Now that the spring semester is in full swing and you’re staring down the end of the school year you probably have just enough funds to get you through May (if you don’t do anything too crazy over spring break and if you were smart enough to evaluate your college plan last spring). The irony of college is in order for you to go to college you need money. But if you work you may not have time to take the classes you need in order to get through college. So what’s a poor undergrad (or grad) student to do?

How about create your own job?

Starting your own business while still in school is nothing new. Bill Gates (Microsoft), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), and Fred Smith (Fed-Ex) all started business ventures as college students. Of course, their businesses went on to bigger and better things, however, the key to a successful college business is to ask your peers what they want and would be willing to pay for. Starting with a simple concept also helps, letting your business grow organically, if in fact, you find a niche. Here are four examples of proven small businesses that thrive on college campuses.


Being a college tutor is an obvious choice and can be done fall through spring semester. Just about every college subject uses tutors and even online colleges employ tutors to lead chat room discussions, help with instructor office hours, and offer one-on-one help. College tutors make anywhere from $15 to $50 per hour, depending on the subject and school. Plus, most college departments have their own official tutor list. And if you’re smart enough to get your name on that list you don’t even have to do your own marketing. Your clients will call you!

Personal Trainer

If you’re athletic, active, and you know your way around a weight room, one way you can justify taking the time to work out is to offer your services as a personal trainer. Usually private gyms and clubs won’t allow outside trainers to bring their clients into the gym’s facilities, unless the trainer has an agreement with the gym (which isn’t impossible to arrange – just ask). But lack of access to a gym shouldn’t stop you from offering other athletic services, like taking your clients to a local college or high school track to stretch, run, and lift some free weights; lead a bike ride; organize a group hike; teach water aerobics at a pool; or hold an aerobics class outside in a parking lot. With spring upon us much of your exercising can be done outside, which completely broadens your training possibilities.

eBay Listing Manager

Navigating eBay doesn’t take a college degree, yet many people are intimidated by the idea e-commerce. As an eBay listing manager, you sell other people’s stuff for them via your own eBay account and then take a fee for doing so. The amount of money you make depends upon the number of clients you take. Best perk? You can do this job in the middle of the night in your pajamas.

Messenger Services

If you have a car or a bicycle consider starting a delivery service. You’d be surprised how many people don’t have time to deliver completed projects, legal documents, or even go to the bank. One enterprising student made his living simply by going to the post office twice a day. And if anyone needed him to stand in line, pick up packages, or just mail stuff for them, he did all that- for a fee.

Whether you attend college on campus or you’re working on a degree online, the best way to solve your college budget crisis is to find flexible employment that pays well and lets YOU control the number of hours you work, as well as when you work. How else are you going to find that perfect college job if you don’t make it happen for yourself?

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