Jun 28, 2021 09:35 AM EDT
4 Ways College Students Can Make Money During the Summer
The costs of attending college, once you add up tuition and fees, room and board, textbooks, technology, and other expenses are, without question, not insignificant to most students. Fortunately, there are a few things that college students can do throughout the summer months when they have a little extra free time to earn some extra cash to put towards paying for college.
Get a part-time job
Part-time jobs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. A few of the most common, tried, and trusted options for part-time jobs include working in a restaurant or retail store or doing delivery service for a company such as DoorDash or UberEats. While working in customer service through these options tends to start with a low hourly rate, the great thing about these opportunities is that they often come with tips, which can potentially double your hourly earnings depending on where you work and how generous your customers are!
Another part-time job option that has risen in popularity during recent years is becoming a virtual assistant. If you consider yourself to be well-organized, communicative, and at least somewhat savvy behind a computer, another part-time job option that you could consider is becoming a virtual assistant. The presence of virtual assistant jobs has grown significantly over the last few years, and it can be a great way to make some extra money without ever having to leave your house. There are dozens of websites out there that you can join to hop on the virtual assistant train, but before you do that, you might consider setting up a website or landing page outlining your skills and capabilities as a virtual assistant to increase your legitimacy.
Beyond these options, there are also some part-time jobs that operate more as solo-gigs rather than working with a team or on behalf of a larger organization. Babysitting and tutoring are two of the biggest options that fall into this category. A huge benefit to these types of jobs is that you can generally be pretty flexible with your hours so if you wanted to get another part-time job to fill your spare time, it can likely be arranged. Also, since it's money we're talking about here, keep in mind that with babysitting or tutoring, there is potential to make more money than a part time job can set your own price (within a reasonable range) based on your level of experience and a "market rate" for your area.
Apply for scholarships
The third avenue for making money during your summers as a college student is by applying for scholarships. The great thing about scholarships is that they are, quite literally, free money that you can earn to put towards paying for college.
There are tons of places and resources that you can utilize to search for scholarships. The best place to start is on your college's scholarship page. Applying for scholarships through your specific school (and even more specifically, through your major and extracurricular activities) is great because you know you won't be competing against students across the country who attend other schools. This means less competition! After you have sought out those scholarships, you can then go on to seek out local opportunities (within your community) and scholarships offered by private organizations, which are often pooled together for easy searching on scholarship search engines.
To maximize your chances of winning scholarships, a smart strategy is to vary the types of scholarships you apply for. This means applying for big awards, no-essay scholarships, and everything in between.
While applying for scholarships unfortunately doesn't guarantee any money in your pocket, if you apply for the right opportunities by identifying your unique interests, get creative with your written submissions, and diversify the types of scholarships you apply for, this option can potentially be extremely lucrative.
Sell your stuff
Do you have old clothes, furniture, accessories, jewelry, or other things laying around your house that you don't use anymore? If you answered "yes", then consider selling your stuff to make a few extra bucks.
If you're a person with an artistic or creative streak, another possibility for selling stuff you can explore is creating your own goods to sell. This could be in the form of jewelry, blankets, t-shirts, posters or prints, and more. The options are truly endless.
In terms of where to sell your stuff (whether it's homemade or not), Depop, Poshmark, Facebook Marketplace, and eBay are just a few of the popular websites and apps you can use to list your stuff on. Just make sure that you read the fine print to learn more about potential service fees that can be associated with each of these options before you dive into setting prices for the items you're selling.
If you're totally new to the world of selling things, this guide outlines some great tips on how to get started and give yourself the highest chance of earning cash.
Secure an internship
This money-making option is particularly popular among college students because of its dual-benefit: making you money while also (usually) providing you with work experience in your field of interest.
In terms of where to start when looking for internships, the best platforms are LinkedIn, your school's job board, Glassdoor, and Internships.com. As for the when to start looking and applying, one thing you should note is that, depending on the competitiveness and type of internship you are looking for, you may have to start your search and application process months before the summer even rolls around.
The monetary potential for internships can vary. The two main factors that generally determine how much you earn are the location of the internship and the company that you're working for. Securing an internship in a big city at a large company usually wields a larger salary than an internship in a small town for a local business.
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