The cost of attending college in the United States has increased by a staggering 31% over the last decade. This has resulted in more students facing financial difficulties –– and it’s not just a lack of accessible funds that creates issues. The stress of worrying about loan repayments also impacts students, and can affect everything from school performance to mental health.
In an article in September of this year, The College Post reported on research into the financial stress placed upon college students. The article evidences that 74% of students surveyed indicated that financial restraints were their most difficult challenge.
In order to address and help alleviate financial stress, many students are turning to part-time working while in school. And while it's not ideal that this is a necessity in many cases, it can help ease the burden. Below, we'll look at five examples of ways college students can earn some extra cash in college.
1. Local Retail Work
Retail jobs are often some of the best part-time positions available to students. Employers can usually offer flexible hours and hold positions specifically catered to students' lifestyles. Those flexible hours can be fitted conveniently around class schedules and often, retailers are at their busiest during periods when students are on seasonal or holiday breaks. The pay isn't always particularly high, but even picking up five hours' worth of work in a week at the average retail location can make a real difference for a lot of students.
2. Virtual Work
Taking on virtual work is another popular option. Opting for this method of “at-home working” opens up many opportunities –– even more so now that the pandemic has forced the working landscape to shift toward the digital realm. To that point, the financial advice platform AskMoney wrote last year about the effects of the pandemic and shared some of the most in-demand virtual jobs, some of which may be good fits for college students seeking income. These include thinks like web development, medical transcription, and online marketing –– all of which can be done from the comfort of a dorm room, and often with flexible hours.
3. Gig Economy
The growth of the gig economy has been one of the most profound changes in the workforce in recent years. This type of work encompasses freelance, outsourcing, and contract working. It can also, as outlined in our piece on ‘Getting Started in the Gig Economy’, refer to the selling of your own work or products. Whatever the specific venture, jumping into the gig economy can be a beneficial way for students to increase their income.
4. Brand Ambassador
Hiring people to promote and raise awareness of a brand isn’t a new concept, but it is more prevalent these days thanks to social media. That said, not all brand ambassadors are required to work online, so you don’t need to have amassed a huge following on any platform to give this idea a shot. In-person ambassadors work with businesses attending or exhibiting at events; duties may include distributing marketing materials, providing product samples, or just setting up and occupying tables at conferences. This type of job can often sit well within a student’s schedule and provide reasonable part-time income
Tutoring is a perfect job for students seeking extra income. The fact that it comes with its own rewards –– helping to shape the education of schoolchildren –– is a bonus. Most tutoring work these days is remote, and usually involves assisting other students on a one-to-one basis with homework, as well as discussing and reviewing assignments and helping with exam preparation. And you can get set up with students today through any number of online platforms designed to connect students with tutors. Once you're set up, you can effectively pass on your knowledge and learning tips, and earn a bit of spare income in the process –– about $17 or $18 an hour on average, according to Chron
It remains an unfortunate reality that a lot of college students today face a need to make money on the side. But the opportunities above represent sensible solutions that can yield helpful income through relatively small time commitments.
Article written by Riley Anne Johnson
Exclusively for DMFLF