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Tips for Earning Money in College

It’s important to earn and save money while in college, whether at the undergraduate or graduate level. Every little bit helps, even if you are just working to pay for your weekend shenanigans. Take advantage of lighter semesters and find a part-time job (or two) to help pay the bills. Keep in mind that it’s important to be strategic about the type of job you chose to be sure that it will do the most for you, both financially and professionally.

  • Retail Jobs – Apply for jobs at stores that you like to shop at or where an employee discount would be most beneficial to you. Employee discounts are often as high as 40-50% on most merchandise and this can be a great added bonus of a part-time job. Beware: a retail job can be dangerous if you overindulge and spend your shift shopping.
  • Internships – Although finding a paid internship can be both challenging and competitive, the knowledge you gain will be invaluable. Internships can also be a great way to network and make connections within your field. Not to mention, future employers will look highly upon past work experience in your specific field.
  • Federal Work Study Jobs – If you are eligible for a work study position through your school’s financial aid department, be sure to take advantage of it. Often, these jobs are untaxed which can be a huge help financially. Also, they tend to be on campus, which cuts down on or completely eliminates transportation costs. Most importantly, university employers understand the demands of being a student and often allow you to do schoolwork during slow shifts. Keep in mind that the maximum number of hours that you will be able to work will depend on your total Federal Work-Study award.
  • Tutoring – Tutoring in your specific major is a great way to review and study as well as earn some extra money. See if your school has an online classifieds system where you can reach out to other students and post your availability and expertise. If you play a sport or play an instrument, you can also offer private lessons. Based on experience and expertise, tutors and instructors are often paid high hourly rates for their services.
  • Restaurant Jobs – Although a job at a restaurant may not be the most glamorous option, it can be very lucrative. Restaurants on or close to college campuses are usually bustling with professors, students, and families. They are also a good option if you have a jam-packed class schedule since most restaurant shifts tend to be in the evening.

Although working two jobs in school can be a feasible option, it can also be overwhelming on top of class and studying. If you chose this route, be sure that it is manageable for you.  Keep in mind that it may seem like a great idea at the beginning of the semester when the work load is light, but when due dates start piling up for projects, papers, and finals you may quickly regret it.

ABOUT AUTHOR / Madison

Madison is a Marketing Communications & Programs Associate at ACCC. She is excited to share her tips on saving money and being financially responsible here on the Talking Cents blog!

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