Being a college student is an eye-opening experience. If you’re like most college students, you’re probably out on your own for the very first time. You quickly discover that you like having the freedom to decide where to go, who to go with, and when to be back. Unfortunately, you may also be hit with a reality check when you run out of money and can’t simply hit up mom and dad for a few bucks. Never having enough money severely limits your choices, so you may want to earn a bit on the side.
Following are a few tips on how to supplement your income in college.
A time-honored way of making a few extra bucks to help pay the bills and have some spending money while attending college is to get a part-time job. Many businesses that are located in the vicinity of college campuses hire college students to fill entry level positions such as waiters, bus boys, cooks, delivery people, grocery and convenience store clerks, or similar non-specialized jobs.
The wages for these jobs are minimal, but they can bring in a little bit of money. It may be to your advantage to visit the financial aid office at the school to see if they have openings in a work study program. Participating colleges and universities are appropriated funds from the federal government to disburse to qualifying individuals. You will have to fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to see if you’re eligible.
If you have specialized skills that could be useful to your fellow students, you could start a small business offering those skills at reasonable rates. If you do a good enough job, your name will get around and your small business will expand. You may even be able to use the Internet as a resource and expand your business to include the world at large.
A college campus is the ideal place to make a little money by tutoring your classmates. If you’re particularly good in a certain subject, you can offer your services as a tutor to those who aren’t doing as well. All it’ll take is time. You should be able to find tutoring jobs by spreading the word that you’re available. Word of mouth advertising is the best method of getting new jobs. You can also post notices on bulletin boards outlining the services you’re offering and your credentials. The notice should include a way to get in contact with you as well. If you’re uncomfortable putting your phone number out in public, you can always use an e-mail address.
Another source of nearly unlimited customers on a college campus is to offer your services as a freelance editor. Your campus is more than likely filled with people who continually receive writing assignments from their instructors. Each assignment is judged on the basis of how well the document is written, and the manner in which it’s presented. Any written assignment needs to be punctuated correctly and contain proper grammar. As a freelance editor, you can assure students that their work will not be receive a bad grade due to improper formatting, spelling, or grammatical errors.
If you are an able writer, you may be able to make a few dollars as a freelance writer. All you need to start is a computer and high-speed Internet access. You may even be able to pick up a little work from local newspapers and magazines. Due to the fact that the majority of your submissions will be done via e-mail, you may even be able to get away without owning a printer. If you write solely for Internet websites, you won’t even have to leave your dorm room because all your research can be done over the Internet.
Since the Internet is used by an ever-expanding number of businesses to promote their service or product, you may be able to make a few bucks as a website designer. The Internet is worldwide, so your potential customers can be in Nebraska, Canada, or Brazil — it really doesn’t matter where they’re located because you can do the work from the comfort of your dorm room or anyplace that offers Wi-Fi. You should begin by designing your own website so potential clients can see the quality of your work. A good place to begin advertising your website design business is by using social media, such as Facebook or Twitter.
Can you think of any additional idea? What did you do in college to supplement your income?
Photo by Courtney Carmody.
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I'm just an average mom, trying to live a frugal life and get out of debt. I write about things that have (and haven't) worked to improve my family's financial situation. What works for me may or may not work for you, and you should always consult a financial advisor before making important financial decisions.
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