Congratulations! You got into college, but unfortunately there’s a limit to how much your parents can help you, and financial aid isn’t budging. With over 70% of college students working during the school year, you’re not alone in thinking you should get a job. Most college towns have businesses understanding of student schedules and can have flexible hours, but if you’re from a smaller town, you may have some trouble getting a job. Another factor that plays into the difficulty of getting a part time job is the fact that your classes are right in the middle of the day. Just a side note, if you are a traditional freshman, whether you should work or not your first semester is a whole different topic.
Tutoring opens a whole new door of opportunities, but it’s not for everyone. Before delving into this market, be sure that you’ve already appealed at your financial aid office and work-study isn’t helping.
First thing you need to do is assess yourself. What are you good at? Writing persuasive essays? Are you a math whiz? Maybe you’re great at biology? You can tutor someone younger than you who is just starting off on those topics and may need some guidance. I find that students taking SAT/ACT/AP tests are always demanding private tutoring, and some parents are willing to shell out quite a bit of cash! In some areas, an hour of AP Calculus tutoring can be $65 an hour.
Maybe you didn’t do so well on the SATs, but you’re a great A student who stays on top of the materials. You can try out being a peer tutor, either at your campus’s tutoring center or by posting your services in Facebook groups. You’ll tend to get more customers by going cheaper, because remember, these are broke college students we’re talking about!
A more non-academic option is offering yourselves to high school juniors and seniors to help them pick colleges to apply to, make sure they have their checklists, and edit their college resumes and essays. This is less of a steady job since after application season, no one will need your services and it requires more leg work.
So you’re not really the best student, and “C’s get degrees” is your motto? Not to worry.
If you don’t think you can do test prep or peer tutoring, tutor younger children! Look around in your area first to see if there are elementary/middle schools in your area. The pay is much closer to minimum wage, but you’ll be more comfortable teaching a child how to add or write complete sentences. If you are patient with children, you could also practice speaking with some kids who for various reasons have difficulty talking or learning.
To start off on tutoring, I recommend Wyzant (If you need tutoring, you can use my affiliate code for $40 off your lesson*). They have a very wide reach, and allow virtual tutoring sessions on their platform. The catch is that when you first start off, you only get to keep 40% of your hourly fee. There are other sites like Varsity Tutors, but you can shop around. This why I said tutoring is not for everyone. If there aren’t many students around you, and you can’t find enough people to fill up your “hours,” your pay each week will be pretty minimal, so it’s up to you how badly you’re in need of money.
Other things to do if you’re going solo is to print out posters to put in libraries which list your credentials.
There is also the last option of working as an employee at a “learning center” which are places like JEI, Mathnasium, and Kumon. They’re mostly evening hours and weekends because they’re strictly for students who want to practice more math/English after school. Normally a little above minimum wage, and a much more stable job. The flexibility of hours is really up to the franchise location manager, though.
So there you have it. If you have any experience with these, try your hand at tutoring!