The unique ways UMKC students make money

Belal Rhaimeh

Let’s face it. For many students, college is expensive. 

Tuition, student fees, housing, transportation and textbook costs all add up quickly, no matter how carefully students budget.

College has become so expensive that it’s nearly impossible to pay for it without student loans. But the more loans you take out, the more debt you accumulate after graduation.

Working through college is one way to reduce the amount of debt you’ll have after graduation. But finding a job with decent pay that’ll also allow you to schedule shifts around your classes and extracurriculars can be harder to find than a healthy taco bar. And maybe you’re not too keen on flipping burgers at your local fast-food joint.

Well, just because you’re a college student doesn’t mean you have to be broke. There are a whole host of ways you can make money as a college student, and they go well beyond stereotypical student jobs, like delivering pizza and working in fast food.

You have plenty of options that won’t cut into your study time, like working a part-time, online job that lets you make money online from your dorm or apartment.

“One person’s trash can be another’s treasure,” said senior civil engineer major Suhaib Al-Asmar. 

If you’ve got anything from old clothes, books or CDs, going the eBay or Amazon route is always a tried and true method of earning some extra bucks.

When desperate for cash, junior civil engineer major Ubaydah Dalaq fills out online surveys in between classes.

“Online survey takers get you compensated for taking short surveys, so you don’t need to leave your dorm room or the computer lab to squeeze in a few questions,” Dalaq said.

Ameen Nuru, senior biology major, says many students on campus need help with their studies and are willing to pay for it. The best part about it is that the hours can be flexible. Just arrange to do your tutoring at times that work well for you. You don’t need to commit to a series of shifts as you would with the aforementioned jobs, which is especially nice during midterms and finals, said Nuru.

When strapped for time and need a small amount of spending money, junior information technology major Hazem Tariq stops by his local blood bank to donate plasma. He says some agencies pay as much as $35 per pint, and you can donate at least twice a week.

Sophomore criminal justice major Mohamood Banyalmarjeh offers a laundry and cleaning service to students living in dorms or near campus.

“Most of my friends hate doing laundry, so I do it for them,” said Banyalmarjeh. “$5 or $10 a load for washing and folding clothes isn’t bad, and I could spend the time studying while making that extra cash.”

Along with laundry services, Banyalmarjeh also offers a cleaning service to dorm rooms, fraternity and sorority houses.

“Many students don’t own a vacuum and are too lazy to clean their bathrooms,” Banyalmarjeh said. “So, I provide a weekly or bi-weekly service to dorm students and hit up some of the fraternity and sorority houses on campus,” said Banyalmarjeh.

Senior Amanda Henrich has earned nearly $2,000 as she enters her seventh semester as a biology major. She earns around $300 a semester as a school notetaker.

“I mean, you’re taking notes anyway, right? Might as well get paid to do it,” she said.“I started selling weekly lecture notes ($5), chapter outlines ($5) and study guides ($10) on campus.”

Quality notes are in high demand. Many websites like Course Hero and Campus Shift let you sell your college notes online.

According to the University of Missouri Student Conduct Code, “The term cheating includes but is not limited to: (i) use of any unauthorized assistance in taking quizzes, tests, or examinations; (ii) dependence upon aid of sources beyond those authorized by the instructor in writing papers, preparing reports, solving problems, or carrying out other assignments; (iii) acquisition or possession without permission of tests of tests or other academic material belonging to a member of the University faculty or staff; or (iv) knowingly providing any unauthorized assistance to another student on quizzes, tests, or examinations.”

[email protected]