Top 5 Ways for College Students to Make Money

It is a rarity that college students can get through four years without being employed. For those students who do not have the luxury of relying on their parents for income it is imperative that you are able to get a job in college.

The trick is to be hired by a business that can be flexible around your schedule. The great thing about college towns is that most employers know they have to work around your class schedule.

On campus jobs are arguably the best jobs, however, there are still plenty of companies who will be willing to cooperate with your busy schedule. If you have not thought of your options, take a look at these five jobs that are most popular for college students to make money.


Being a server at a restaurant is a great way to make money fast. Though your money may not be consistent every night, it is a great way to leave with cash in hand every time you work instead of having to wait two weeks to get paid.

Being a server can be stressful depending on the size of the restaurant you work at and how many tables they assign you. Working at a local diner or cafe would be a great way to start out of you do not have any serving experience. If you do have experience serving, apply to the local corporate chains and even popular restaurants downtown. The more popular a restaurant is the less you have to worry about extremely slow shifts.

The best way to apply for these jobs is not only online but to go in and personally speak with a hiring manager. Important questions to ask on the interview would be if you tip out the host, food runner, etc. Usually restaurant will only do this if they know you will be making a substantial amount on the nights / days you work.

Be aware that with jobs off campus they expect you to eventually schedule classes around your normal work days. For example, if you know your manager needs you during the lunch shifts on Tuesday, try not to schedule a class that time unless it is necessary.

Campus Dining

Another great way for college students to make money is by working on campus at a cafeteria, market or coffee shop. It may only be minimum wage but after your first year there is a chance you can move up to management and make more. The benefits of working at your school’s cafeteria is that after your shift is over, usually they will let you eat. What kind of college student doesn’t enjoy a free meal?

Depending on your campus dining employment rules, your manager may work around your schedule so if you have to go to class and come back to start a new shift, they will understand. I have heard from classmates and friends that working on campus in the cafeteria or market tends to be less stressful than many jobs college students acquire.


All schools are different when it comes to hiring tutors. However if you have above a 3.0 GPA and received an A in a class you might be eligible to be a tutor for it. Being a tutor is great because you do it on your own time. You are teaching material you already know. If you have good study habits and are patient with others this could be the job for you. Not to mention, it looks great on a resume that you are able to teach others.

Library Assistant

Some colleges require you to take a class in order to qualify. Check with your library to see what the qualifications are. Working at your university’s library is a great job not only because you will know the library like the back of your hand but because there is a lot of “down time” for you to get homework and studying done. If you love books and a quiet atmosphere this job is perfect for you.

Residence Hall Advisor

Being a residence advisor / resident assistant is one of the most sought after jobs on a college campus. Not only do most colleges pay you for when you are working but you get FREE LIVING. Granted it is a lot of responsibility to take care of all the students on your floor and be responsible for the freshman, being an RA is a great leadership role to obtain and it helps with living expenses too.

If you are an interested student the best way to get hired as an RA is to become extremely involved in residence hall related activities. This will make you recognized by the current RAs so when you go to apply you have a better chance of getting a good recommendation.

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Rachel Talaska

Rachel Talaska

Rachel Talaska is a junior at Central Michigan University pursuing degrees in public relations, journalism and marketing. Besides being in class, Rachel can be found working at the campus newspaper, Central Michigan Life in the advertising department or watching re-runs of "Friends." She hopes to one day move to a big city and find her dream job. Rachel enjoys fashion, eating healthy (with the occasional bowl of ice cream), fitness, reading, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.
Rachel Talaska

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