College education is becoming expensive every year. Paying for college is a burden in itself and surviving college life with a restricted budget is an uphill climb.
There are options like education loans, grants, and scholarships that can ease your financial burden. But often it isn’t enough as there are many expenses other than tuition and stationery that come with being in college. You might find opportunities on campus or through other means to make a few extra bucks.
But jumping into the first opportunity is not wise. You need to be aware of the opportunities around you so you can pick the right option for yourself based on your study schedule and financial needs.
We already wrote a lot about websites and apps that can earn you extra money and some good business ideas for undergraduates. If that’s not enough, there are more ways you can gain financial independence in your student days:
1. Obtain a work-study job
See if you qualify for work-study opportunities on your campus. You can check this while submitting your FAFSA. This is the perfect scenario to earn money through a part-time job while getting your schoolwork done simultaneously.
It is completely funded by the government and might include work as the front desk person for a dorm or filing/administrative work, etc.
2. Get into tutoring
If you are a straight A student or have amazing competence at a particular subject, use it to your advantage. Many fellow students might need help with their coursework, help them out by tutoring them. This will not only be helpful to your peers but also yourself as you will get an opportunity to revise your coursework while earning money.
To get started, you can ask the HOD if any student has asked for help outside college hours. You can even approach the university’s employment office for opportunities. You also need an impressive tutor resume to help you grab their attention sooner.
Although, don’t limit your job search to opportunities in school. Spread out to other local schools and colleges and ask if anyone could use the help of a tutor there.
If that doesn’t work out, consider using sites like HelpHub. It is a fantastic resource as it allows you to set your tutoring terms and rate.
It’s difficult to get the first client. Once you find your first customer, ask them to put you in touch with other students who might need help. It will usually snowball from there.
3. Work as a cab or delivery driver
This is one of the best available options for undergraduate students towards financial independence as you can select your work hours.
So, study when you have to and only go on duty when time allows. And if you find your weekdays to be too hectic, weekends can be dedicated to earning money as you will not be in class.
If you have a car in working condition, you can simply apply for a job online and upload your license, registration, and insurance documents and start working.
You can take your pick from several cab services like Uber or Lyft or food delivery apps like UberEats.
4. Work with a moving company
You will find easy employment with packers and movers, especially on weekends. This means you can hold other part-time jobs on weekdays. This also allows you to have flexible schedules so you can focus on your studies.
You can start by looking at local companies that hire contractors for help or simply post on social media inquiring for such work for weekends.
5. Be an errand runner
You will pick easy money by helping people run their errands or do simple chores like shop for groceries and helping assemble furniture.
You can sign up on platforms like TaskRabbit and start performing tasks for people located in your area.
6. Become a house sitter or pet sitter
There are a lot of people with valuables in their house that do not want to leave their house alone as they go out of town for a few days. You can look online to find people willing to pay a trustworthy person to look after their house in their absence. You might have to do simple tasks like bringing in the mail or watering the plants etc.
Pet sitting is also a very viable option if you want to earn some easy money. You can find work at sites like Rover where you can look for jobs as a dog-walker, house sitting, etc.
7. Promote brands on campus
You will find many corporations trying to leverage young people to engage crowds on campus on their behalf. You can earn money while enjoying what you do! What more can you ask for?
Even sites like Tinder are taking part in the action and looking for on-campus brand ambassadors.
This not only earns you a little spending money but looks great on your resume.
8. Work as a temp
Employment agencies hire temps all the time. You can find administrative work like data entry and filing to earn extra income. These are all part-time jobs so they allow you to still find time for your studies
Freelancing as a content writer if you have great writing skills is also a viable option.
9. Offer to edit or proofread papers for your peers
Freelancing is not a great option for people who need a lot of time to form articulate thoughts before putting them to paper. As freelance writers are paid per word, it is better if their writing speed is fired up on all cylinders.
However, the same skills can be applied to find work as an editor or proofreader. You will have many exchange students in your university who will struggle with writing essays as English is not their first language. Offer to proofread and edit their work for a price and earn a little money while helping others.
10. Become a residence advisor
The best thing about being a residence advisor (RA) is that their board is almost always free so you will save a lot of money that you would have otherwise spent on a room. Further, this role can help you inculcate leadership skills as you will be tasked with leading your peers living in the same dorm as you.
Your tasks as an RA will involve providing emotional support, maintaining a positive living environment, making fellow students aware regarding the dorm policies, etc.
11. Give campus tours
A campus tour guide shows prospective students around the university. They help the students make the right choice by giving them all the facts and information about the university. An outgoing person with a love for meeting new people will thoroughly enjoy this position.
Moreover, being a tour guide could also mean helping the admissions office field queries from prospective students and their families.
12. Obtain a teaching or research assistantship
Inquire if your university offers teaching assistantship to undergraduate students. The work entails you to assist a teacher in grading papers, teaching classes, or similar work.
If you need to earn additional college credit after finishing your undergrad, applying for a research assistant position might be a good idea. All you need to do is collect data in a lab for a professor.
You can ask more about these opportunities from your professor or advisor.
13. Become a blogger
Blogging can be very beneficial if done right. And it’s fairly easy to start as well. We would, however, advise you to keep it as a side project until you start earning money from it.
Start by getting a domain name and web hosting. Now, start posting!
14. Become a virtual assistant
Small companies or extremely busy individuals are actively outsourcing work such as responding to emails, keeping a calendar, reminding of tasks to a virtual assistant.
This is easy work that can earn you a lot of money.
15. Become a transcriptor
If you have a decent typing speed, you can earn a lot of money by simply transcribing audios. All you have to do is listen and take notes.
You can find work with podcasters looking to transcribe their episodes to post online or similar work.
16. Become a teacher online
If you have expertise in any subject and a knack for instructing, you could create an online course and sell it. You can use a site like Udemy to create an online course and then sell it.
17. Find translation work
If you are multilingual, you could help others by translating their work to English or vice-versa. You could do both written and spoken translations, depending on what you are more comfortable with.
18. Become an at-home call-center operator
Many companies like LiveOps provide the opportunity to become an on-demand call center agent. So, you can simply work from home as a call center operator.
19. Do SEO for websites and User Testing Online
Search engine optimization can earn you a great side income. Research about how you can help out websites optimize their content and approach them for work.
Before sending out a new feature, websites do beta testing to make sure there are no bugs or defaults. You can sign up on websites like UserTesting.com to participate in such tests and get paid as well.
Whatever your schedule or interest might be, there is a job for you. You need to keep looking till you find one. Take advice from college graduates to learn what they did to make ends meet while they were in college.
There are a hundred ways to make money while you are an undergraduate. Don’t set limits to what you can and cannot do and you will soon have avenues opening up in ways you never thought was possible.
The tips in this article are a great place to start!