5 Easy Ways to Make Money While You’re in School

3. For the A+ student: Tutor

If you’re doing well in school and love teaching others, why not put your skills to good use tutoring the neighborhood kids?

Make a few simple posters listing your qualifications, availability and contact information, and put them up at your local library and coffee shops. Hand them out to your relatives and neighbors. Some teachers might even be willing to recommend your services to students who might be struggling in their classes, so definitely chat up your old teachers. Remember to keep your resumé on hand when you start getting calls!

Nearly any skill or passion you have is marketable. You can become the local music tutor if you’re a musician. If you’re good at soccer, try organizing a few younger kids into a team and coach them in the afternoons.

The great thing about tutoring is that the hours tend to be pretty flexible and you’ll be able to meet the kids right at your local library after school or on the weekends. Virginia, a freshman at Columbia University, was able to pay for a portion of her college tuition by tutoring the children of family friends through the school year. “Because you’re only meeting with the student once or twice a week at most, I found that parents were willing to pay much more than just minimum wage,” she says. “I make 20 dollars an hour, which doesn’t seem like much for one session, but it adds up quickly with multiple tutees.”

4. For the artist: Become a freelance graphic designer

The word “graphic designer” might sound a bit scary and professional, but in reality it’s an easy work-from-home job with flexible hours. As it turns out, there are a remarkable number of small startups and local businesses looking for someone with a good aesthetic sense to create logos, flyers, posters and other visuals for their brands.

Jordan, a high school senior at Phillips Academy, decided to pursue this path after creating a website for his sister’s bakery. According to him, getting started is easy as long as you have an existing body of work you can shape into a portfolio. It doesn’t have to be actual commissioned work, and it can range from posters to cool fonts to website or print layouts you’ve made.

“For the last few years, I've been making posters for events at school, designing websites and branding and creating logos for most of the clubs I'm in. So when I needed funding to pursue more deeply my passion for social justice-based projects, starting a small branding and design studio just seemed like the natural way to go,” Jordan says. “Right now I'm branding my sister's bakery (ashleyjeannes.com) and my friend's NGO, and I'm compiling it all onto my online portfolio.”

After setting up a website, the easiest way to get hired is to promote your business through word of mouth and Facebook ads, as both are relatively cheap or free. Taking the initiative and reaching out to startups on your own is also a great way to go.

“I'm going to continue reaching out to people who are starting out, or organizations and businesses who are in dire need of a brand, and see if they’re interested,” Jordan says. “Even if I contact 20 people and only one person is interested, that's a client.”

5. For the busybody: Do some chores

If traditional lawn-mowing, tree-trimming or dog-walking gigs don’t work for you, don’t worry! We have some ideas that could apply elsewhere.

Have a car? Neighborhood parents are often desperate for a little extra help getting their kids to soccer practice and violin lessons on busy afternoons. If you have a license and room in your car, why not offer to run a carpool from the middle school to the soccer field? You can charge a fixed price (plus gas, of course) for doing this a few times a week.

Great at saving a few dollars at the grocery store? Run a few errands or go grocery shopping for an elderly (or just busy) neighbor. This requires more responsibility because the people you shop for will have to trust you with a credit card or cash when you run to the store, so make sure you keep all of the receipts in one place.

There are always school-hour friendly ways to make money if you’re creative enough to capitalize on your skills. The Internet has made it increasingly easy to connect with potential customers from the comfort of your home or while you’re on the go, so working a nine-to-five gig is no longer the only way to save up for college. Don’t be afraid to take initiative and turn your skills and passion into a profitable venture!