Making money for college


Making money for college is a good way for your student to keep their expenses down before they are off to college and in the midst of their studies. There are many ways that your student can make money. From part-time jobs and freelance opportunities to scholarships and the FAFSA — your student can find many ways to make that dough.

Part-time job

Getting a part-time, after-school job can enable your student to start saving money to help pay for college. Will they be able to save enough to pay their college expenses in full? Probably not, but saving up to whittle away the expenses can be extremely beneficial in the long run. As an added bonus, part-time jobs are a way to gain work experience and are an opportunity to start building their resume. It’s important to remember that school comes first, and succeeding academically will set your student up to thrive.

On-campus and off-campus jobs

An excellent way to keep up with college expenses is for your student to continue having a part-time job while in college. Colleges usually have an on-campus job portal where your student can search for jobs, from working the library to being a teacher’s assistant and more. And the best part about on-campus jobs is that college employers understand the student’s classes come first and can be extremely flexible with schedules if extra time is needed to study for an exam or finish a project. Off-campus jobs are beneficial for students too, with many opportunities around college campuses. Students can usually find jobs advertised at their college’s student union or through an off-campus job portal.

Freelance opportunities

Your student can also earn money by freelancing. A freelancer is typically someone who is self-employed and working on a per-job basis, and who could possibly have many jobs going at once. This kind of work can entail skills that are sought after like writing, video editing, graphic design and more. Upwork is a good place for your student to look around and see what’s out there, and is just one of many sites that freelancers use. This is ideal for a student who likes to create their own schedule and can take on work when they have a little extra time or slow down when there are finals or big projects that are due.

Sell what they’re skilled at

Is your student handy or do they have good skills? Encourage them to sell what they’re skilled at.

  • Is your student a good writer? Enter writing competitions to win some cash.
  • Is your student excelling in math, science, writing, etc.? Colleges usually have tutoring centers that students can apply to work for. Other local colleges and high schools might also need tutors.
  • Do they have computer and other technology skills? They could sell their skills like simple computer repairs and other services.
  • Do they have an abundance of books, clothing and other things they no longer need? Sell them to used bookstores or second-hand stores for some extra cash.
  • Do they have pet experience? Consider dog walking or cat sitting in the area.
  • Does your student have some extra time and cleaning materials? Start a small cleaning business and clean for neighbors and other local people.

Who knows, maybe this entrepreneurial spirit will activate something for their future.

Odd jobs for people in the community

If your student is looking for ways to pocket some extra cash, they could offer services to people or places that are off the beaten path. This is a good way for them to supplement their income and could be completed on their own time. Community groups, family members, professors, senior citizens, small businesses and other groups of people are excellent places to start. Encourage them to reach out to people — they will probably find a wealth of opportunities by networking. The work could be a one-time deal or lead to regular pay.


Applying for scholarships is a smart way to earn some money for college. A good tip for your student is to apply for as many scholarships as they qualify for. While not all scholarships will pay their way through college, several smaller ones do add up. Filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid is another way to see what kind of federal aid might be available for your student. Note: Your student should keep filing a FAFSA for every academic year they are in college. Their college might also have a scholarship portal where they can explore scholarships related to their major. Remind your student to always keep looking, as scholarships can run for shorter time periods and have application deadlines throughout the year.

The best way to maximize how your student can make money for college is for them to start beforehand and to keep it up during college. That way they can do a little saving before they start and keep working at it while taking their classes. Now you can share with your student all the ways they can start making money for college.