If you or your child are heading off to college soon, you might be looking for ways to earn a little extra cash for textbooks, living expenses or even tuition. But finding a job that fits into your class schedule can be tough sometimes. Michelle Lopez-Mullins, public relations and marketing coordinator for the University of Maryland Career Center, recommends starting your search at restaurants, shops and businesses near campus because many are accustomed to employing students and are willing to work around their schedules.
If you're looking for something with a little more flexibility, though, here are six money-making opportunities that are perfect for college students.
Be a tutor. My husband earned $15 an hour tutoring undergraduates when he was a grad student at Georgetown University. In fact, he actually earned quite a bit more when he tutored Ivanka Trump, the daughter of Donald Trump. So if you excel in certain subjects, let your professors know that you're willing to help other students in need -- for a fee. Or advertise your services on campus bulletin boards, in fraternity and sorority houses or on Craigslist. Also check with learning centers in your community that provide tutoring to elementary, middle and high school students, or reach out to schools directly to see if you can advertise your services on their bulletin boards or newsletters.
Do odd jobs for your landlord. If you rent from an individual rather than a large management company, you might find that your landlord needs help with cleaning, maintenance and landscaping at his or her properties. You might be able to get a reduction in rent in exchange for your services, which will free up your cash for other expenses.
Be a babysitter. From full-time gigs to occasional stints, babysitting can be a fun way to put money in your pocket if you like kids. In big cities such as New York and Washington, expect to earn up to $20 an hour as a babysitter or nanny. (In small and midsize cities, the going rate is closer to $7 to $10 an hour.) Advertise your services on Craigslist, the bulletin boards on campus, the public library or houses of worship. Be sure to let your professors know that you are available for babysitting. They probably won't hire you while you're in their classes, but they'll probably let colleagues know about your availability or hire you once they no longer have to give you a grade.
Join a street team. This is a way for young adults who are outgoing and articulate to earn some fast cash. Street teams promote products, films, albums, events and more by handing out samples, interacting with people on the street, or dressing as mascots. To get a job earning $20 to $25 an hour, sign up with a company such as Street Team Promotion, which handles promotions in big cities nationwide. Make sure that the company has a contract that specifies when you’ll get paid.
Be a mystery shopper. You can get paid up to $20 if you agree to browse a store and provide feedback on customer service, merchandise quality, and other quality-control metrics. If you like to shop, can pay close attention to detail and can be dispassionate, this could be a good money-making opportunity. Start by visiting the Mystery Shopping Providers Association’s Web site to see a database of jobs with legitimate companies, and see the association's tips for avoiding mystery shopping scams.
Participate in clinical trials. One of my former colleagues at Kiplinger earned extra cash in college by participating in clinical research trials. Compensation depends on the nature of the trial and the amount of time involved, but payment can range from as little as $25 for a couple of hours of your time to thousands of dollars for longer-term commitments. If your university has a medical research institute, start your search for trials there. Or you can find studies that are actively recruiting participants at ClinicalTrials.gov, a database run by the National Institutes of Health. Search by location to identify local trials.
Award-winning journalist, speaker, family finance expert, and author of Mom and Dad, We Need to Talk.
Cameron Huddleston wrote the daily "Kip Tips" column for Kiplinger.com. She joined Kiplinger in 2001 after graduating from American University with an MA in economic journalism.
Verizon's Latest Streaming Perk Bundles Netflix and Max for $10
Verizon's myPlan customers will be able to take advantage of the Netflix-Max streaming bundle soon.
By Joey Solitro Published
Stock Market Today: Stocks Slip to Start Jobs Week
Coming off a fifth straight weekly win, the main indexes took a breather ahead of a busy week of jobs data.
By Karee Venema Published
5 Ways to Save Money on Vacation Rental Properties
Travel Use these strategies to pay less for an apartment, condo or house when you travel.
By Cameron Huddleston Published
10 Annoying Hotel Fees and How to Avoid Them
Travel Here's how to avoid extra charges and make sure you don't get stuck paying for amenities that you don't use.
By Cameron Huddleston Published
Are Student Loans Being Forgiven or Not?
Student Loans The House and Senate voted to repeal President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan, but does it even matter?
By Katelyn Washington Last updated
Are Scholarships Tax-Free?
Education Scholarships are generally tax-free if certain IRS and other requirements are met.
By Kelley R. Taylor Published
Student Loan Forgiveness Blocked For Now Due to Court Rulings
Biden's student loan debt forgiveness program is on hold until the U.S. Supreme Court weighs in.
By Kelley R. Taylor Published
529 Plan Contribution Deadlines
Many states have year-end deadlines for making 529 college savings plan contributions.
By Kelley R. Taylor Last updated
3 Key Ways You Can Help a Child or Grandchild Pay for College
college Options such as 529 plans, education savings accounts and tax-free gifts can ensure you don’t carry a child’s student loan debt into your golden years.
By Tony Drake, CFP®, Investment Advisor Representative Published
Borrowers Over 50 With Student Loan Debt
Paying for College Millions of borrowers 50 and older are struggling to repay loans for themselves and their children, some delaying retirement. There’s a trick, though, to help with repayment.
By Elaine Silvestrini Published