5 Simple Ways to Make Money in College
1. Be an Ambassador for a Startup
A lot of companies that target College students have Ambassador programs. These programs can be great and are usually very respectful of your class schedule and study workload. They usually offer an hourly wage for set weekly activities, pay for completing specific action items and bonus incentives. The most money can be made through accomplishing these action items and bonuses. A lot of the compensation is related to results, and its the results the companies care about, not how long it takes you to accomplish them. So, if you can figure out clever ways to accomplish the goals they have set out for you you can make a lot of money with little effort. Otherwise, the hourly wage is still nice to make during your spare time and it usually introduces you to a fun group of new people, including the founders of the startup.
2. Graphic/Website Design
If you’re working towards a Design major or are just talented with the Adobe Suite, put together a portfolio of your best work and find startups on campus or approach local businesses. Ask them if they need any design work that needs to be done, and tell them you’ll work at a great price per project (not hourly, every small business hates hourly). If they say yes, ask for information about what they need, show them your portfolio and prepare a professional quote with a price you feel is fare. In the beginning BE CHEAP, then raise your price as your portfolio starts to gain past work from established companies that can vouch for your skills. Another great and more modern place to find work is by creating a profile on Upwork.com, its an effective place to market yourself as a designer available for on-demand contract work.
3. Sell Your Study Guides
Most students create study guides for major tests and quizzes, but not all study guides are created equal. And that’s why there are now multiple marketplaces for students to buy and sell their guides to their classmates. Some even sell individual class notes. So, if you fancy yourself a great study guide maker or note taker, we recommend you make some extra money with those skills and help your fellow classmates in the process. Obviously we recommend BookU as the best platform out there, but there is also StudySoup and CourseHero.
4. Start a Promotional Items Company (T-Shirts, etc.)
College is the best place to be a quick success at selling promotional items. Every campus is full of organizations that consistently need new custom t-shirts, koozies, banners, sweatpants, etc. for events and general identity. All you need is a great supplier, simple Photoshop skills and simple negotiation tactics. To start you’ll be a glorified middle-man, find a local supplier that has the most competitive pricing with quality and contact them. Explain that you will be on-campus selling to organizations and need a 20% commission for each sale. Collect information and photos on a small number of products you think would sell best and create a single page website. The key is to display the product range and its quality clearly, with the colors available and some general competitive pricing (don’t commit, but use your research to know what you’re showing will catch attention).
Stress that you’re local with a fast turn-around and have samples you can show in-person. You’ll find this business is all about price, but if you have a local touch and can really convey quality it is one where the physical sales touch still holds weight. That’s why there is no need to make a big complex website, your sales will come through physical interaction. Go door-to-door, tap your network and have a Google business email account ($5/month) to go with your clean single page website domain name. Keeping your costs low at all times is key, improve your ability to personally sell before you invest in improving anything else. And always collect payment upfront, you can’t afford to be scammed at this age when every dollar matters.
5. Local Labor (Cleaning Service, Lawn Care, etc.)
Go door-to-door in the local neighborhood, apartment buildings or dormitories with your cleaning, shoveling or lawn care equipment and a big smile on your face and politely ask if they have any need for your services. Obviously this might be a bit embarrassing and that’s why it is best to pick your targets wisely (i.e. approach a house with a poorly maintained lawn or snow filled driveway). Also place flyers advertising your services in building common areas and mailboxes. Though there are places to advertise yourself for odd jobs like this on the web there’s a much higher chance of locking down local work like this in-person. These are jobs which the client values trusting the provider immensely and the best way to communicate you’re trustworthy is in-person as a local resident (introductions and referrals are a major plus!).
So, those are just a few simple entrepreneurial ways you can earn money, engage in your local community and build your resume without sacrificing too much time studying and enjoying College.
I hope this helped some of you. It’s simple, but that’s the aim of all our posts.