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Feb 04 2018
by Mei Xiu Zhang

5 Ways to Make Extra Money in College

By Mei Xiu Zhang - Feb 04 2018
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As a first generation, low-income student, I don’t want to bother my parents by asking for an allowance. Luckily, college campuses hold so many opportunities to earn jobs and work for your own allowance. Although it may seem intimidating to attempt a job while trying to get that 4.0 GPA, it’s not scary. In fact, everyone is trying to do the same and from there, arises so many chances to get some extra cash.

1. Sell unused, used or unnecessary objects that just take up space.

It is likely that your college has a student-run group where items are sold between students all around campus. Take the first step in becoming a future entrepreneur by buying, selling and trading with your peers. Take advantage of the network and sell that nail polish you never used or face wash that you touched once.

Don’t forget to stop the cluttering in your closet by selling clothes that you might not need or accessories that are taking up too much space on your desk. Most importantly, it is so much cheaper to buy books or textbooks for a class from an upperclassman than the campus bookstore! This is literally the best of both worlds: you’re doing your wallet a favor and getting to know students at your school!


2. Be a babysitter.

This is one of the lowest maintenance jobs for college students. In New York City especially, busy parents are always in need of a responsible adult to take care of their children during work hours. This job usually pays in cash (or Venmo in some cases), which is really great for college students that are in need of cash in a pinch. Most jobs are simply watching the child do homework and preparing simple meals for the child. What better way to get off campus, still do homework and make money? When everything is under control, catch up on homework, but keep your eyes and ears open!


3. Become a peer tutor for classes people don’t like.

At a liberal arts school, many students don’t enjoy the sciences and thereby tend to seek help for these classes. Subjects like calculus, computer science and physics are popular classes that need tutors, especially if these are large lecture classes. If you are a possible STEM major, this could be your chance to make your pocket money, while teaching a class that you enjoyed! Make sure to always ask your advisors or deans for tutoring options on campus and be on your way to becoming a master at a math or science class while earning money! Why not share the knowledge if you understand it already? You're helping yourself and someone else!


4. Become a teaching assistant (TA) for a class you have taken.

An alternative option to becoming a peer tutor is being a TA to a class that you have taken. This role is more formalized and you would probably have more responsibilities, such as being required to hold office hours at least two hours a week and grading students’ assignments for professors. But the rewards are amazing: you become skilled at explaining concepts in a class you had taken already, make a great amount of money for the semester and can even put the position on your resume! Not to mention, this is an opportunity to make friends with other teaching assistants!


5. Find low-maintenance campus jobs.

The opportunities on campus are pretty much endless if off-campus jobs are too stressful. From working as a desk attendant at one of your school’s buildings to being the cashier at the school store, you could snag a great job even in your first year! The shifts keep in mind the busy schedule of college students and are usually very reasonable so they shouldn’t be too stressful to manage with studies if you are in need of a work study job!


What are you waiting for? If you want work experience, a resume booster or just extra cash, find the opportunities that your college provides! It may take some effort to reach out but for the benefits, it is absolutely worth it!

Leading Image Credit: Pixabay

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Mei Xiu Zhang - Barnard College

Mei Xiu Amy Zhang is a freshman at Barnard College and wants to pursue computer science. Hoping to become a pillar of support in her new community, she wants to find a balance between STEM and writing.

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