Cents and Sensibility

5 Ways to Make Money in College

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As a busy college student with a full-time course schedule, social activities, and non-paid internship obligations, it can be difficult to find ways to earn money in college.

But it’s not impossible.

So where should you begin? Start here with 5 tips on ways to earn cash as a college student:

Be a focus group participant: Researchers need college students to help them develop results. Many college students who regularly attend focus groups share their ideas for no more than an hour and receive loaded visa debit cards for as little as $75 to as much as $200.

Surveys: Online surveys, phone surveys, and product trials can also earn you extra income toward tuition. Type “focus paid survey” or “free paid survey” in your Google browser to locate multiple opportunities.

Sell your books: Many online sites will buy books, especially textbooks, from you directly. You may have an option to sell your books to your current college, but shop around to get the most bang for your book.

Tutor: Use your downtime to tutor students at the local high school and elementary schools in the subject in which you are receiving your degree. You can visit with the student at their school, at their home, or tutor online.

Freelance: Do you have a unique ability to write and a specialty in grammar, spelling, and communication? If you have the skills, there are a number of online resources for finding freelance writing gigs. You can become a freelance writer for periodicals, newspapers, or magazines while making extra money to pay for school. Today, almost any job can be done on a contract or freelance basis. Check out sites like (for Engineering and IT positions/contracts) and (for freelance opportunities), which can lead you to contract, consulting,  freelance, or temp work.

About Dr. Karen Ratliff

Karen Ratliff

Credit: Dr. Karen Ratliff

Dr. Ratliff is a certified life coach and professional educator, assisting many people in accomplishing financial, career, and educational goals.  She is also the author of “Tightening Your Bootstraps: 104 Tips to Kick Your Debt to the Curb Now.” Keep up with her budgetary advice via Twitter @drkarenratliff  her website at, and her facebook fanpage “Financially Focused with Dr. Karen Ratliff.”