BY CHRIS PATTON
College is expensive, and unfortunately loans and grants can be hard to come by. The costs add up
quickly – food, books, living space, even midnight pizza. If you’re looking for some extra money to
help pay for your tuition, read on for some creative ways to pay the bills.
- Donate Plasma
This is not for the faint of heart, but donating plasma can earn a steady, albeit small, amount of money each time you do it. The only commitment you make is your time, and you will walk away knowing that you’ve helped another person as well as made some cash.
- Work Study/Paid Internship/Co-op Placement
If your college offers a work study program make sure you take advantage of it. From working in the library to calling prospective students, it’s an easy way to make cash on campus and to gain valuable
work experience in your chosen field of study.
We’re not all blessed with supermodel genes, but most of us can model for a drawing class. Budding
artists are always willing to pay for the chance to draw a real person, and this can be a fun way to
spend an afternoon. Check the fine arts programs at your college to see if they are looking for models.
- Printing T-shirts
Screen Printing is a great way to earn extra money with minimal upfront costs. Start by emailing local printers to request price lists, this will help you figure out who is your cheapest option. Secondly, you will need to source the garments, this should be as simple as a Google search for “Wholesale T-shirts Your Town.” Next, you will want to determine what you will be printing. You have many options to drum up some business while in college; whether it be printing shirts specifically for a class you’re in and having the students place orders or printing for one of the many school organizations, fraternities and sororities. With a little planning, you could be on your way to supplementing your income with little effort. If you can get an order of 100 t-shirts and you pay $4.00 per shirt and sell them for $20.00 each, you could see a profit of $1600.
- Join the Military
This definitely isn’t for everyone, but if you’re willing to serve in the military you may be able to get your college completely paid for. It’s worth looking into if you want to see the world and need money for college.
If you are a dancer or musician you can easily make some money giving lessons. Parents of young children will appreciate that you don’t charge as much as a master teacher might, but are still willing to pay a hefty sum for you to teach their children. You would also be wise to pitch your talents to clubs or bars who are looking for affordable house entertainers.
- On-Campus Catering
A lot of colleges hosts catered events, and the catering company always needs professional and reliable staff. Not only will you make good money but you may be able to take some of the leftovers home when the event is over.
Your fellow students will automatically turn to you for help if you’re better than them at any given subject, but you can monetize on this by charging them to help. Consider tutoring off campus as well – middle and high school students often need help with their classes.
Golfers are always looking for good caddies. If you love golf and are willing to carry around someone’s bag you can easily make some money when you set yourself apart as a quality caddy. You can expect to earn up to $100 per 18 holes as well as a decent tip.
- Be a Guinea Pig
Medicines have to be tested on someone before they’re approved, and if you need money for tuition,
it may as well be you. Medical tests can pay a lot of money depending on what kind of drug they’re testing. If you’re not squeamish and in relatively good health this could be quite lucrative. Certain health care facilities and hospitals will also provide remuneration for acting as a patient for training new doctors.
- Buying Books
One of the biggest expenses, aside from tuition, is definitely text books. Luckily there are many websites dedicated to the buying and selling of used books. Big Words is one of the best sites to search as they compare prices on buying, selling and renting books from the tops sites online. Another great option is on Amazon where they have a book buy back program where they will buy back the books you bought from them. They also have a huge selection of e-book rentals which will allow you to carry less books, study virtually anywhere and search within the book for specific topics. You can sign up for a Prime student 6 month trial account which gets you free shipping and as long as you cancel before the 6 months are up you won’t pay anything.
- Host with the Most
The college party scene is a rite of passage for most students, so why not kill two birds with one festive stone by hosting the jam? For a small investment (e.g., a few kegs of beer, hiring a DJ, some snacks and party favours), you’ll almost certainly get your money back and then some. In fact, you may earn a can-do reputation on the college social scene that leads to further opportunities.
- Sharing Economy
Make the most out of your assets. If you have any spare time and access to a vehicle, Uber can help put a few extra bucks in your pockets in the evenings and on weekends. Similarly, if you have a room or space that is otherwise not being used for stretches of time, create an AirBnB posting.
- Live At Home
If you happen to go to school in the same city that you live in, you can save a huge amount of money by living with your parents and not having to pay rent. You may also be able to save money on things such as meals, laundry, internet and cable bills.
- Grunt Work
There’s plenty of work sitting right in front of your eyes if you are willing to get dirty and take on some low-hanging fruit. Shovelling snow, raking leaves, mowing lawns, picking farm produce, washing windows, dog-walking, cleaning houses…the list of menial chores is endless, and you’ll find a good number of people quite happy to pay you for your efforts. You may also uncover previously hidden networking opportunities through these gigs.
When paying for college you’ll need to think beyond scholarships and loans if you want to graduate
without a lot of debt. Taking on one or more of these jobs will help you easily pay for your tuition.
Chris Patton is a freelance writer, father of two and sports fanatic.