5 gigs to help pay for your college tuition

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5 gigs to help pay for your college tuition


You're in college and are having the time of your life. There's just one thing getting in the way: the cost of tuition.

You don't want to completely rely on student loans and you don't want to get a regular part-time job because you need flexibility to focus on your studies. So what can you do? If you're wondering how to make some extra money to help pay for tuition, here are five ideas.

1. Work as a tutor.

Why not use your knowledge and expertise to help someone else and make a few extra bucks? Consider working as a tutor for younger students in high school or middle school. As a tutor, you can typically charge $30 to $40 per hour, depending on the subject. To get started, you could put up flyers at coffee shops, libraries and schools and utilize websites like Tutor, which connects tutors and students.

2. Act as a brand ambassador.

Have you ever been to a concert or sporting event and been given free stuff? The people behind the free swag are often brand ambassadors who are tasked with giving away free goods to boost a brand's appearance at a high profile or largely attended event.

I started working as a brand ambassador a few years ago and wish I had known about it in college. The gigs generally pay between $10 and $20 per hour, and typically involve you talking to the public and handing out free products and information.

Being a brand ambassador is a great job for a college student as the schedule is flexible and typically pays better than minimum wage.

To get started, check out sites like EventSpeak to browse gigs in your area.

3. Become a Postmate.

Postmates is a delivery service that allows customers to place an order through an app, and a 'Postmate' will go out, get the food or item, and deliver it.

According to their website, Postmates receive the majority of the delivery fee and 100 percent of the tip, meaning they can make up to $25 per hour.

That's not a bad side gig, and it offers the flexibility college students need because you only take gigs when you are available. The best part? It's pretty simple to get started. The basic requirements are that you need to be over 18, have a valid driver's license and own a car, bike, scooter, truck or motorcycle to make deliveries.

4. Freelance in your free time.

Whatever your major may be, you don't have to wait until graduation to get work experience. You can try to get real-life experience now as a freelancer in your field.

Consider using websites like Upwork, TaskRabbit and Fiverr to find freelance gigs that match your skills.

Ashley Hill, scholarship search strategist at College Prep Ready, a website that helps students that don't qualify for financial aid win scholarships, says that students can use these sites to "survey their classmates to see what the needs are for the students on campus and create a product or service to meet those needs."

Freelancing could help you make some extra cash to help cover your tuition costs and can even help you acquire invaluable experience before you get your diploma.

5. Use Craigslist to get gigs.

Craigslist can be a helpful tool to find some temporary gigs. I have personally used Craigslist to find a variety of work as an event helper (which is especially lucrative during the holidays), assisting people with packing when moving house (tip: look for gigs at the end of the month) and more. The key is to look under the 'Gigs' section, using specific keywords related to the type of jobs you are looking for.

As always, use caution and consider meeting people in a public place. With the right search terms and a little bit of persistence, you could find a variety of gigs that could pay around $10 to $50 per hour.

Save money for tuition

Making extra money is great and when you're in college, it can feel like a real treat. The temptation to spend it all on new gadgets or social events may be strong, but the feeling of graduating with less debt, or even no debt, will probably feel much better than the temporary joy from spending now.

Hill says, "I advise students to manage this extra money in an online checking account or create a secondary bank account that isn't linked to a bank card, so they won't be able to access the funds immediately."

Bottom line

If you're in college and are looking for ways to make some extra cash for tuition, these tips can help you get started - and offer potentially valuable skills for your life after school.

Just remember to pocket those dollars and use them for your education.

About the author: Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer and editor currently living in Portland, Oregon. She is passionate about education, financial literacy and empowering people to take control of their finances. Her work has been featured on Rockstar Finance, GoGirl Finance, The Globe and Mail and more.

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