Paid service puts students up for rent

Katie+Foster%2C+Staff+Photographer

Katie Foster, Staff Photographer

by Sofia Casillas

Katie Foster, Staff Photographer

Katie Foster, Staff Photographer

With a large percentage of San Diego State students registered as business majors, it should be no surprise that any opportunity for students to collaborate with companies on new projects would be a hit. That is why approximately 10,000 students have registered for 1,500 projects through rentastudent.com, a website that pairs college students with companies that need help with specialized projects.

Co-founders Morgan Dierstein and Guillaume Truttman created RentAStudent as a place for students to earn cash by helping companies with tasks geared toward their particular skill sets.

According to the website, “RentAStudent is a way to showcase what you’ve already learned, apply it to real world situations, build your résumé and create connections with companies … all while financing your education.”

Students 18 years and older are given the opportunity to create an online profile that displays a professional description and cover letter, while showcasing skills and competencies.

To open a valid account, student users must have an academic email address to prove student status. Once the profile-building process is complete, students can search through various tasks and projects, such as ad campaigns, proofreading, translation and budgeting. Once they find projects suitable to their needs, they need only apply.

During the selection process, companies can contact potential student candidates via email and even send down payments.

According to RentAStudent, “From there, they will be able to establish guidelines and a time frame for completing the project using our collaboration page. Once the student has successfully completed the project, the remainder of the agreed-upon wage will be paid using our secure payment system. We will provide an invoice on behalf of the student so that all transactions are transparent.”

Students are able to negotiate their pay by suggesting an hourly wage on their profiles. The minimum hourly wage companies are able to pay is $10.

The website was first created in France, where only French students were allowed access to the networking process. Last year, American students were offered the RentAStudent opportunity as well. Since then, 1,500 projects have been posted and the number is growing.

RentAStudent does have a few disadvantages. For example, it only grants students access one year from their graduation date and takes a 15 percent cut from student earnings. However, the opportunity to earn more than $10 an hour may still be enticing to some cash-starved college students.

As budgets continue to be cut and tuition fees continue to increase, a 15 percent loss may be no excuse to avoid the opportunity. RentAStudent is an innovative way to build experience before exiting the relatively comfortable bubble of college life.

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