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Online jobs for college students

  1. Sep 25, 2014 #1
    As a full-time freshman in college, I am currently working at a bakery about 10 minutes from my home. I attend a commuter campus, and it takes me 40 minutes to get there from my house.

    I've been working at this bakery for a year. In high school I was able to work 4-5 evenings a week for a total of 15-20 hours. But now since college started and my classes are spread throughout the day, I have only been working 2 days a week because that's as much as I can do.

    I've discovered that I've spent $1,000 from my savings account in the last 2 months. I am spending at least $100 a week on gas (about $60 a week) and food (the other $40). My paychecks from work are not even close to matching that. They are usually only about $50 or $60 a week.

    I've decided I can't do this anymore. Working 2 days a week and getting these kinds of paychecks isn't going to cut it. And I wouldn't be able to work any other job for more hours because I am a pretty busy student and concerned with my studies.

    I've read a lot about online jobs for college students. Are they legit? I have come here for some guidance on how to get a job online where I can make at least $100 a week. I don't care what it is. It'd be nice if I could find a science writing job (since my major is Astrophysics), but I'll do anything really.

    Are there any online jobs for college students where I can make $100 a week?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 26, 2014 #2


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    I'm not certain about specific online jobs available to college students, but my thinking is that any such jobs will depend on what specific skills you can bring to the table. One possibility (again, I'm not certain of the availability of such positions) would involve IT or software development, depending on what your programming skills are. You can also try and see if there available jobs on campus -- for example, when I was an undergrad, I worked as a "monitor" for the Statistics department's computer labs (essentially there to babysit the computers, answer students' questions, and make sure no one damaged equipment), and earned roughly $100-200 a week. Try looking into your school's career centre to see what's there.

    The other thing I would advise would be to look carefully at what your spending. You say that it takes you 40 min to get to your campus from your house, and that it costs you $60 on gas. That seems a little excessive -- have you thought about buying a more fuel efficient vehicle? Have you thought about using public transit, assuming that it's available in your area (where I live, I use a monthly pass for transit which costs me $120 a month, or $24 a week, less than half what you spend on gas)? These are the kinds of things you might want to think about to economize.
  4. Sep 26, 2014 #3


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    You're learning a valuable economic lesson at an early age: if that bakery job is costing you more to show up than it brings in terms of a paycheck, quit it right away, unless of course, you want to be a baker. Once you eat thru your savings, they're gone.

    Since your commute to the college takes you 40 min. each way, either look at doing some or all of the school work online or moving closer to the campus. Maybe even finding a closer school. Driving an hour and a half each day is a huge time-suck, not to mention expensive, what with gas, insurance, and wear and tear on your car, and it keeps you from spending that time studying, sleeping, whatever. It doesn't matter if you're driving a GasSipper 500, your time is infinitely more valuable than to spend it driving all over Creation while you're going to school.
  5. Sep 26, 2014 #4
    I appreciate the responses but must point out a few things:

    The commute to campus is something I'm not changing. It's actually a Penn State branch campus, and it was the cheapest educational situation for me and my family. Most other students live at least 20 minutes away, too. I'm not moving. Obviously can't afford to live by myself. Have to stay at home with my parents. After my sophomore year, I can transfer to the main Penn State campus in State College (University Park).

    I just bought my car earlier this year and think it has decent fuel mileage. It's a solid car and I like it a lot. I usually get gas once on the weekend and once in the middle of the week. It would probably be more accurate to correct myself and say that I spend an average of $50 a week on gas. The $60 only happens if I drive to other places on occasion.

    I have looked into campus jobs. Nothing available right now. I can be a student tutor once I rack up a couple of core classes under my belt, but until then...nothing.

    I am trying to not spend so freely on food and those kinds of things. But there are times when I am not home during the the day and need to eat, and paying for food on the go is an unavoidable situation.

    Just got my paycheck from work from last week. It was $67.00. If I combine that with some other source of small income, I might be alright. But some of these online survey sites are ridiculous...I heard that one particular one offered $5 per survey. Went and signed up and that's not true at all.
  6. Sep 26, 2014 #5


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    If your net payday is $67 for two full time days of work a week, then maybe you should check out if there's a job which pays federal minimum wage of $7.25 /hr. nearby.

    The point is, the prices of food, gas, and other commodities which are daily necessities have been increasing in recent years while wage growth has not been keeping pace. If you can't move closer to campus, that's fine. But taking freshman type courses doesn't necessarily mean that they must be taken only at a brick and mortar facility.

    The Penn State U system offers a distance learning program for undergraduate and graduate studies:


    Now, you may like living a major part of your life behind the wheel of a car, but like I said, your time is infinitely more valuable than whatever amount of money you're going to make at an online job or working part-time at a bakery.
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