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7 Ways to Make Money in College

Anna Cadwallader


Going to college doesn’t have to mean going broke — there are plenty of ways for busy college students to earn extra cash. You may be thinking, “How on earth am I supposed to balance classes, studying, a social life and a job?” If you have extra time every day to peruse Facebook and watch Netflix, you definitely have time to spare for one of these quick moneymakers. Check out these seven easy ways to make money in college.

1. Find a Part-Time Job

Don’t worry, not all part-time jobs require 20 precious hours of your week. Many jobs, especially on campus and in college towns, are flexible with your crazy schedule. Campus jobs are usually posted on campus forums and require just a few hours every week. Sometimes, these jobs involve manning a desk at the gym or library, which means you can likely study while you’re working. If you’re looking for a job that’s a study break, consider lifeguarding or refereeing intramural games. A coveted part-time job in many small college towns is working at the local pizza joint. By working just one night a week, you can make a fortune in tips from hungry students looking for late-night munchies. Part-time jobs don’t require a lot of time and are great ways to generate a little cash flow throughout the week.

2. Network with Professors and the Neighborhood

Sometimes we have a hard time grasping why professors don’t respond to emails immediately because we often forget that they, too, have lives. Professors can be great network for you to tap into to find potential work in your college town’s neighborhood. People are always looking for landscapers, babysitters and tutors. You can also find more academic work with professors, as many hire students during the school year or even for the summer to assist with research. This work experience can beef up your resume, an added bonus.

3. Utilize Cash-Back Programs

Money you need to spend today can help pay for college with cash back from Upromise by Sallie Mae. Simply starting your shopping at Upromise.com, you can get 5 percent of that spending back for college from hundreds of major online retailers, such as Target.com, Staples.com and Oldnavy.com or double that to 10 percent with the Upromise MasterCard. The rewards program is free to join, easy to use, and members have earned $750 million in cash for college.

4. Recycle

Instead of using a campus recycling method, let your cans and bottles accumulate and take them to a local recycling center. You won’t strike it rich, but you’ll help the environment and earn some extra coffee money.

5. Participate in Clinical Trials or Market Research

Research universities and science students often need subjects for clinical trials, surveys, or experiments. Ask science and research departments if volunteers are needed for any of these studies. These studies vary in pay and length, ranging from a quick 15-minute survey to a year-long process. Similarly, investigate market research firms in your areas. Often, firms are hired to get consumers’ perspectives about a new product. You can get paid to take quick surveys, check out new products, or taste test — a fun and easy way to make some cash.

6. Give Plasma

If you have a needle phobia, this probably isn’t for you but if not, it’s a great way to earn money and help people in need. Rates vary, but you can generally earn around $20 each time you give, which can be as often as twice in seven days with a day in between. Also, be sure to consult a doctor before donating.

7. Sell Unneeded Items

Make some space in your cramped dorm room by rounding up unneeded items you can sell. Sell old textbooks back to the bookstore or online, take clothes to consignment shops, and sell larger items on Craigslist or eBay. Check if your campus has a local network for selling items, like GateSwap. Started by two Colgate University students, GateSwap serves three campuses and provides a safe and efficient way to buy and sell used merchandise.

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