10 Easy Ways to Make Money in College
The beauty of college is it’s one of the only times in your life where your primary responsibility is to learn and grow. But all of this freedom to expand your horizons can come with a hefty price tag.
The average cost of tuition at a private undergraduate college during the 2018-2019 school year was $35,676. The rising cost of attending college has also caused student loan debt to skyrocket—Americans collectively owe $1.5 trillion in student loan debt .
When faced with the reality of tuition costs, room and board, books, school supplies, and other living expenses, a college student’s budget can be extremely tight. If you’ve been left wondering “how to make money as a student,” one way is to improve your personal cash flow.
Finding a side hustle that works in your busy student schedule can be a great way to combat the high cost of attending college. Here are some tips on how to earn money in college, without taking too much time away from your studies and social life.
1. Become a Tutor
If you’re a wiz in a certain subject, universities often have a tutoring center that will hire students. If you’re interested in looking for off campus work, you may be able to find a private tutoring job working with high school students.
Another option is tutoring online . There are a variety of tutoring websites, like Chegg or Tutor , that allow you to create a profile and apply for tutoring jobs.
2. Take on a Few Freelance Writing Gigs
If you’re interested in putting your writing skills to work outside the classroom, freelance writing could be an avenue for you to boost your income. Quite a few blogs will pay for articles, tips, and stories.
Sites like Upwork post freelance writing gigs. If you plan to seriously pursue a career in writing or journalism, this could be a great opportunity to begin building your portfolio.
3. Use Apps to Make Some Extra Money
There are plenty of apps that offer flexible employment opportunities. If you have a car on campus and happen to have a free afternoon or two, try driving for a ridesharing app like Uber or Lyft .
You could also try out an app like Instacart , where you get paid to shop and deliver someone’s groceries. Each of these opportunities allows you to make your own schedule, so you can work when you’re available—scale up when you have some extra time, or take a temporary break if things are getting busy at school.
4. Take Online Surveys
Filling out online surveys can be easy money for college students. Often times, the surveys take only a few minutes to fill out and can be completed in your spare time, when you might otherwise be watching TV or browsing social media.
The amount of money you could make varies per survey , some pay as little as $1, others around $20 and more. There are surveys that pay more, but it may take a little more time to find those opportunities. There are a lot of sites that run surveys online, like Swagbucks , LightSpeed Research , or 20/20 Research .
Babysitting is one of the original side hustles, and it’s the perfect complement to a college student’s schedule. And depending on the time you babysit, you may be able to fit in a little bit of homework while the kids nap or after you’ve put them to bed for the evening.
6. Get a Job on Campus
There are usually quite a few options for on-campus or work-study jobs. If you’re an upperclassman there may be opportunity for you to work as a teacher’s assistant. If you are skilled with computers, see if the computer lab could use someone to work with the IT team.
Another option is to become a resident advisor. Depending on your school, you may get free room and board as an RA, which could cut a considerable chunk of change off your tuition bill.
7. Become a Virtual Assistant
Small businesses and freelancers often look to outsource “assistant-type” work like responding to emails, booking travel, research tasks, and basic writing and organization. The median salary for a virtual assistant is $15.57 per hour.
8. Sell Your Crafts
If you’re already spending some of your spare time de-stressing with a crafty hobby, why not try selling your crafts? Avid knitter? Try selling scarves, hats, baby blankets, or even your own patterns. Skilled artist? Sell your drawings, paintings, or prints. Dabble in jewelry design? Create some snazzy earrings to sell.
Turn your hobbies into cash and sell your crafts at a local artisan fair or online marketplace like Etsy . If you have a passion for photography, you could sell prints of your photos or even offer to take senior portraits or engagement photos for a fee.
9. Work as a Transcriptionist
Transcription jobs are usually categorized as general, medical, or legal. Often medical or legal transcriptions will require someone with a related degree.
Some companies require specific software or equipment, but others are willing to work with beginners who have a computer and internet access. You can typically make anywhere from $15 to $25 per hour .
Working as a transcriptionist can be tedious, but it can also be incredibly flexible. You’ll get to make your own hours and take on projects as you are able—making it a potentially perfect complement to your busy class schedule.
10. Become a Delivery Driver
These days, becoming a delivery driver doesn’t mean committing all of your weekends to delivering pizza from the local joint. Instead, apps like UberEats , Postmates , and Grubhub offer flexible opportunities for people to pick up and deliver food.
Each of these apps have slight differences, but they all allow customers to place an order at a restaurant through an app, and then you can go pick up the food and deliver it. Cha-ching.
Refinancing Your Student Loans with SoFi
Sometimes, a side hustle isn’t enough to offset the cost of student loan debt. Once you’ve graduated, you could consider refinancing your student loans. This could be a good option if you have graduated and are in a better financial position than when you took out the student loans.
If you have federal loans and are taking advantage of programs like Public Service Loan Forgiveness or income-based repayment, know that you could lose those benefits if you choose to refinance.
When you refinance, your existing loans are paid off with a new loan from a private lender, like SoFi. The loan will have a new term and interest rate.
Depending on your credit history and earning potential, you could qualify for a lower interest rate, which could reduce the amount of money you spend over the life of the loan. At Sofi, there are no origination fees or prepayment penalties. SoFi offers a student loan refinancing calculator so you can see how much you could save by refinancing.
No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.
Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.
The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
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