As we enter the month of August, students across the country are gearing up to go back to college. We are all excited to go back to football games, living on our own, and not getting yelled at by our moms for laying in bed all day. But in order to afford all these great luxuries, students find themselves scrambling to secure a decent part-time job so they can hold down the fort for the year. The only bad part is that, most times, having a part-time job does not cover all the expenses we have. $200 football season tickets, $600 rent, $100 in food, another $100 in bills…where does a college student get the money to afford all these things?!
Well, I’ve put a list together of all the weird ways college students can make money. Some take more effort than others, but the extra cash would definitely be worth the time.
Tutor online or in person sessions
This is something that I have done and still do. I am actually a paid university writing tutor, but I went through an extensive process to get there. In most cases, students are looking for a quick way to earn cash so it’s not likely they will want to go through the processes to get there. I recently wrote a more detailed guide to making money by tutoring at college.
Interested in freelancing? Well, freelancing is not limited to writing. You can also tutor, design anything from mobile apps to logos, create in Photoshop or Adobe Flash, translate, market for companies, and do computer programming. Check out Elance.com, Upwork.com, and Freelancer.com to name a few.
Help with research
Universities are almost always doing research and are actively looking for participants. Not only would you get paid for volunteering your time, it can also look neat on your resume. It may seem like participating in research is competitive or limited, but sometimes teachers will send out emails asking for volunteers. My psychology teacher gave us extra credit for participating in her research one time. You should also check out the undergrad research studies home page for your college and it’s possible that Craigslist could have a few listings too.
Be a campus rep for a company
So many companies turn to college kids to promote their new products and get the word out about who they are. Most of these companies will hire you for about one semester and, for the most part, you can do tasks on your own time as long as you complete everything. The cool thing is that you get to hand out free stuff to your friends and classmates and even keep some for yourself! It’s also a great way to meet new people and get connected to new opportunities. Some campus rep programs that are available include: Mountain Dew, Pura Vida Bracelets, TOMs, Spotify, and Coca-Cola.
All colleges have accessibility services which are designed to help out other students who have trouble taking notes or have a disability that hinders them. These services either hire or take in volunteers who go to class and get paid for taking notes. Students submit their notes and receive a payment for it. If your college does not pay for notes, why not offer them to those “classmates” who never go. Somehow they have to pass, so it’s most likely worth it to them to spend some bucks on good notes
Take surveys for money and free goodies
Sites like TreasureTrooper and CashCrate make it easy to make money doing trivial things. These sites let you fill out surveys, sample products, make searches in search engines, and completing other various tasks that pay you cash or offer free goodies. Both of these sites work in your favor if you have a lot of referrals as well.
Sell “junk” online
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Robert Farrington from The College Investor shares about how he was able to make $3,000 per year selling junk on eBay. “I started selling on eBay in high school and continued in college.” He talks all about selling junk in his article, “How To Build A Side Business On eBay.” Robert goes on to say if you have the correct mindset of always looking at your junk as treasure, he guarantees you can make at least an extra $100 a month selling it.
Everyone has old books laying around, but I bet only a few of you know that you can make money from them. It’s actually pretty easy to get started and during prime garage sale times, it’s easy to score books for cheap. Heather Clarke from Queen Bee Coupons was able to team up with her husband and start selling books as a way to make extra cash. They made enough money to be able to send her husband to grad school without taking out any loans at all! She posted a very detailed guide called “How to sell used books on Amazon” that explains the step-by-step process of setting up your account and how to post your first listing.
Lyft or Uber in your college town
This works great if you live in either an urban area or a “college town.” I’ve heard that some people make an extra $300-$500 just working on weekends. Drunk people have to get home somehow! In all honesty, I did look into becoming an Uber driver at school, but there are a few regulations that you have to follow and some of those things were out of my control. For example, your car must not be older than 10 years old and you also have to be 21 to drive. I do happen to have a bit older car and I’m actually only 20, so make sure you meet all the required specifications before applying to be a driver.
Donating plasma is an easy money making concept. You can donate 1-2 times a week for about $50 for every visit. That’s anywhere from an extra $200 to $400 a month depending if you go one or two times a week. Of course, you have to be comfortable with needles and blood and all that other stuff.
Advertise for a company on social media
There are plenty of small companies who are trying to get their brand name out there who will pay almost anyone to advertise for them. All you have to do is wear their clothes or mention their name or review their product on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc. In return, these companies will pay you for your time and probably let you keep their free gear. And one big thing is that you don’t even need to have thousands of followers to make money from this. Mark Shaw explains how you make money on Periscope advertising for someone’s brand.
Get paid to give feedback and test out different products for companies online. Most sessions are 20 minutes long and you’re paid $10 for every session you complete. You’re able to test products daily once your sample test is approved.
Postmates is similar to Uber/Lyft except they have drivers deliver food. You can apply to be a driver and make money by picking up people’s food orders and delivering it to them. The only issue is that right now Postmates is only available in big cities like San Francisco and Philadelphia, so this would ideally work for students at a city school.
Secret shopper or secret diner
Websites like Marketforce.com and Secretshopper.com allow you to apply online and go through the required application processes in order to become a secret shopper/diner. These assignments don’t take long, but they do require that you have means of transportation to get yourself to each location. You are reimbursed for all your purchases, but most likely gas/public transportation fees will not be paid for so be sure to stick to your immediate area. Just remember to do your research before applying with a company because you don’t want to get scammed!
Become a beer auditor
How does getting paid to buy beer sound? And you also get reimbursed for your purchase? And you also get to keep the beer? Well then maybe becoming a beer auditor is the perfect fit for you. The point of the job is to make sure the establishment selling you beer is doing their job. You are being paid to make sure they card you and correctly check you out during your purchase. If you say you “forgot” your ID, will they wave it off and say it’s okay or will they refuse to sell you beer? It’s your job to find out! Check out how Kyle from the Penny Hoarder was able to make $5,000 a month doing it.
Sell your handmade goods on Etsy
Starting your own Etsy store may be a good idea for those who are more crafty. You can sell almost anything handmade on there and expect to see profits from it if you have a big enough audience. Most people may think of Etsy as a website only for jewelry or cool paintings, but the market is huge for almost anything. Whether you’re into cat-print phone cases or science and astronomy, there’s probably someone on Etsy with a store dedicated to your interests. Shops like Megan Lee Studio focus on creating educational gifts for all things geeky and science-y. It only proves that you can do a lot more than just flower crowns for music festivals!
Look into consignment shops
Consignment shops have popped up all over the place and they give sellers great opportunities to make money. The basic function of the shops allow people to team up with them in order to sell their unwanted clothes. You would take a pair of pants in, agree to sell it through their shop for a certain price, and you and the shop share the profits. You’re able to get more money for your item as opposed to just straight up selling your clothes to the shop and having them buy it from you.
Beermoney refers to a subreddit that helps people find ways of making money online. It’s not meant to replace any means of having a job, only to aid you with some extra money. These sites can be accessed through your computer and your phone and usually require no real thought. The tasks vary from surveys to downloading apps or games and can even require you to just keep the web page open all day. Doing any of these things can earn you gift cards and extra money. Check out a whole list of verified websites here and the proof of pay outs from other users.
Sell your services on Fiverr
Tons of people use Fiverr to sell their abilities to write, translate, sing, market, draw, anything! Services start at $5 and you are able to dictate the prices and what you offer. This site is great for small businesses who cannot afford to hire big time people to do things for them.
Refer your friends and family to FatWallet
Get $20 when you refer two friends to FatWallet! If any of your referrals happen to spend more than $25 before September, you get an extra $5 per member.
Enter a lot of contests and giveaways
Yes, just like those people on “Extreme Sweepstakes,” except maybe don’t go that over board. A lot of these won’t necessarily get you money directly, but you could win vacations and TVs or even cars (if you’re lucky enough) that you could make a profit off of from selling it.
This is so easy to do, especially if you’re a big soda drinker. You can even ask your friends to set aside their cans for you too! At the end of the week take all of your aluminum to a recycle center and earn some extra cash.
Get paid to do simple tasks like helping someone move or doing their grocery shopping with TaskRabbit! You can sign up and accept assignments from virtually anywhere if you can get there. TaskRabbit works best in big cities, though, because it isn’t completely grown yet.
Best way I made money in college?
Since I already mentioned I’m a university paid writing tutor, there’s not a whole lot more left to say. I did work at the dining hall for two weeks, but it got too much. I have also worked retail and it supplied a good amount of extra money. But I have met friends who are campus reps, freelance, sell clothes, and sell books, so you can’t complain anymore when you’re broke because there’s always a way to make extra money!