How to Make Money in College?
[5 min read] Curious about how you can make Money in College? Read this Qilo News article and discover the best College Money Making Strategies!
For most career paths available to people, a college degree is not only necessary, but it’s also a prerequisite for even getting your foot in the door.
While no one doubts that you can learn certain skills on your own - and even become better at them that way than through formal schooling - pretty much no employer of serious merit wants to take you on your word.
They like to see qualifications, certifications, diplomas, and degrees.
And this isn’t likely to change any time soon. This places people at lower incomes at somewhat of a disadvantage because, let’s face it, school is expensive in all of its forms.
Yet there are some things you can do while in school to not only help make it cheaper but also make your life easier.
You’ll leave with less debt and a stronger peace of mind because you know how to make things happen from a financial perspective. Rather than view college as an impossible financial task, look at it as an opportunity to fulfill your dreams and learn valuable life skills along the way.
Here are some of our favorite suggestions to help you do just that:
An option that students have today that students in the past did not, gig jobs can help fill in the gap in your finances while you are enrolled in part-time or full-time educational programs. The best aspects of this type of work is that they are typically flexible in terms of scheduling and pay pretty well. In other words, ideal for a student who is busy with other things. Some of the downsides include having to figure out your own taxes and finding work in gig employment. While it is easy to get started, it is tough to find long-term clients that will help make it worth your while.
Somewhat more reliable in terms of income but more demanding in terms of scheduling, part-time jobs are the classic way many students have made money to pay for school. We would recommend that you try to find something close to your field of study or at least a part-time job that challenges you and builds your skills in some way. That’s easier said than done and you shouldn’t hesitate to take a job that pays well but might not be totally related to your areas of interest.
If you receive financial assistance from your school or if you qualify for it, you may also be first in line for what are called work-study jobs. These are typically positions at the school itself or with local partners in the community. They can range from clerical tasks to research to others. What makes these programs great is that they are often part of a financial aid program and can be renewed on a semester basis. Additionally, these jobs often understand the unique situations that face students and are accommodating of that.
If you have a particular skill or you know a certain subject very well, you should consider tutoring either younger students or your peers. We like this because you can usually set your own schedule but, if you work with an agency, they’re also typically willing to bob and weave with changing school requirements as well.
Finding work online, like the gig economy, is one of those options available to students now that just wasn’t possible before. Whether you are completing writing gigs, editing photos, or even managing someone’s website or social media, you’ll be surprised at how lucrative this can be and how much control it gives you over your destiny. There are jobs such as teaching English online or even managing someone’s daily schedule.
Since you are at a school there will not be any lack of demand for a skilled editor, proofreader, or researcher. You can search want ads on campus or even advertise your services yourself. We know what you might be thinking: That’s more work than I might have the time to do. Trust us, you’ll not only get inquiries, but you’ll be amazed at how much others are willing to pay for some help with these tasks. Since many schools are focused on churning out papers and high-quality research, many students are under intense pressures to produce and not all of them are as skilled as you are.
One of the largest expenses students face during their time at school is how much it costs to live somewhere. An awesome way to knock out this expense and get paid while you’re at school is to become a resident advisor. If your school has on-campus living then you might want to look into this because it will not only pay you to live at school but also give you some valuable resume-building experience.
Professors are always looking for help with their research and these jobs often pay well. Beyond that, you get some valuable time with an academic who might be able to write you a stellar letter of recommendation at some point down the line. Plus, if you are considering staying in the field of academia, you’ll gain first-hand knowledge of how to conduct research and, more importantly, what you want in a research assistant.
Just as professors need help with their research, they also need help with teaching. Becoming a TA or teaching assistant is another paid position at your school that not only looks great on your resume but also helps give you some excellent skills that will serve you later.
Maybe someone needs a combination of research assistant and general secretary or you find a position at a local firm in your field working underneath a manager in a direct way. Whatever the case, a personal assistant’s position is often perfect for a college student because it allows them to make good money and connections while in school. No matter what your title is called, it typically involves office and clerical work which means you’ll have to call upon a broad set of skills on a daily basis.
Delivery drivers often make wages plus any tips they get during their shift. Sometimes this can be quite substantial. Beyond that, this field has changed a lot - especially with the rise of the gig economy. Now you don’t have to apply directly to a restaurant. You can, instead, sign up with an app and take work as you are available. It has the same pros as the gig work we discussed earlier as well as some of the same cons such as having to handle your own taxes.
Tips on Saving Money in College
Making money in college is one thing, holding on to it is another. Here are a few quick pointers on stretching your dollar the furthest you can while you are enrolled in an educational program:
Take Prerequisites at a Community College
If you can, prior to beginning your program, take transferable prerequisite courses at a community college. This is not only a cheaper way to get these general requirements out of the way but it’s also a smarter way for most of us to get an education.
Make Your Own Food
Your campus meal plan is likely very expensive and it will get old soon. Similarly, eating out all of the time is not feasible. Learn how to clip coupons and shop specials as well as make your own meals at home.
Buy Your Books Online
Buying your books from your campus bookstore is probably the quickest way to go broke while taking classes at a college. You can typically find what you need online and for a whole lot less.
Never Stop Looking for Grants and Scholarships
Even though you’re in the middle of your program, you might qualify for grants and scholarships. Never stop looking for these and never stop pestering your financial aid office for help. After all, it is their job to help you not only pay for your education but do so in a way that leaves as little a financial burden upon you when you finish as possible.
Tax Credits and Government Help
When you are earning money it is important that you keep track of everything including your income and expenses. You want to file as detailed a tax return as possible. Why? Because there are tax credits and certain breaks for being enrolled in an educational program.
This can make it easier to continue your current program or pay off any loans that you have accrued while finishing it. Further, government agencies often help students with lower incomes secure things such as food assistance. In other words, don’t just rely upon your school for finding out what resources apply to your situation and never be afraid to ask for help.
After all, the important thing is that you complete your education, obtain gainful employment, and pay off any loans you’ve gotten doing that. If you do all that and find yourself in the position to pay it forward in the future, you can do that, but keep your head to the ground and focus on yourself until you’re in a financial position to do so.