outside the state but are attending eligible institutions in North Carolina.