Some jobs help students pay tuition.
One of the best ways to pay for college is to find work that helps foot part of the tuition bill. Here are 16 types of part-time jobs that pay for college by providing students with extra income and, in some cases, tuition perks.
For years, the federal work-study program has allowed students to earn money through part-time work. Students with financial need who file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as the FAFSA, may be eligible for the program. Families who used work-study funds as a source to pay for college used an average of $1,808 in 2019, according to a Sallie Mae survey on “How America Pays For College.” While these jobs aren’t always on campus, students in work-study earn at least $7.25 per hour — the federal minimum wage.
A paid internship can not only help students pay for college but can also open doors for full-time work after graduation. According to a 2019 survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, among class of 2019 graduates, nearly two-thirds of paid interns received a job offer, while just about 44% of unpaid interns were offered a job.
Jobs with online learning benefits
Some employers partner with higher education institutions to offer hourly employees tuition assistance toward an online bachelor’s degree. Starbucks, for example, partners with Arizona State University through its College Achievement Plan, which allows employees to earn an undergraduate degree online. Since Starbucks began its program, many fast-food companies — such as Pizza Hut and White Castle — have launched similar programs to retain and recruit hourly workers.
Fast-food jobs with tuition reimbursement
Some fast-food companies with hourly employees offer tuition reimbursement for on-campus degrees in addition to online programs. Chipotle Mexican Grill, the California-based chain known for its Mission-style burrito, reimburses an employee’s tuition up to $5,250, which is the amount the IRS allows to be tax-free. Employees can reimburse classes from two- or four-year degree-granting institutions. The company also announced a new program in 2019 that covers 100% of tuition for 75 business and technology degrees. Employees must have worked at Chipotle for 120 days to be eligible.
Hourly work with tuition assistance
Companies that offer tuition perks to hourly employees usually have a specific program. White Castle, for instance, requires employees to enroll in a degree at a particular institution. Usually these programs require a set number of hours the employees must work to receive tuition assistance. At Amazon.com Inc., part-time workers who work more than 20 hours per week are eligible for the company’s Career Choice program after a year of continuous employment. The program pays up to $12,000 over four years for an employee to earn an associate degree or vocational certificate.
Campus jobs with tuition stipends
A research or teaching assistantship usually covers part of tuition; the pay can sometimes be in exchange for research or classroom instruction. Typically, these positions are for graduate students. Similar to scholarships, assistantships are often awarded through individual departments at a college or university.
On-demand economy jobs
The gig economy known for its flexible jobs can help students earn cash between classes. These on-demand jobs include running errands or completing small jobs via TaskRabbit, making deliveries for Postmates or even driving for ride-booking services such as Uber and Lyft, to name a few. Students can typically earn more through on-demand work, which experts say ranges from $10 to $20 an hour, compared with hourly wages earned in retail or the food and beverage industry.
Jobs with employer scholarships
Some companies offer employees help paying for college through scholarship programs. Taco Bell, for instance, offers employees who are legal residents between ages 16 and 24 the chance to win up to a $25,000 award through its Live Más Scholarship; the award can be used toward vocational school or a two- or four-year college. Employees must have worked for the company at least three consecutive months to be eligible.
Jobs with textbook grants
In addition to tuition assistance or an online education partner program, some employers offer hourly workers grants or reimbursements for educational materials such as textbooks. For employees at Amazon.com Inc., for example, the company’s Career Choice Program reimburses up to 95% of the cost of required books for those enrolled in a qualifying degree program.
Using their creative talents, students can earn money on the side and boost their resume. Experts say students can turn to websites such as Fiverr and Upwork to advertise their skills and find freelance work in everything from design to translation. Getting into the entrepreneurial spirit may be an overlooked way to pay for college, but students can use web design and social media skills to build a website for a local small business, for example, or manage a local store’s online brand and marketing.
Child care work
Work as a part-time nanny or babysitter can be lucrative. In some arrangements, students may even be able to live with a family, providing them with housing in addition to hourly pay. According to ZipRecruiter, college nanny jobs pay $15 per hour on average.
YouTube and other social media platforms
College students can make hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars monthly by creating videos on platforms like YouTube and TikTok. By building a strong personal brand and amassing even a small following, students can earn money off of the ads on their videos and pages. This work is flexible, and many students say it is a fun hobby in addition to a source of income to pay for college.
Banking jobs that offer tuition assistance
Interested in pursuing an MBA degree some day? In the meantime, getting a part-time job at a bank can double as relevant work experience and a means to pay for college. Bank of America, for example, offers up to $5,250 annually in tuition reimbursement for undergraduate and graduate programs for employees after they have worked at the company for six months.
Bartender and service industry work
While restaurants and bars don’t typically offer formal tuition assistance programs, many college students work part time in the service industry because the hours are flexible and tips in busy establishments can help pay for school. But be warned: These days the average college tuition and fees at a private college ranked by U.S. News is $36,801 — a figure that doesn’t include the cost of housing, meals and other expenses — so this income may only be supplementary.
College students have a lot to offer younger students. Some companies offer online tutoring to students worldwide, providing even more flexibility for college students to work from home. Tutors at Preply, for example, work from home and earn money for hours spent teaching based on an hourly rate of their choosing. Tutoring locally can also be an option, with many younger students seeking quality SAT and ACT preparation help. A center like Kaplan Inc. typically pays upward of $20 an hour, depending on the area.
Package delivery jobs that offer education benefits
FedEx and UPS offer education benefits to their employees. At FedEx, the tuition assistance program “financially subsidizes eligible employees in their pursuit of additional higher formal education to enhance career advancement opportunities in FedEx,” the company’s website reads. The program will reimburse package handler employees up to $1,500 per calendar year, and employees are eligible 60 days after their hire date. The UPS Earn & Learn program provides part-time workers with up to $25,000 in tuition assistance and company training opportunities in fields like information technology and operations research. Employees are eligible beginning the day they are hired.
Learn more about choosing a college path.
Read more about how to choose a college, and see which colleges have the highest four-year graduation rates. For more advice and information on how to select a college, connect with U.S. News Education on Twitter and Facebook.
Part-time work that can cut college costs
— Paid internships
— Jobs with online learning benefits
— Fast-food jobs with tuition reimbursement
— Hourly work with tuition assistance
— Campus jobs with tuition stipends
— On-demand economy jobs
— Jobs with employer scholarships
— Jobs with textbook grants
— Freelance work
— Child care work
— YouTube and other social media platforms
— Banking jobs that offer tuition assistance
— Bartender and service industry work
— Package delivery jobs that offer education benefits
More From US News & World Report