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Paying for college can be especially strenuous on your finances if you have to take out too much in student loans. One of the best ways to alleviate that stress and cut down on your student loan debt is to get a part-time job.
As a busy student, you’ll need to find a flexible job that works with your class schedule. Here are some of the best jobs for college students:
- Consider work-study programs
- Look for other on-campus jobs
- Check out local service industry jobs
- Become a dog walker or pet sitter
- Try babysitting instead
- Drive for Uber or Lyft
- Deliver food and more
- Rent out a room or your whole apartment
1. Consider work-study programs
Federal work-study programs provide part-time jobs to students with financial need. You need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to qualify. Work-study is only available on participating campuses, but if it’s offered at your school, you could get a job that’s related to your field of study. Positions can include working in the library, helping out in the cafeteria, or being a campus tour guide.
Your employer might be your school, a private nonprofit organization, or a public agency if you land a job off campus. Work-study programs are part-time jobs that can help you pay for college and graduate with less student loan debt.
2. Look for other on-campus jobs
Most schools need students on campus to serve as tutors, teaching assistants, resident advisors, and more. These are great part-time job opportunities that can help you pay for college expenses — or at least allow you to avoid taking out too many student loans. Teaching, graduate, and research assistants, for example, might earn tuition discounts or waivers rather than cash payment for their work.
3. Check out local service industry jobs
Many students find work off campus. A good place to start is to check out service jobs like waiting tables at a restaurant, being a barista at a coffee shop, or running the cash register at a store.
Although these jobs won’t typically be on campus (though some are, since many campuses have food courts and coffee shops), they can be a good opportunity for you to pursue your interests. If you love fashion and clothes, work at your local mall at your favorite retail store. If you’re a fitness junkie, become a receptionist at your gym and work your way up to becoming a trainer or class leader. There’s something for everyone and it will feel less like work if it’s something you enjoy.
4. Become a dog walker or pet sitter
Apps like Rover and Fetch are great places to start if you love animals and you’re looking to make some extra cash. You have plenty of flexibility since you get to choose your availability, which services you offer, and what you charge for those services — from dog walking to doing drop-in visits to feed a pet while someone is out of town or at work. And if you choose to board someone’s pet in your own home, it can make pet sitting an even more convenient option.
5. Try babysitting instead
If animals aren’t your thing, but you’re comfortable watching children (maybe you babysat a lot in high school or have some younger siblings you’ve taken care of in the past), babysitting might be a good option.
You can put fliers up at school and ask around via word of mouth to get clients, but there are also apps that will match you with a family who needs some help. Care.com and UrbanSitter are two worth checking out.
6. Drive for Uber or Lyft
As long as you (and your car) meet certain requirements, driving for a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft is an easy way to earn money quickly. It can help you earn some extra cash while still taking a full class load and still have time to study.
Typically, rideshare services require that your car is a four-door vehicle that was made in the last 10 years. However, you also have the option to rent a car from Uber or Lyft if you don’t have your own that’s eligible.
7. Deliver food and more
If you don’t like the idea of having people in your car, you can always use your car to make money another way: delivery. There are many food delivery apps like Grubhub or DoorDash that you can easily make money from. Or you could also deliver groceries, home goods, and more for Amazon’s Prime Now service.
8. Rent out a room or your whole apartment
If you don’t live in a dorm, but have a house or apartment, it could make sense for you to rent out a room — or the whole house if you’re going to be gone. For example, if you go home every weekend or are going away on spring break, you can put your apartment or house up on an app like Airbnb and HomeAway and make money while you’re gone.
If you’re usually home, but have a spare room you don’t use, you could list it on one of the apps above or even get a roommate to help with expenses.