Introduction: How to Make Boatloads of Money As a College or University Student Without Really Trying
If you are a student at a college or university and you are strapped for cash, then look no further because you have found the complete guide to doing so! This instructable will provide you with multiple ways to increase or create a substantial income, with hours based around your schedule. Using these different opportunities I have been able to pull in a little over $1,000 a month.
Colleges and Universities depend on their student body for many menial and secretarial tasks that they would otherwise have to pay people full-time salaries. Schools spend millions of dollars employing their students, so why not tap into some of that?
Take advantage of the opportunities a college or university has to offer while you are still attending!
Step 1: Step 1: Locate Student Employment Office/Online Directory
All colleges and universities have an office of Student Employment, and many feature an Online Directory that lists available part-time opportunities for students. This is always a good place to start, because many times there are multiple opportunities students can participate in. Some that I have found on my school's website have included babysitting gigs, research participation gigs, and even TA positions for teachers.
Get to know the people who work in the Student Employment Office -- not only will they be able to help you get a job, but they will be the ones filing your paperwork! They basically control when, how, and how much you get paid, so it is in your best interest to introduce yourself to the Student Employment staff.
In order to locate the student office, simply type into Google "(the name of your school) student employment" If you go to NYU for instance, type in: "NYU Student Employment"
I tried a number of schools, including community colleges, private university, and state schools, and they all came up on Google, so I doubt you will run into trouble finding the office of student employment.
Step 2: Step 2: Grading Papers/Tests/Assignments
If you go to college or university, you know that your schedule is jam-packed with due dates for papers and homework, and multiple tests throughout the course of the semester. You didn't think your professor graded all those did you?
Well if you did...think again! In most cases, Professors work alongside graders (typically not the TA for the course, though sometimes this is the case). What usually happens, is student turn in a paper, and then at the end of the day you pick up the papers from the professor's office or mailbox.
The quicker you can turn around the papers the better -- I like to pick up papers on a Friday (most tests are taken towards the end of the week), and hand them back to the Professor Monday morning. The reason you want to be as timely as possible, is because there is a greater likelihood of keeping that job next semester or next year.
Usually there is a mandatory turn-around time, depending on the length of the assignment or test. For a quiz, usually professors when them back by the end of the week. For a term-paper or a midterm obviously the turn-around time is a little more.
Get to know the teacher you will be grading for. It isn't a silly idea to get to know them somewhat personally. Maybe go out to lunch with them sometime or find out what kind of coffee they drink or something. Not only will you keep the job in later semesters, but you may even get a recommendation out of this!
This job can pay anywhere from $7.50-$10.00 an hour depending on the class and the department. You won't find many jobs that you can make 10 dollars an hour and also make your own schedule/hours!
Step 3: Step 3: Being a Teacher's Assistant (T.A.)
Of all the jobs, this is usually the highest paying, and also the one that requires the most work. Not only do you have to help grade papers, tests, and assignments, but in many cases you also have to hold office hours, and review sessions for the students in your class.
This means you must be working on a somewhat daily basis with the teacher of the class, and the students in the class. Think of your job as not only an assistant to the teacher, but also as a sort of liaison between the teachers and the students.
If you are a student-teacher liaison, then you have to get to know both the teacher/professor, and the students of the class. While this may seem unnecessary or annoying, in the long-run you will benefit from this. Getting to know the students can be a social and fun way to meet new people, as well as make connections with students in various fields. Getting to know the professor is also another great professional and personal connection.
TA's can get paid anywhere from $7.50 an hour all the way up to $15 or $20 an hour depending on the class and the department. While this may pay the most of any job you can find at a college or university, it definitely requires the most amount of work as well as the greatest time commitment. It can also be the most professionally (and financially) rewarding, so it is up to you whether the benefit is worth the cost.
Step 4: Desk Jobs
On every campus there are desk-jobs that need to be fulfilled. Many of them are in dormitories, and many are located around various buildings throughout campus. These jobs really only have one responsibility: Keep your eyes and ears open.
You are sort of a greeter at many of these jobs. It is your responsibility to ask for people to show their University Identification so that there are no strangers walking around the dorms or administrative buildings. You are kind of a mix between a security guard, and a secretary. Often the other responsibilities include answering phones, keeping a log of events during your work hours, and signing people in and out of the buildings themselves.
These jobs are usually the best jobs to have because they pay somewhere near the average, there are very few tasks that you actually have to do, and the hours are usually chosen by you, based on your schedule.
This is also a great supplementary job if you are a TA or a Grader because you will be sitting, doing nothing for extended periods of time. I use my hours at my desk-job to do homework, or grade/create review sheets. Any tasks you have to do you can complete at your desk-job. It really makes it convenient!
Desk-jobs here at my school pay anywhere from $7.50-$9.00 an hour depending on the hours. Usually the later shifts have higher pay (here the 4AM-8AM shift pays the highest).
Step 5: Research Assistants
There are various types of Assistant jobs at colleges and universities. We have already covered a popular one, the Teacher's Assistant. Another popular choice is the Research Assistant.
As a research assistant you will be doing many clerical tasks for professors that are partaking in university-funded research. Some of these tasks may be very tedious, as there is always tons of paperwork to be filled out for research projects. Research assistants also do lots of related-research and background research on various topics to further assist the project at hand.
These, along with TA positions are often the highest paying jobs on campus. As with the TA gig, they are also the most demanding jobs, in terms of hours, and in terms of workload. A research assistant has access to many of the cutting edge research projects that a school is undertaking, and they get to be an integral part of the research that is being done. Depending on your level of expertise, and the research being done, I have known research assistants that make anywhere between $7.50 an hour, all the way up to $20 an hour. If you have a graduate degree, then the pay will almost always be significantly higher due to your expertise in the field.
Step 6: Participating in Research Studies
We've discussed being a research assistant, but where do those research projects get their data? Often their data comes from the student body themselves!
Many schools have psychological, anthropological, sociological, biological, and neurological research studies that they conduct on the student body. In order to participate in these, you have to fill out some paper work, as well as payment information. These studies require a very small amount of time, the longest ones last a few days. Many of the psychological studies or sociological studies last an hour or so.
All you have to do is answer questions -- I have had some friends participate in drug-testing studies, and neurological studies where they scan your brain for the effects of a drug, or even to compare and contrast the brains of left-hand dominant people and right-hand dominant people. I even had a group of friends that participated in a study where they had to get drunk and answer a bunch of questions. (Beer was provided!)
These may be difficult to find sometimes, but if you go near the student-health office, or if the school has an on-campus hospital, many times you will see fliers hanging around the buildings. Contact the various departments via email to see if they have any studies that will pay for your participation. Also, many times there are online-directories that have a list of all the research studies that are currently going on; it makes it a little easier to organize and apply for these studies if you can find the database online.
Studies pay in different ways: some are hourly rates, some are just cash up front. These studies can go anywhere from $10, all the way up to hundreds of dollars depending on the study itself. These are great right before a weekend or something to just net some quick spending money. I have participated in some psychological studies where I had to respond to pictures and colors and I made $40 cash-in-hand as soon as the study was over; it took about an hour, but it was obviously worth it.
Step 7: Food Services
Every school has a cafeteria, even if the food is horrible. Many times, schools employ students to serve food, or work as cashiers. These jobs are particularly rewarding, as the benefits are very substantial (depending on the school).
The first benefit is the pay. The pay is usually about average, but considering the hours are limited, the pay well for a short period of time. I know people that make $7 an hour and I know people that make $15 dollars an hour depending on the hour and the food-station they are working.
The next benefit...is free food! As a college student, meals can be expensive, especially if you are not on meal plan. Well an easy way to get free food is to work in Food Services. Often, the school will pay for your meal plan if you are willing to work in Food Services. Also, since you are around food all the time it is easy to make a plate for yourself and put it to the side.
If you are a foodie, or want to learn to cook, working in food services can be very beneficial. You will learn to make big meals with cheap ingredients for a large number of people. You will also learn to cook many different types of food. Here at my school we have an Asian, Mexican, Italian, American, and Greek station. You will learn to cook many of the different types of foods that are offered at a school, and you will get to learn under some pretty experienced chefs usually. They may not be the ones working in the kitchen, but surprisingly enough, schools hire experienced chefs to oversee the food production.
Step 8: Residential Jobs
Residential Jobs are probably the most beneficial all around. They are really the only full-time jobs that you can participate in while you are in school. These jobs include: Residential Advisors or R.A.'s, Area Directors, and Housing Coordinators. Each of these jobs requires their staff to be on-call almost 24/7.
While that can be somewhat unfortunate, if you work in a residential job at a university or a college, you can receive enormous deductions on your collegiate expenses. You will receive tuition deductions, meal plan deductions, and even deductions off of the price of your textbooks and course materials.
R.A.'s here make a monthly stipend, plus they receive free meal-plan, and pay a significantly lower tuition bill than other students. Also, their housing is free. You can attend a private university for next-to-nothing if you work in Residential Education. This is also a great way to start a career at a University. I know people that started as R.A.'s and now have full-time jobs working in Residential Education at my school.
The job isn't for everyone though, you have to be extremely responsible, and you have to maintain order on your hall and in your dormitory building. Leadership counts more than anything else here, but if you can succeed here, the benefits are very substantial.
Step 9: Congratulations!
That it for my first instructable, now go out and make some dough! I trust that you will be able to make a great deal of money if you implement some of the strategies I offer here in my instructable. I have made almost $5,000 over the course of my time here at school, and I only starting working at the end of my sophomore year. You can make even more if you are willing to work more hours.
Take advantage of the opportunities colleges and universities have to offer and I promise you will be successful both professional and financially, and maybe even socially!