Seven ways to make money if you’re a broke Stanford student

Feb. 7, 2017, 9:15 a.m.

1.  Paid studies

Both the Graduate School of Business and the psychology department conduct paid studies. Sign up for an account to access all the studies you may qualify for. Most studies range in time from 15 minutes to an hour but may span multiple days either in person or online. After completing the assigned task or survey, you could be paid in either cash or Amazon gift cards.

2. The Opportunity Fund

The Opportunity Fund is a resource offered by the Diversity and First-Gen Office (DGEN). It provides funds for students “who are experiencing a temporary financial challenge from a hardship or who are seeking funds for an opportunity related to their academic, professional and/or social development.” So whether you can’t afford the business attire you need for your internship, or you need to replace your glasses because you can’t see the board in lecture, talk to the DGEN office and apply for an opportunity grant.

3. Handshake

Handshake is a good resource for job- and internship-searching and volunteer opportunities. It can also alert you when the Career Center (BEAM) is having an event. Events for resume help, career advice and more are also advertised on Handshake.

4. Work weekend events

If you can’t have a job for whatever reason (no time, too many commitments), you can still work several big weekend events. The paid ones are Alumni Homecoming (late October), Parents Weekend (late February) and Commencement (mid-June). They tend to pay between $15-$18 an hour for shifts of 10-20 hours. Applications come out through email lists, so make sure to keep an eye out for that.

5. Email lists

If you can handle email clutter or know how to effectively filter your inbox, subscribe to all the email lists you find relevant. There are many opportunities that are publicized through email lists. Most of them are specific: Employers request artists, people who know how to fundraise, people who can braid hair, etc. If you have any kind of specific skill, you can also advertise via email lists. For example, if you have a car, people will pay you to take them and their luggage to the airport. You can advertise a barber service if you can cut hair (especially black hair) or if you know how to put in braids or do twists.

6. Market your creativity

For anyone who enjoys painting, jewelry-making, knitting or any sort of creative hobby, you should know there is always a market for your products. There are multiple online platforms designed for artists to set up a shop, adjust prices and collect reviews. Etsy is one of the most well-known examples of these marketplaces, selling anything from vintage clothing to handmade furniture. For each item you advertise in your shop, you pay a small fee to keep it live for a few months. It’s relatively simple and easy to keep up and you’ll get the satisfaction of making some extra cash while practicing your talent.

7. Selling textbooks

On multiple occasions, you’ve probably bought a textbook and eventually had no use for it either two weeks into the quarter or by the end. Instead of posting in a Facebook group or sending out a mass email, try advertising on a larger website such as or Shipping costs are usually included, and depending on the condition of the book, they will offer a decent buying price. These websites can also serve as a last resort when you get no bites on your textbook in other places.  


Contact Dabiyyah Agbere at bagbere ‘at’ and Emily Schmidt at egs1997 ‘at’

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