6 Tried and True Ways Full-Time Students Can Work Part-Time and Pay for College in 2019


Textbooks, coffee, student activities, Spring Breaks--college expenses add up quickly. Whether you’re looking to save up for a weekend trip or paying your way through school, you have a few options for working while studying full-time.

Below, we’ve compiled a list of different opportunities that can be helpful for commuter students and residents alike.


Work-study is a need-based program provided by the federal government. Colleges are given a certain amount of funding towards work-study that is then used to fund student jobs. For work-study, you’re limited to working the number of hours that equates to the amount of your award. Unlike a scholarship or loan, in the case of a work-study award, you’re paid directly by the school for your work. Not every student is awarded work-study, but either way, you’ll have the option to apply for on-campus jobs too.

How to Find Work-Study Positions

Most work-study opportunities are on-campus jobs. Search the student employment section of your school’s website and see if you can refine your search by work-study opportunities.

Work-Study Tips

Keep in mind that different departments might have different work-study allotments, and their budget may change from year to year. Try to build a good relationship with your supervisor(s) and coworkers. You want to take the work-study job seriously -- even if it’s just labeling envelopes or putting library books away--because you never know where opportunities could lead. For example, in my experience, the work-study budget was cut by my sophomore year, but because I had developed solid working relationships with the managers, I was kept on under the “Student Labor” budget and able to keep my work-study job throughout college.


On-Campus jobs are opportunities that allow you to work at your college. From the library to the dining hall to the admissions office, there are many opportunities to work on your campus. A common misconception is that on-campus jobs are for residents only, but they’re usually open for both resident and commuter students.

How to Find On-Campus Positions

Take a look at your school’s student employment website this summer. The earlier you apply, the better your chances.   

On-Campus Job Tips

Having a job on campus is a great way to make the most of your time. If you have a gap between classes, you could use the extra couple of hours to make some money. Or, if all of your classes are during the day and you’re more of a night owl, you could work the later shift at the library. Whatever schedule you decide, remember that making the most of your schedule does not mean skipping meals, skipping study sessions, or skipping sleep. Health and school should always come first.


Some students choose to work off campus, whether that’s at a restaurant or in retail, babysitting or in an office setting.

How to Find Off-Campus Positions

Many retail stores and restaurants have online applications, so before you check for applications in person, check the business or organization’s website. You can always check job board sites like Indeed, ZipRecruiter, and Monster.

Off-Campus Job Tips

Time management and scheduling may be a challenge. Between traffic or taking public transit and working around your class and studying schedule, commuting to your job can be an added stress. However, for commuters, it may make sense to take a job closer to home or on your way home from class. Depending on your preference and situation, an off-campus job might be the right choice.


Paid internships are a wonderful way to get experience in a field and see if it’s something you want to pursue.

How to Find Internship Positions

Some campuses offer internships in addition to the on-campus and work-study roles, so take a look at the student employment page. You can also check with the career services department. Many colleges have a job search tool just for their students (like Indeed but for college students), so take a look at what your career service department has to offer.

Internship Tips

A lot of times, these internships might be focused on upperclassmen, only because employers are looking for a little more experience. It’s not a bad idea to work elsewhere during your first and second year and then focus on finding an internship come junior or senior year.

Summer Internship Tip:  If you have an internship over the summer and can’t work as much when you return to school in the fall, you might be able to work remotely or on a part-time basis instead. Even if it’s just a couple of hours a week if it’s something you’d be interested in doing throughout the semester, try to offer. It never hurts to ask!



Everyone seems to have a side hustle these days. Why not start making money with one of your interests or skills in college?

How to Find Freelancing Opportunities

  • Apps like Rover and Wag let you walk dogs or pet sit for extra money.

  • TaskRabbit is another way to find short term gigs.

  • Fiverr allows you to set your own rates for anything from web design to trumpet recordings. Upwork lets you submit proposals to apply for freelance opportunities.   

Freelancing Tips

You don’t have to depend on job boards to find freelancing opportunities. Great at math?

You could offer tutoring to other students. Great at editing? Offer to proofread your classmates’ essays. Think about a skill or interest you have and challenge yourself

to create an opportunity for yourself. Obsessed with taking Instagram-worthy photos? Reach out to local businesses and nonprofits about working a couple of hours a week for them. Your options are endless.  

Start Looking this Summer

Waiting until September to look for a job could mean losing your chance at finding one. If available, sign up for email alerts on your college’s student employment page so you can be one of the first to apply. Indeed also allows you to save searches and get email alerts, so sign up for remote and/or local opportunities here, too.

Above all else, keep connecting with friends and family. Networking isn’t about asking others for jobs, it’s about maintaining relationships. Maintain your relationships and keep doors open. You never know, you’re friend’s mom’s cousin could be the CEO of a startup and have an internship or part-time freelance role that’s perfect for you. Bonus points if you keep an eye/ear out for opportunities that would be the perfect fit for a friend!