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How to Find a Job That Will Help You Pay for College

So you’ve decided to go to college. But after some research, you realize that the cost of attendance is higher than you anticipated—and more than what your family can afford. You’re not alone! This dilemma is common among college-bound students and their parents. In fact, almost 70% of students say inflated college costs have changed their plans for pursuing higher education.

We’ve got some good news for you, though. There are plenty of ways to secure a flexible job to pay for school. So, don’t let your income status hinder you from going after your career goals!

How to Get a Part-Time Job in College

How do college students pay for their education? Here are a few ideas to help you get started:

Use Online Job Boards Like LinkedIn

LinkedIn is an amazing resource for job hunting. The best part is, it’s free to sign up for!

To make the most out of LinkedIn’s job board:

  • Build a robust profile including past work experience, credentials, extracurriculars, coursework, and GPA information that may help employers notice you.
  • Create a strong resume with contact information, so hiring managers can easily reach out. When writing your resume, don’t forget to include keywords related to the job you’re applying for. For example, if you’re looking for a job in marketing, you should tailor your job experience to make it relevant to the field.
  • Upload your resume onto LinkedIn to use their “Easy Apply” feature. This makes it a breeze to apply for a bunch of jobs without spending hours on each application. Some may ask for a cover letter—in this case, you’ll have to take the time to write one.

Besides using LinkedIn’s job board, you can also use it as a professional social network. Start by connecting with people you know: friends, colleagues, professors, teacher’s assistants, and even your family members. Then, share a public post to let everyone know you’re looking for a part-time job to pay for college.

Alternatively, you can search through other people’s posts to find an opportunity. Let’s say you want to freelance-write to make money for college. Type in LinkedIn’s search bar under “Posts,” “freelance writer,” “content writer,” or “copywriter.” Filter by most recent and see what pops up. If someone is looking for a service you can offer, reach out to them via private message or leave a comment expressing your interest.

Check Your College’s Job Board

Many colleges and universities have job boards that are either open to the public or require a student ID to access. If your school offers one, check it often and apply for any jobs that are relevant to your field of study or interests.

Contact an advisor at the career center to ask questions about how to apply for open positions on campus. He/she may have valuable insight into what jobs are available and which ones suit you.

Ask Your Network

When in doubt, it never hurts to turn to people you know. Remember that you don’t have to find a job all by yourself. Your friends, family, and professors may be able to help! But only if you ask. With that said, don’t be afraid to let people know you’re job hunting. Tell them you want to make extra cash to pay for college. The more people you tell, the better! That way, you’ll be first on their minds when an opportunity arises.

Find a Job Relevant to Your Future Career

If possible, it’s a great idea to find a job relevant to what you want to do after graduation. This will help you build up your resume and skills in the field. If you’re interested in becoming an engineer, for example, take on an internship at a local engineering company.

Look for Jobs with a Flexible Schedule

What do you do if you aren’t sure what you want to do after graduation? Experimenting with different part-time jobs throughout your college life can help you figure it out! Don’t be hard on yourself if you can’t get the perfect job right away. You’ve got your whole future ahead of you to do that. Right now, focus on finding something where the hours don’t interfere with schoolwork. Otherwise, your job may become more stressful than beneficial.

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Jobs That Pay for College

Now that we’ve covered some tips on how to find a part-time job, let’s explore some fun jobs that pay for college:

Internship or Part-Time Job in Your Field of Study

Internships generally don’t pay well, but if you’re lucky, you may get a small compensation for your participation. Beyond pay, though, internships are valuable for networking and learning about a particular industry.

If you need to make more money or don’t have access to an internship, consider applying for a part-time job instead. You can gain experience in your field while earning money. For example, if you strive for a career in marketing, look for a part-time social media coordinator job. This will give you an insider’s peek at how marketing roles within companies work, and what job duties to expect after graduation.


Tutoring is a fantastic way to earn money while helping other students. You can teach any subject—math, science, history, English, and more. Tutor in-person or online, depending on your preferences. The best thing about this job is you don’t have to be confined to a single location. You can schedule sessions between your classes and tutor people from your dorm room or library! If you have a passion for teaching, tutoring will allow you to do so while rolling in some dough.

Offer a Freelance Service

Do you excel at something? Why not share your talent with others? Offering a freelance service is one of the most lucrative ways to make money in college (and beyond!). It also stands out on a resume, as it shows future employers you have what it takes to run a business.

Your options are limitless when it comes to what freelance service(s) to offer:

  • Writing
  • Editing
  • Photography
  • Video editing
  • Social media management
  • Pet-sitting
  • House-sitting
  • Graphic design
  • Consulting (in your area of expertise)
  • Translating

When setting your rates, don’t sell yourself short! Think about how much you want to make per hour or project, and stick with it. One of the greatest advantages of freelancing is you can set your rates and negotiate. If someone offers slightly less than your desired rate, consider meeting them halfway by negotiating a retainer relationship. You’ll get paid less per gig, but have steady work. And that translates to cash flow!

Finally, remember that it’s not always about money. Relationship-building is just as crucial because you never know what opportunities you may get later on from knowing someone.

Don’t Overlook Scholarships and Grants

Getting a job is awesome, but have you applied for scholarships and grants yet? These are free awards that you can get to offset college expenses. The best part is you don’t have to pay back a single dime!

There are a few different types of awards: merit-based, need-based, and identity-based.

The government, educational institutions, and organizations award merit-based scholarships to students based on academic performance. Then there are need-based grants, which means your family must be under a certain income level to qualify. Identity-based scholarships are for first-generation college students, people that identify as LGBTQ+, and individuals with specific ethnic backgrounds.

Regardless of which scholarship you’re after, you can find these programs through your school’s financial aid office, or by searching “scholarships” on Google.

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Going to College Doesn’t Have to Mean Massive Debt

College expenses can be stressful, but don’t let them get you down! With countless job options available today, it’s never been easier for students to find a solid fit. Not only will a part-time job help pay for tuition and fees, but it’ll also help you come out ahead when applying for a full-time position after earning your degree.

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